Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 7, 1999
Caritas finds new CEO
Hospital administrator was converted by sisters' dedication
By ANH HOANG
WCR Staff Writer
Integration and working together is what life is all about for Carl Roy. And he's taking this same attitude with him in his new job as president and CEO of Caritas Health Group.
"I believe in integration," said Roy, 44. "If health care is going to be improved, it needs to integrate."
Roy will oversee Caritas' operation which has a budget of $149 million and employs 3,800 staff at Edmonton General, Misericordia and the Grey Nuns hospitals.
He replaces former president Doug Perry, who retired last year. Administrator Bev Rachwalski served as interim president during that time.
In an era when health cutbacks loom every year at budget time, Roy looks at his job as an opportunity to work with other health care facilities rather than embracing in verbal fisticuffs with government officials.
"I have found that fighting is not really the best strategy," said Roy, who has tackled a decline in medical funding and closures of health care facilities on a provincial and national level. "Compromising and giving in is not the way to handle it either."
What Roy sees instead is a focus on strategically using available funds and pooling resources.
Roy, an Ontario native, has worked in Catholic health care for 15 years. He was president and CEO of St. Joseph's Centre in Sudbury, Ont., prior to this appointment at Caritas.
Working in Catholic health care has become less of a career and more of a personal initiative for Roy.
"In my first five years of exposure to the sisters, I saw their selflessness, how they were so giving to the community. They were committed to serving people, . . . bringing Jesus to the world.
"I was personally touched by their generosity. I had a personal conversion at that time. I went from being an aggressive person who was pursuing a career to seeing this as a privileged profession. To me this is lifelong work."
Integration of health care services would not only increase benefits to patients, but also offer them diversity.
Catholic health care brings a special service to its patient that is not always present in other services. Caritas' staff have a "clear set of values, which defines us as work of the Church," Roy said.
"When people face the greatest questions - life, death, disability, tremendous loss - this is a great opportunity for us to journey with them through it.
"The hope is that they will come to a greater wholeness . . . to come to a greater understanding of life. Sometimes it takes this spiritual care to understand that."
The difference Roy sees between Catholic health care and its secular counterpart is the tradition of its founders. The Grey Nuns and Misericorde sisters, who founded the hospitals of the same names, have laid out examples of "selfless caring and a healing through connection with God."
Roy points to the ever-growing movement of spirituality in the workplace.
"(Spirituality) has been in place here for years. For us it's not something that's a new focus for the month or for the year. It's a way of thinking, of doing things.
"As leaders we will have failed miserably if we do not hold diligently the values of our founders."
These values Roy speaks of are very much similar to those in any health care profession - dignity, excellence, commitment, integrity and compassion. What makes Catholic health care different is the Christian presence.
"We have examples set out by the sisters. The call we have by our Church . . . by our faith, by God. We have a chance to make this happen, to make this work."