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Sister Monica Heeran celebrates

Sister Monica at dinner gathering

Sister Monica Heeran, standing at center, during the Spring Jubilee dinner with (L-R) Srs. Anita Heeran, Pauline Dibb, Noreen Terrault, Aileen Trainor and Eleanor Gilmore.
Sister Monica Heeran
Sister Monica Heeran, CSJP

Sister Monica Heeran (Sister Gertrude) came to the Bellingham novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace from an Irish childhood.  Born in Foxfield, County Leitrim, she became a novice in 1948. 

Sister Monica began her lifetime of involvement with health care as bookkeeper and business manager at hospitals in Wenatchee and Bellingham, then trained as a nurse, receiving a B.S. in Nursing from Seattle University, and a Masters in Health Administration at St. Louis University.  Her combination of business skills and nursing experience led naturally to a distinguished career in hospital administration, and Sister Monica served as administrator of the Sister’s hospitals in Ketchikan, AK, Eugene, OR and Bellingham, WA. 

In 1988, Sister Monica was named President and CEO of the newly reorganized PeaceHealth System which she led successfully for ten years.  After retiring from PeaceHealth, she turned her energies to the needs of those without health insurance and raised funds to start the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic in Eugene, OR.  Once funds had been raised, she became the Clinic’s first Executive Director.  When the VIM Clinic was well established, Sister Monica was able to "retire" again, and she now serves as the Chair of the Clinic Board, helps with fundraising, volunteers at the Clinic, and serves on the System Board of PeaceHealth.  She will be honored this month with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Catholic Hospital Association.

Sister Monica reading during MassSister Monica reads Scripture during the Jubilee Mass.
Sister Monica with friends at receptionSister Monica with a friend and Sister Aileen Trainor (left) during the Jubilee reception.