WASHINGTON (February 4, 2003) -- Sister Mary Roch Rocklage, a member of the St. Louis Regional Community of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, has been named the U.S. bishops' health care consultant.
In the newly-created position, Sister Rocklage's primary responsibility will be to facilitate conversation and dialogue between the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic health care systems and their sponsors in the United States.
Sister Rocklage, who was 2002 Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the American Hospital Association and currently is chairperson of the Sisters of Mercy Health System based in St. Louis, began her USCCB position January 1. She will remain in St. Louis and report to the U.S. Bishops' Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices. Sister Rocklage will also continue her role as chairperson and sponsor representative of the Sisters of Mercy Health System.
The new USCCB position calls for Sister Rocklage to maintain contacts with national organizations involved in health care issues, including the National Coalition on Health Care Ministry, Catholic Health Association, Catholic Charities USA, organizations of religious orders, and state Catholic conferences; work with USCCB offices which deal in health care issues; and participate in meetings of the bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Catholic Health Care Issues.
Sister Rocklage has had a distinguished career in health care. Prior to becoming Board Chairman of the Sisters of Mercy Health Care System in 1999, she served for 13 years as its first President and Chief Executive Officer. The system sponsors integrated health care delivery systems, hospitals, physician practices and related health and human service programs throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.
Sister Rocklage also is an adjunct professor of health care administration at St. Louis University and Washington University, and in past years has held various other university teaching positions. She is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives; a member of the National Advisory Council –School of Public health, St. Louis University; a member of the Executive Council for Mercy Higher Education Conference and has served on the governing boards of numerous hospitals and health care and education organizations, as well as serving as a participant on numerous governmental, religious and civic agencies, tasks forces and committees for health planning.
Sister Rocklage holds a bachelor of nursing degree from Xavier College, Chicago; a master of health administration degree from St. Louis University; and completed her hospital administration residency program at Holy Cross Hospital, Mission Hills, California.
Her current board memberships, in addition to the Sisters of Mercy Health System and American Hospital Association, include Saint Anthony's Health Services, Alton, Illinois; St. Louis University School of Nursing Advisory Board; Aquinas Institute of Theology Advisory Board, and the Board of Reconciliation of the Sisters of Mercy St. Louis Regional Community.