Event- Vaccine Equity: A Catholic Response to COVID-19

On June 30th, Catholic Cares hosted the event Vaccine Equity: A Catholic Response to COVID-19for our communities to learn more about our Cahtolic response. The webinar was an interactive discussion with faith leaders and global health experts about vaccine equity and how Catholic organizations are advocating for COVID-19 vaccination as an act of charity and solidarity. Information was also provided on our microgrant program avaliable to Catholic organizations.

The featured speaker was Sister Carol Keehan, D.C. who leads the Health Task Force of the Vatican Covid-19 Commission, established by Pope Francis in March 2020 to respond to the global devastation caused by the pandemic.

Sister Carol Keehan

Sr. Carol Keehan

Sister Carol Keehan leads the Health Task Force of the Vatican Covid-19 Commission, established by Pope Francis in March 2020 to respond to the global devastation caused by the pandemic. She is the former president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association of the United States where she was responsible for all of the Catholic Health Association’s operations in offices in St. Louis and Washington, D.C..

She has been President and CEO of hospitals for over eighteen years. She held influential roles in the governance of health care, insurance and educational organizations. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, appointed to the International Federation of Catholic Health Care Associations of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Health Care, Catholic Relief Services board, and more.

​She has been a member of several health, labor and domestic policy committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and serves on the finance committee of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. ​Sr. Carol earned a Master of Science degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and was awarded eleven honorary doctoral degrees.



Dianne Jean-François, M.D.
Dr. Dianne Jean-François joined Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) in 2003 after serving as a pediatrician consultant to the Development des Activities de Santé en Haiti, and as a GP for the La Madeleine and Carrefour Poy health centers. Dr. Jean-Francois received her medical degree from the Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie in Haiti and her Masters in Public Health from the Johns–Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Jean-Francois is proficient in a number of languages, including English, Spanish, French, and Creole. She resides in Port-au-Prince with her husband and two children.


Joan Rosenhauer
Joan Rosenhauer is the Executive Director of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. In this role, Joan leads the organization’s efforts in the U.S. to fulfill its mission – to accompany, serve, and advocate for refugees and displaced people in over 50 countries around the world.

Rosenhauer is a former JRS/USA Board Member and has spent most of her career advocating for social justice and mobilizing the U.S. Catholic community to do the same. As an Executive Vice President of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Joan led the organization’s outreach, marketing, and communications – helping those in the United States respond to critical needs around the world. Prior to joining CRS, Joan spent 16 years with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, where she most recently served as the Associate Director of the Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development.

Joan has a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree in public policy management from the University of Maryland. She has been awarded honorary doctorates from Georgetown University, Dominican College, and St. Ambrose University.


Christopher T. Hau
g, Ed.D.
Dr. Christopher T. Haug is Vice President for Student Affairs at Neumann University.  Dr. Haug is responsible for student leadership development, residence life, and athletics and recreation for approximately 2,800 students, 800 of whom live on campus.

Dr. Haug was preveiously Director of Residence Life, Housing and Student Conduct at the University of Portland in Oregon. Dr. Haug was responsible for recruiting, hiring, training and managing more than 100 staff members, including hall directors and resident assistants. He supervised the student conduct process, including Title IX conduct and Clery Act compliance, and oversaw the design of a new residence hall. He also implemented cloud-based data management systems to address housing occupancy for 2,200 students.

He has higher education teaching experience dating back to 2003, and he served as an adjunct instructor in the University of Portland’s Franz Center for Leadership.

Coletta C. Barrett, R.N., FACHE
Coletta Barrett serves as Vice President of Mission for Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center – a tertiary, Catholic Academic Medical Center in Baton Rouge, La.  Coletta serves as the senior leader responsible for the interpretation, clarification, and integration of the Franciscan charism into daily operations of the Baton Rouge region for the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System. She is operationally responsible for the development and administration of Community Advocacy, Community Impact and Community Benefit.

She currently serves as the Chairman of the Board for the Mayor’s Healthy City Initiative in Baton Rouge.  Charged with improving the city’s outcome measures for health, she leads an 104 member coalition of community stakeholders.  In 2015 The Mayor’s Healthy City Initiative was awarded the 2015 NOVA Award from the American Hospital Association for being the only community in the United States to achieve a Joint Community Health Needs Assessment and a Joint Implementation Plan among multiple competing hospitals. During COVID-19 Medical leaders from the hospital coalition meet daily, weekly and now monthly to address community health testing, vaccination and healthcare delivery needs.

Coletta is a Registered Nurse, achieved a Master’s of Health Administration from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. 

Kent E. Ferris, OFS
Kent E. Ferris is Social Action & Catholic Charities Director, Deacon Candidate at Diocese of Davenport. Kent has served as Director on Chancery Staff for 12 years, and has background work in the social service field including child protection social work, disaster response, domestic violence education, developmental disability service delivery and college student affairs.

Source: EVENT – Vaccine Equity: A Catholic Response to COVID-19 – CatholicCares.org

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