This award is given each year to an acknowledged leader of the health ministry who has inspired and mentored numerous others. The individual’s leadership extends past the Catholic health ministry to influence and impact the local community and beyond.
For 50 years, Sister Barbara served in health care ministry and education, predominately nursing.
Notably, she served the dear neighbor in community health programs in Kansas City. She was the program coordinator of maternal child health at the Samuel U. Rodgers Comprehensive Community Health Center, 1988-98; and the project director for the Kansas City Healthy Start program at Heart of America United Way, 1998-2002.
Sister Barbara retired in 2015 and continues to serve on several boards and in a variety of volunteer and community service activities, including Mircrofinancing Partners in Africa, which assists those in extreme poverty, and Nia Kuumba, a spirituality center for women of African and African-American descent.
She also serves as a member of the Ascension Sponsor, the Ministerial Public Juridic Person for Ascension, the largest Catholic Health System in the country.
In particular, she is a well-known speaker on issues of race and justice, sharing her story as one of many religious who marched for civil rights in Selma, Alabama in 1965.
She received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from both St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, 2013 and Avila University, 2015.