By Marty Denzer
Catholic Key Reporter
KANSAS CITY — The Alex George Auditorium at St. Joseph’s Medical Center slowly filled with physicians, nurses, staff and volunteers as well as members of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. March 14 was a “special day;” celebrating the 35th anniversary of the opening of the medical center at its I-435 and State Line location, and the missioning of the new chief executive officer, Mike Dorsey. Dorsey took the reins as CEO of St. Joseph Medical Center and Chief Operating Officer of Carondelet Health October 3.
The missioning during a Mass concelebrated by Fathers Thomas Hart and Gerald Waris of St. Joseph Medical Center Spiritual Care department and Father Kevin Ikpah of St. Mary’s Medical Center Spiritual Care department entrusted Dorsey with the mission of Carondelet Health and the ministry spirit of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. The Sisters of St. Joseph established St. Joseph Hospital on Quality Hill in downtown Kansas City 138 years ago, and continue their sponsorship today. Dorsey’s wife, Susan, and their daughter were there to witness the missioning.
Michael Sanderl, Vice President of Mission Integration for Carondelet Health, said in his greeting to the assembled staff and Sisters, that when St. Joseph Hospital moved to South Kansas City in January 1977, the dedication was held on March 19, the feast of St. Joseph, the Sisters’ patron.
The Missioning Mass was also held near the feast of St. Joseph.
Sanderl added that “The Mass allows associates to witness Mr. Dorsey’s public commitment to our mission and the healing ministry of Jesus Christ and for all members of the Carondelet Health community to renew their commitment to the mission, as well.”
Fleury Yelvington, President and CEO of Carondelet Health, called Dorsey to leadership and service, saying, “The Mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Ascension Health and Carondelet Health is a ministry of the Church. We continue the Mission of Christ to make known God’s love and healing grace to women and men of every age. This … calls us to live in the spirit of the Beatitudes with generous and courageous love that: heals and reconciles; serves all persons without distinction; makes known through our lives the Gospel we proclaim; enables others to assume a more active responsibility for building the Kingdom of God; recognizes and defends the human dignity of all persons, and promises and promotes justice with a special concern for the poor.”
Yelvington concluded, “Mike Dorsey, as our brother in Christ and partner in this healing ministry, you share in our commitment. As Chief Executive Officer of St. Joseph Medical Center and Chief Operating Officer of Carondelet Health, you are called to servant leadership.”
Dorsey, a native of Kansas, attended school and began his career in health care in that state. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Technology and an MBA from Wichita State University.
Dorsey has more than 25 years of senior level health care experience. “I’ve spent 28 of my 33 years in the health care field at Catholic hospitals,” he said. He started working in administration at St. Francis Health Center in Topeka, Kan., eventually serving as Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Network Development. Most recently, he served as CEO of Providence Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan., and St. John Hospital, Leavenworth, both sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth.
Dorsey is a Fellow with the American College of Health Care Executives and Chairperson of the Kansas Hospital Association. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas.
Tom McCullough, Board of Directors of Carondelet Health, led Dorsey through the Statement of Commitment, stating the requirements of the mission of Carondelet Health and asking after each if Dorsey accepted the commitment. Dorsey readily responded, “I do commit.”
Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet Patty Clune, St. Louis Province Leadership, led the prayer of acceptance of Dorsey’s commitment, joined in by all the Sisters present at the Liturgy.
“Mike,” Sister Patty said, “we gratefully accept your commitment. … May God infuse you, Mike, with the gifts of the Spirit: Wisdom, Counsel, Fortitude, Love, Gentleness and Joy. May your heart be open to receive all that God offers you. May your family share in all the blessings that come to you.”
After accepting Dorsey’s commitment to the mission of Carondelet Health, the assembled staff, volunteers and Sisters recommitted themselves to live the mission and express values of integrity, compassion and unity, praying that all who receive care from them be restored in body, mind and spirit.
A Recommitment banner hanging on one wall of the auditorium was signed by medical center staff and volunteers who could not attend the Liturgy.
Dorsey told The Catholic Key that he was “more excited after six months of getting to know the people of the wonderful team at St. Joseph Medical Center. It truly is a talented and committed team.”
He is also enjoying exploring and getting to know Kansas City, Mo. “My first exposure to the Missouri side was driving on I-70 and I-435,” he said. “We were still living in Topeka, then. When I started work at Providence, Susan and I and our four kids moved to Olathe, which is still home. I had never really experienced Missouri, and it’s been really fun. I was invited to have lunch in Martin City and thought ‘Oh, I can’t, another city. I don’t have enough time to drive to another city for lunch. Then I discovered it’s only about five minutes from St. Joseph Medical Center!”
More soberly he added, “Medicine has grown and developed so much since the Sisters of St. Joseph founded the hospital so long ago. Even in the past 35 years, there has been tremendous advancement. What has not changed, however, and will not change, is our commitment to the long tradition of healing and caring for our community. I am honored to be part of it.”
A reception followed the Mass of Missioning and Commitment in the Community Center for Health and Education on the medical center campus.