Sister Mary Roch Rocklage, first CEO of Mercy, dies at 87

Sister Mary Roch Rocklage, founder of Chesterfield, Mo.-based Mercy healthcare system and its first president and CEO, died at 87 on Aug. 23 after a long illness, according to the health system. 

Ms. Rocklage joined the Sisters of Mercy order in 1954 while attending their nursing school. She also studied health administration before working as a nurse at St. John's Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis. In 1969, she became St. John's administrator. Then, Ms.  Rocklage served in the management consulting office, supporting the religious community's hospitals in seven states. She helped create the Sisters of Mercy Health System in 1986, according to the release. 

Ms. Rocklage served as Mercy's president and CEO until 1999, when she became chair of its board, a position in which she served until 2021. Throughout her career, she advocated for healthcare on the federal level and received numerous awards, including the Missouri Hospital Association Career Achievement Award, American Hospital Association Distinguished Service Award and Catholic Health Association Lifetime Achievement Award, according to the release.

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