Nursing Alumna Receives High Honor from the Vatican
VCU School of Nursing alumna Sr. Patricia A. Eck, C.B.S., the Congregation Leader for the Sisters of Bon Secours of Paris since 2009 and chairperson of Bon Secours Ministries, the sponsor for Bon Secours Health System, will receive the Papal award, Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal on November 20, 2011. This award is the highest honor given to a member of a religious community by the Vatican.
“I am grateful for the recognition of the long-standing presence of the Sisters in the Archdiocese, especially in Baltimore and Marriottsville. This is indeed an honor for us all,” Sr. Eck said.
Instituted by Pope Leo XIII in 1888, the honor is bestowed upon lay people and clergy who have provided distinguished service to the Roman Catholic Church. Sr. Eck will receive the medal at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore.
Sr. Eck entered religious life on Sept. 11, 1966, dedicating her ministry to the care of the sick, particularly those who are poor or marginalized. With a health care career that spans more than 40 years, Sr. Eck has served in several roles including clinical nursing, health care administration, and sponsorship and governance for Bon Secours Health System.
Through the years, Sr. Eck has served on the Leadership Team of the Sisters of Bon Secours, U.S.A, and, in 2006, she was one of the primary leaders in creating and structuring Bon Secours Ministries as the Public Juridic Person/sponsor for Bon Secours Health System and is currently the chairperson of Bon Secours Ministries. Under Sr. Eck’s leadership, Bon Secours Ministries included for the first time, laypeople working side by side with the sisters.
She has been recognized nationally for her leadership in creating alignment between sponsorship and governance. Sr. Eck served as chairperson of the Catholic Health Association (CHA) and, in 2007, received the Sister Mary Concilia Moran Award from CHA. She has also served as chairperson of the Corporate Members of Mercy Housing and currently serves on the Catholic Medical Mission Board.
Sr. Eck earned a master’s degree in health administration from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University, a master’s degree in nursing from Catholic University of America, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University.