Co-recipients from Spokane and Seattle chosen to receive Mother Joseph Award

October 22, 2003


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Sisters of Providence have selected co-recipients for the 2003 Mother Joseph Award – Betty Harrington, of Spokane, a pioneer Providence Associate and a leader in health care and nursing for 35 years, and Chuck Hawley, of Seattle, vice president for government affairs for Providence Health System and a nationally recognized authority on services to the elderly.

The award is named in honor of Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart, the first Provincial Superior of the Sisters of Providence in the West, and is given to a person who “exemplifies the values and courage of Mother Joseph.”

The award is presented by the Provincial and the Leadership Team on behalf of all the Sisters of Providence in the province, which includes Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana and El Salvador.

Chuck Hawley’s award will be presented at 3 p.m. Sunday, December 7, at Mount St. Vincent in Seattle.Betty Harrington will receive her award at 6 p.m. Monday, December 8, at Mount St. Joseph in Spokane. The dates for the presentations coincide with the arrival in the Northwest of Mother Joseph and her sister companions on December 8, 1856.

Betty Harrington

For 18 years, Betty Harrington has been a Providence Associate, part of an organization of lay women and men who share the mission of the Sisters of Providence. As a registered nurse, she also worked in a variety of roles at Sacred Heart Hospital for 35 years and was the School of Nursing’s director from 1962 to 1973. When the school closed with the move toward college-level training of nurses, she established Sacred Heart Medical Center’s Department of Educational Services, serving as its director until she retired in 1989.

Among the many honors for her leadership and vision are:

  • the Outstanding Nurse Award from the Inland Empire Nurses Association, 1980
  • Woman of the Year from Lilac City Business & Professional Women, 1986
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from the Inland Empire Nurses Association, 1988
  • Washington State Nurses Association Excellence Award, 1989
  • the Sacred Heart Honor Award and the Gonzaga University Alumni Merit Award

In 1994, she became the second recipient of the Sister Peter Claver Award, which honors individuals who reflect the leadership and faith of Sacred Heart’s president from 1964 to 1987.

“Betty is the face of Providence to all she meets, and in a deeply compassionate way, brings joy into those lives,” one of her nominators for the Mother Joseph Award wrote.

A native of Butte, Mont., Harrington received her diploma in nursing from St. James Hospital in 1944 and served in the Army Nurse Corps from 1944 to 1945. After eight years as a nursing supervisor in San Francisco, she entered Gonzaga University’s nursing program, receiving a bachelor of science degree in nursing education. She returned to Gonzaga and received a master of education degree in 1964.

She joined the faculty at Sacred Heart School of Nursing in 1956 and served as director from 1961 until the school’s closure in 1973. In 1972, she joined other administrative staff at Sacred Heart in establishing a department of educational services and was its director until her retirement in 1989.

Harrington is said to live the values of Mother Joseph. Her many nominators describe a quiet calmness and strength they experience when in her presence that comes from her strong connection with God and a deep spirituality. She goes about her ministry in a humble and simple manner. It is very important to her that others are served, that their dignity is maintained, and that people experience life and have the ability to love and appreciate themselves.

She is also a passionate volunteer. For 11 years she offered her support and services at Spokane’s Women’s Drop-In Center and, now in her 80s, she continues to volunteer weekly to rock babies in Sacred Heart Medical Center?s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Chuck Hawley

Chuck Hawley, vice president for government affairs for Providence Health System, has been employed there in Seattle for 15 years, beginning in 1987 as its first director of long-term care services and continuum development.

Among his many accomplishments are development of a growing, nationally recognized network of low-income housing, and transitional and long-term nursing facilities to meet the needs of elderly people at all levels of health and independence.

Hank Walker, president/CEO of Providence Health System, and Sister Karin Dufault, SP, vice president for mission leadership, nominated Hawley for the award for “groundbreaking he has done on behalf of elderly people.” They said, “Chuck has in many ways redefined care for the aging, especially vulnerable and physically fragile seniors. His efforts have improved the lives of thousands of people in the communities where Providence serves.”

Hawley, who holds a master?s degree in public administration from the University of Washington, has been a member of the Long Term Advisory Committee to the Washington Health Services Commission and has chaired the Budget and Finance Committee for the Long Term Care Commission.

He also has served on a number of task forces with the National Academy of State Health Policy. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging and was one of ten national leaders serving on the Health Care Reform Task Force for the Catholic Health Association of the United States.

He also has been a lecturer and clinical associate professor at the University of Washington and is co-chair of Catholic Health Association’s Partnership in Synergistic Implementation (PSI) initiatives to reduce the number of uninsured individuals throughout the United States.

Like Mother Joseph, Hawley is a masterful collaborator, successfully working with groups including government officials, community supporters and health care professionals to pass vital legislation. He also has championed creation of meaningful state and federal regulations to establish partnerships and joint venture to build facilities create new levels of services and foster innovative options for elder care.

Whatever the project, Hawley has labored tirelessly on behalf of the elderly in all settings. He also has served as a mentor, educator and professional colleague, willingly sharing his knowledge and understanding of the needs of the elderly.

He truly has a special calling to ease the hardship of people in pain and has brought hope to the hurting. His dedication and commitment stand as testament to his passion for improving the lives of the most fragile amongst us, extending the healing ministry of Jesus.