Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Sacred Heart Medical Center honors Charities director with Sister Peter Claver Award

by Jami LeBrun, Inland Register staff

(From the Nov. 11, 2004 edition of the Inland Register)

Donna Hanson

On Oct. 28, Donna Hanson (right), Diocesan Director of Catholic Charities and Bishop’s Secretary for Social Ministries, was presented with the Sister Peter Claver Award by Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.

Sister Peter Claver, a Sister of Providence, led SHMC from 1964 to 1991 and left an indelible mark on the hospital and the Spokane community. Each year, SHMC recognizes an individual who demonstrates integrity, humility, compassion and service to humanity with the Sister Peter Claver Award.

As director of Catholic Charities in Spokane for 26 years, Hanson has committed her life to meeting the needs of the poor and elderly. One nominator wrote, “As she oversees the work of shelters and other programs for the homeless, she is never satisfied, but rather, always seeking further improvements.”

Though Hanson has received numerous local and national awards for her service, she was particularly touched to be selected to receive the Sister Peter Claver Award.

“The Sisters of Providence have been giants in my life,” said Hanson. “They have been silent partners in the work of Catholic Charities for the entire 26 years I have been Director. I would not have to ask for their assistance; they just knew when to offer or suggest ways they could help, from the Medical Clinic to providing Easter dinner at the House of Charity; from supporting the social service staff to assisting with renovations at the Summit View Apartments. Sister Peter Claver was my friend and I am deeply honored to receive this award.”

At the appreciation dinner, Hanson was quick to thank her “three families:” the board and staff of Providence Health Care for their thoughtful leadership, her co-workers at Catholic Charities (and their spouses, for whom she praised as working “just as hard, without a paycheck”), along with her husband and two sons.

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