Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington



From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302


Providence Sister Karin Dufault honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

the Inland Register

(From the April 16, 2015 edition of the Inland Register)

Providence Sister Karin Dufault, congregational leader of the Sisters of Providence international community in Montreal, Quebec, which is the founding organization of Renton-based Providence Health & Services, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Seattle Business magazine on Thursday, Feb. 26. The award was presented at the magazine’s Washington Leaders in Health Care awards gala at the Marriott Seattle Waterfront Hotel.

Sister Karin was one of 19 honorees identified by the magazine as transforming medicine.

Also honored was Elaine Couture, regional chief executive of Providence Health Care, Spokane, who was named Outstanding Health Care Executive outside the Puget Sound region. Seattle Business magazine’s March issue featured the awardees.

Sister Karin has been serving the poor and vulnerable in Pacific Northwest communities and nationally for more than 55 years with compassion and wisdom. She has served in pivotal leadership roles for Providence Health System, now Providence Health & Services, including as a nurse, hospital administrator, vice president of mission leadership, chairperson of the board of directors, and acting president and CEO.

“Sister Karin has kept us strong during difficult decisions and provided an important long-term perspective on what was best for the communities we serve,” said John Koster, MD, former president and CEO of Providence.

Early on in her nursing career, Sister Karin recognized that caring for the whole person – care of the mind, body and spirit – was essential for those in their most vulnerable stage at the end of life. She has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and understanding of palliative care and to make those resources available to all patients.

Palliative care is a critically needed set of services for vulnerable patients and families and is a hallmark of the mission of Catholic health care.

Sister Karin completed her doctoral work in nursing in this field and has been a key figure in advancing the national effort to improve care at this critical time of life. She has provided nationally and globally recognized leadership regarding excellence in palliative and end-of-life care.

She has served as executive director of the Supportive Care Coalition: Pursuing Excellence in Palliative Care, in Portland, Ore. The coalition, sponsored by 20 Catholic health organizations throughout the United States, works to advance excellence in the care of persons with life-threatening illness through knowledge transfer, advocacy and partnerships.

A native of the Yakima Valley, Sister Karin entered the Sisters of Providence congregation in 1959 at 18 years old.


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