Maine BPW names woman of the year

Posted July 20, 2009, at 7:22 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Sister Mary Norberta, president and chief executive officer of St. Joseph Hospital, has been named Woman of the Year by the Maine chapter of the nonprofit organization Business and Professional Women. Sister Norberta was presented with the award at a surprise ceremony on Friday.

BPW is a national nonsectarian, nonpartisan organization founded in 1919. Its mission is to promote equity, economic self-sufficiency and full participation in the work force for all women.

Sister Norberta has led St. Joseph Hospital and St. Joseph Healthcare Foundation since 1982.

A 1956 graduate of the St. Elizabeth Hospital School of Nursing in Lafayette, Ind., she went on to earn a master’s degree in public health from Tufts University and another master’s degree in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She holds honorary doctorates from Husson University and St. Joseph College.

During her career, Sister Norberta has served as director of nursing for a number of organizations, a certified pediatric nurse practitioner at Massachusetts General Hospital and a consultant for the American Nurses Association. She has served on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and the Boston College Graduate School of Nursing.

Under Sister Norberta’s leadership, St. Joseph Hospital has grown into the largest community hospital in Maine. She has spearheaded efforts to ensure adequate primary care services in the Bangor area and helped organize Maine’s smaller community hospitals into the Maine Health Alliance. She has served on the boards of a number of local charitable organizations and has dedicated funding from the St. Joseph Healthcare Foundation to provide laundry services, food supplies and other support to homeless shelters and other programs.

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