Sister Elsbeth Mulvaney, CSC, received the Distinguished Individual Citizen Award from the Saint Alphonsus Foundation for her leadership, vision and creativity. Each year the foundation selects as “Distinguished Citizens” a physician, an organization and an individual who represent the values of Saint Alphonsus Health System, a member of Trinity Health, and who contribute to the good of the community. Sister Elsbeth, or Beth, and three other recipients were honored at the annual awards dinner in June.
“It was an honor for me to be included with Dr. Bill Morgan (recipient of the Distinguished Doctor Award), who led the Trauma Service at the hospital but did much to upgrade that kind of intensive provision of care throughout the state, and with Dustin’s Paw (recipient of the Distinguished Organizational Citizen Award), an ‘organization’ that is actually Diane Rampelberg and her husband with their golden retrievers who are highly trained as therapists for severely handicapped children,” noted Sister Beth.
At the celebration, a friend or colleague of each awardee gives a talk about the person being honored. Dr. Mike Coughlin spoke on behalf of Sister Beth because of his lifelong support of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.
“He spoke very beautifully of our history in Idaho and especially at Saint Alphonsus, recalling his childhood experience of seeing the sisters walking in procession from convent to hospital for the early morning Mass,” said Sister Beth. “He reminded the audience of the gift of unconditional loving care that had been provided for people of the area by many Holy Cross sisters since 1894.”
Sister Beth has served at Saint Alphonsus for the past 20 years as the mission educator. In that role, she has the opportunity to tell the history of the Saint Alphonsus Health System and provide an introduction to the mission and core values to all new employees. She is also called on to develop and sometimes lead prayer services for special events, and administer the employee emergency fund, which she feels keeps her well-grounded in the everyday struggles many people face.
“In recent years, I have mainly been responsible for a process of ministry formation so that board members, executives, managers, leaders at all levels and front line staff can have a deeper understanding of the theology behind our core values and the behaviors that need to flow from those Catholic principles. It is a privilege and a joy to interact with so many individuals and groups who are so committed to our mission and compassionate care,” said Sister Beth.