St. Joseph Health System
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Sisters of St. Francis

St. Joseph Health System is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio and part of Sylvania Francsican Health system. With hospitals, ambulatory care centers, independent senior housing, assisted living facilities and rehabilitation centers throughout Ohio, Texas and Kentucky, Sylvania Franciscan Health serves over 725,000 individuals annually. As part of Sylvania Franciscan Health system, we are guided by the Mission and Values as set forth by our sponsors, committed to delivering high quality healthcare services.

A Loving Ministry
Called like Francis of Assisi to live the gospel in joyful servant hood among all people, the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio, as messengers of peace, commit themselves to works that reverence human dignity, embrace the poor and marginalized, and respect the gift of creation. 

Mission Statement of the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio
In 1935, the Sisters began operating what was then the Bryan Hospital, and St. Joseph Health System is still part of Sylvania Franciscan Health today.  Throughout the more than 70 years of service to the Brazos Valley, the Sisters of St. Francis have grown the health care ministry into a full health system, encompassing more than twenty facilities throughout a nine county region.  The Sisters have personally served in many capacities at St. Joseph Health System, including having a Sister as the chief executive until 2005. 

Throughout the history of the Sisters' ministry in Bryan, we have been privileged to have many Sisters on our team.  Currently, St. Joseph Health System is blessed to have four Sisters working throughout the System, and the common thread among all is that they were called by God into Sisterhood, as well as called to St. Joseph to grow the health care ministry to provide excellent health care to the people of the Brazos Valley.

Sister Penny, OSF
Sr. Penny Dunn began her ministry in healthcare on November 7, 2011 as Vice President of Mission Integration.  Her main function is to uphold the Mission and the Values of our organization through theological reflections, presentations to new employees, physicians, and leadership. She chairs the Ethics Committee which provides guidance on the Ethical and Religious Directives of Catholic Healthcare, and she chairs the Mission Integration Committee which provides Catholic identity throughout our facilities.  The special events of Spiritual Day, St. Francis Day and St. Joseph Day are under her auspice. Sr. Penny grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota and was an only child to the late William and Marion Dunn.  She entered the Sisters of St. Francis in August of 1982, professed Final Vows December 8, 1990 and celebrated her Silver Jubilee in June of 2010.

Her previous ministries have been in Catholic Parishes in Ohio, Texas, and Minnesota as Director of Faith Formation for the twenty-six years of her Religious Life until coming to us in 2011. She also served the Sisters of St. Francis as Vocation contact for the Midwest while ministering in Minnesota. Sr. Penny shares her spiritual expertise through presentations at area Catholic Churches and school. In her free time she loves to read, swim, walk, and enjoy Texas sunsets. Her favorite scriptural verse is Philippians 4: 4-9.

Sister Rita Jane Radecki, OSF 
Sister Rita Jane joined St. Joseph Regional Health Center's Spiritual Care staff in September 2009.  Sister Rita Jane was previously the Director of Religious Education for the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio for the past 17 years.  She has been a member of the Sylvania Franciscan community of 50 years. She is a native of Toledo, Ohio, where she attended St. Hedwig and St. Agnes Grade Schools, Central Catholic High School, Our Lourdes College and Mary Manse College.  Sister Rita Jane and Sister Gretchen Kunz were classmates at Central Catholic High School in Toledo. Sister Rita Jane taught grades K-8 for ten years. She received her M.A. in Religious Education from Catholic University in Washington D.C. and worked in religious education for 38 years in Toledo, Cincinnati, and Rockford, Illinois and Columbus, Ohio at the parish, area and diocesan levels.

At St. Joseph, she is a chaplain at the hospital, particularly ministering on the second floor, but also throughout the hospital where ever she is needed. She is also enrolled in the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Program at St. Joseph Regional Health Center. "I am enjoying the wonderful people I work with in Spiritual Care, and in the hospital itself, including the volunteers and of course the sisters here in my community," said Sister Rita Jane. "The Texas climate and culture are also most enjoyable!"

Sister St. Anthony, OSF
Sister St. Anthony, joined our ministry in the Spring of 2009, and serves as an Assistant with the Gold Medallion and Helpline Programs.  Helping seniors stay active and have optimal health is one of Sister St. Anthony's primary passions, and her new role at St. Joseph allows her to do just that.  She is involved in community outreach, including social activities, educational classes, and one-on-one instructions for seniors.  She has been inspired by the cooperation between the Sisters, St. Joseph and our community, and also how closely the mission of St. Joseph Health System is integrated into all that we do. 

Sister St. Anthony comes to Bryan from Sylvania, Ohio, where she has lived since a young age.  As a young child, she knew that she wanted to teach, and was motivated by the Sisters who taught her.  She was professed as a Sister in 1967, and has served as a teacher, administrator for a home for at-risk boys, and worked in finance for the Sister community for 10 years.

Sister Lois Ann Palkert
I began ministry at St Joseph on November 30, 2012 to assume the newly created position Director of Mission Services, to serve the critical access hospitals, long term care and clinics. I grew up in Minneapolis Minnesota, and joined the Sisters of St Francis, Sylvania, Ohio after graduating from high school. In 2009 I celebrated by golden jubilee of profession.  Throughout the years I have served in a variety of ministries in Ohio, Michigan and Minnesota and now in Texas. 

I taught on the elementary and college level, was Director of Lifelong Learning at Lourdes College, Sylvania, OH, Novice director for the Sisters of St Francis, Center Director for the Toledo diocese Lay Ministry and Permanent Diaconate Program, Director of Faith Formation and a Pastoral Associate for two parishes in rural Minnesota.  I have spent time as a volunteer serving meals to the homeless and visiting the sick and homebound.  I love to travel and experience the culture, history and art of other countries; I enjoy the beauty of nature and walks, especially through the woods.  I like to cook and bake and to try new recipes.
One of my favorite Scripture passages is Isaiah 43:1  "I have called you by name and you are mine."


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A Ministry of Sylvania Franciscan Health