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Catholic Health East Names H. Ray Welch Jr., As System's Executive Vice President of Ministry Operations

August 12, 2010

H. Ray Welch Jr., Executive Vice President Ministry Operations

Newtown Square, Pa., Thursday, August 12, 2010 – Catholic Health East (CHE) announced today that H. Ray Welch Jr., is joining the CHE senior management team as executive vice president, ministry operations effective September 7. Welch is currently the chief executive officer of Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania (MHS SEPA), a member of the CHE organization. In the interim, Welch will continue to serve as MHS SEPA’s leader with the support of the Office of the President and Operating Unit CEOs.

Welch will provide oversight for CHE’s ministries in the mid-Atlantic region and provide system-wide leadership in enhancing regional strategies and ambulatory development. Welch first joined Mercy SEPA in December 2003 as senior vice president of strategic planning and marketing. In 2005, he was named the system’s CEO.

Under Ray’s leadership, MHS SEPA has been recognized for quality care by: Independence Blue Cross Blue Distinction Awards for Cardiac Surgery and Orthopedics, the 2010 Premier Award for quality and HealthGrades 5-Star Awards for Stroke and Orthopedics. Mercy Home Health and Mercy LIFE have also been recognized for quality care. In addition, they have consistently achieved key CHE Achieving Clinical Transformation (ACT) targets.

"Ray is an outstanding addition to our senior management team,” said Judith M. Persichilli, president and chief executive officer, Catholic Health East. “I’ve worked with Ray for several years and I have always been impressed with his business skills and acumen, his firm grounding in our ministry’s mission and core values, and his ability to lead. We look forward to his leadership and contributions at the system level.”

Welch brings over 20 years of health care management experience in Fortune 500 companies to his assignment. Prior to joining Mercy, Welch spent eight years in senior management with ARAMARK Corporation, most recently as president of the company’s Health Support Services business that provided a wide array of support services to over 600 hospitals throughout North America. Additionally, Welch held management positions with major health care companies, including Johnson & Johnson and Pharmacia.

“I look forward to working with the senior management teams at the System Office and our health care facilities in Southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware to build on CHE’s position as a leading provider of quality health services in a challenging health care environment,” said Welch. “The CHE Mid-Atlantic Region is well positioned to implement a System strategy that supports the transition from the existing health care delivery model to coordinated, integrated, care management across the continuum of care.”

Welch earned a business degree from Bethel College in South Bend, Indiana. He resides in Center City Philadelphia, Pa., with his wife Susan.

Catholic Health East (CHE) is a multi-institutional Catholic health system, co-sponsored by nine religious congregations and Hope Ministries, a Public Juridic Person within Catholic Health East. Based in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, the System provides the means to ensure the continuation of the Catholic identity and operational strength of the sponsors’ health ministries, which are located in 11 eastern states from Maine to Florida. The CHE system includes 34 acute care hospitals, four long-term acute care hospitals, 25 freestanding and hospital-based long-term care facilities, 14 assisted-living facilities, four continuing care retirement communities, eight behavioral health and rehabilitation facilities, 37 home health/hospice agencies, and numerous ambulatory and community-based health agencies. Catholic Health East facilities employ more than 54,000 full-time employees as partners in ministry.

Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania is a diverse, integrated system providing comprehensive health care services comprised of four acute care hospitals, a home healthcare organization, several wellness centers, physician practices, a federal PACE program, and co-owner of managed care plans, Keystone Mercy Health Plan and Gateway Health Plan. With 120 primary care and specialty physicians, Mercy Health System is a teaching community health system affiliated with Drexel University School and Medicine and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM). The largest Catholic healthcare system serving the Delaware Valley, Mercy Health System is sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy and Hope Ministries; and is a member of Catholic Health East, a multi-institutional, Catholic health system co-sponsored by 13 religious congregations. The vision of Mercy Health System is to be a leading provider of compassionate care and community access to quality health services that improve the health of individuals and communities. To learn more about Mercy Health System, visit