Sponsors 

Providence Ministries

Providence Ministries is a community of sponsors – lay men and women as well as women religious – called to carry the healing mission of Catholic health care on into the future. The sponsors remain faithful to the heritage of the Sisters of Providence and continue to pay special attention to the needs of the poor and vulnerable through health care, education and social service ministries.

Sister Juliana Casey, IHM, president and sponsor, Providence Ministries

Sister Juliana accepted the call to serve as provincial of the Northeast Province of her Michigan-based congregation, the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for six years. She is a skilled leader in the thoughtful process of developing lay persons for leadership in Catholic health care ministries. She served the Catholic Health Association and then Catholic Health East in a role that included facilitation of its Sponsors’ Council. She developed a new lay model for sponsorship of the health system that was approved by the Vatican in 2000, and spent the next ten years as staff to Hope Ministries and to its Sponsors. She also participated in the design of a multi-system formation program to develop people who would become sponsors. She retired in 2010 and continues to serve as a consultant.

Sister Juliana entered the congregation in 1965 and served as a teacher of theology and scripture. She holds doctorates in philosophy and also sacred theology from the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. She was one of the first women to achieve this degree in the university’s 450-year history.

Johnny Cox, vice president and sponsor, Providence Ministries

Johnny is a leader in the field of ethical responsibility. He was the first professor to teach ethics as a theological discipline in 1972 at Gonzaga University. Following that, he served Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center as the first ethicist in the nation to be employed full time in a community hospital. He was later appointed as the first vice president of Mission for Providence Services. After serving Providence for many years, Johnny worked for the St. Joseph Health System on the implementation of its Next Generation Ethics program, integrating clinical ethics with quality management and patient safety. He helped design the Ministry Leadership Center and served on its board until retirement in 2007.

Johnny holds a doctorate degree in Christian social ethics from the Claremont Graduate University, a master’s in theology from the University of Notre Dame and his nursing degree from Seattle University. He was appointed by Bishop William L. Skylstad to the board of the Washington State Catholic Conference.

Barbara Savage, treasurer and sponsor, Providence Ministries

Barbara accepted the call to leadership so that she may influence decisions facing patient care. She brings extensive experience from her leadership roles in the areas of clinical care, performance improvement, planning and marketing, community health improvement and mission integration. She began her career at Holy Family Hospital where she was responsible for community health education and initiated programs in wellness, prevention and disease management. When the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) assumed management of Holy Family, Barbara began conducting leadership conferences for HCA hospital management and staff. She was invited by Blue Cross of Washington and Alaska to launch HealthPlus, a health maintenance organization in Eastern Washington. She became the organization’s executive director and following that, vice president of Eastern Washington operations and then interim CEO. She returned to Holy Family Hospital in 1994 and served as assistant administrator.

Barbara holds a nursing degree from Carroll College School of Nursing. She was a bedside nurse for 12 years caring for the mentally ill, the acutely ill in the intensive care unit, and patients facing terminal illness. She is one of the founders of Hospice of Spokane and has served as a longtime board member and volunteer. She has also volunteered with the American Cancer Society, the Transitional Living Center for homeless women and children, Spokane Health Improvement Partnership (including as its first executive director), and the board of directors of the Catholic Foundation.

Sister Barbara Schamber, SP, secretary and sponsor, Providence Ministries

Sister Barbara was called to serve as the first provincial superior of the newly formed Mother Joseph Province and presiding member of Providence Health System and Providence Services from 2000 to 2004. Prior to that, she was provincial superior and chairwoman of the board of directors of Providence Health Corporation from 1985 to 1991. Skilled in the governance of Catholic health care, she has been a member of Catholic Health Association’s sponsorship committee as well as co-chairperson of the Providence sponsorship planning committee that researched and recommended an alternative sponsorship model. She has served on the boards of the trustees of Catholic Community Services and the Archdiocesan Housing Authority, Western Washington.

Sister Barbara holds a master’s in educational administration from Central Washington University. In the wake of the changes during and following Vatican II, she was educated in the College of Sister Formation at Seattle University where she received a bachelor’s in social sciences. Her ministries in the religious community include teaching and administration in Providence schools throughout Washington, Oregon and California. She entered the Sisters of Providence upon graduating from Providence High School in Burbank, Calif. Sister Barbara is currently working to complete documentation for a book about the 150-year history of the Sisters of Providence in the West.

Sister Anita Butler, SP, sponsor, Providence Ministries

Sister Anita formerly served as president of Providence Ministries from 2012 to 2013. She has served Providence Health & Services in many roles, including as regional director of long-term care at Providence Oregon and superior and administrator at Providence St. Joseph Residence. For 24 years, Sister Anita was the chairwoman of the trustees cash balance retirement plan. She has extensive experience serving on boards and committees, including the Archdiocese of Portland Catholic Charities; the Providence Health Plan; the Providence Health & Services governing board, board of directors and investment committee; and the Providence Portland Medical Center Foundation. Her ministries in the religious community include teaching and administration for 23 years, and 14 years as a provincial treasurer for the Sisters of Providence.

Sister Anita holds a master’s in education and secondary administration from the Loyola University of Los Angeles, and a bachelor’s in elementary education from the University of Great Falls, Montana. She also studied at the University of Notre Dame’s Graduate School of Finance.

William “Bill” Cox, sponsor, Providence Ministries

Bill is an influential leader in health care with more than 30 years of state-level and national experience. He currently leads the Alliance of Catholic Health Care, a statewide forum comprised of health systems and independent hospitals that operate a total of 54 Catholic and community hospitals in California. Prior to joining the alliance, Bill served as executive vice president of the Catholic Health Association in Washington, D.C. He has made many contributions to Catholic health care over the years, including the development of the Sacramento-based Ministry Leadership Center.  The center provides a three-year formation program utilized by senior managers across the country. In other areas, Bill has enabled Catholic health systems to adopt a statewide policy on hospital billing and collection practices for low-income patients; assisted the development of a model policy on statewide health care reform; and defeated legislation that would have required Catholic hospitals to provide services inconsistent with their religious and ethical beliefs.

Bill graduated from the University of Notre Dame with honors.