Sister Josephine Therese Uhll: Right Woman for the Right Time

Governing Board 1975_sm
St. Dominic Governing Board, 1975. Seated (l to r) Sister M. Robert Armstrong; William B. Thompson, MD; Sister Josephine Therese Uhll, William E. Bowlus, MD; Sister John Vianney Rudolph. Standing (l to r): M. Joseph Scanlon, Sister M. Trinita Eddington, Harland L. Knight, Sister M. Paulus Foerster, Charles B. Ryan, Sister Helen Marie Ebers.

Sister Josephine Therese Uhll, OP, a Dominican Sister of Springfield for 79 years, died on April 9, 2016. She loved her Dominican life and labored tirelessly and with great love in the field of Catholic healthcare, having served as administrator of St. Dominic Health Services in Jackson, Miss., for forty years.

All services for Sister Josephine Therese are at Sacred Heart Convent as follows:

Tuesday, April 12
Gathering 3:00 p.m.
Visitation 3:30-6:15 p.m.
Wake service 4:30 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday April 13
Morning Prayer and Rememberings  10:30 a.m., followed by burial, Calvary Cemetery, Springfield, and dinner at the convent.

In tribute to Sister Josephine Therese, we offer this excerpt from The Love of Christ Impels Us: A Short History of St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital and St. Dominic Health Services, Inc. 1946-2000. Sister Susan Karina Dickey, OP, and Sister Josephine Therese Uhll, OP.

Sister Josephine Therese Uhll, like the administrators before and after, seems to have been the right woman at the right time. She entered the congregation during the Great Depression and made final profession of vows in 1940. Like most of the Springfield Dominicans of that era, Sister Josephine Therese taught school for awhile but the congregation needed hospital workers, and Sister Josephine Therese was assigned to St. Joseph Hospital at Wellington in the Texas panhandle. Rather than nursing, she oversaw the business end of operations.

Shortly after her arrival in Wellington she began to study Medical Records Management at St. Anthony Hospital, Amarillo. Upon completion of the course and gaining the required practical experience, she became a registered medical records administrator. She also studied accounting and medical administration, and in 1952 Sister Josephine Therese assumed responsibilities as administrator of St. Joseph’s. A few years later, when the Springfield Dominicans needed someone for the business management role in Jackson, the Mother General tapped Sister Josephine Therese on the shoulder. From 1955 to 1964 she served as finance officer, medical records administrator, and supervisor of the coffee shop and employee cafeteria.

In the fall of 1964, Mother General Ida Marie Adams appointed Sister Josephine Therese to be St. Dominic’s new administrator. Thirty-one years and one title change later, [ed. note: and having achieved the position of Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives] she said goodbye to Jackson. Legal Counsel Eddie Brunini, Jr.,  [ ] later remarked that “Sister Josephine Therese had a keen sense of business that served the institution well, and she knew that a hospital should be a place of caring and healing.”

When Sister Josephine Therese became administrator, St. Dominic’s was a moderate sized hospital with an annual operating budget of $2,038,072. Upon retirement in 1995, she was president of a multi-institutional health care system with a combined operating budget of $98,647,161.

Thank you Sister Josephine Therese! Rest in peace!

2 thoughts on “Sister Josephine Therese Uhll: Right Woman for the Right Time”

  1. Joanne Herrington

    Sister Josephine touched so many lives, in so many ways. She had a strong impact on both my private and professional life, and I am just one of thousands.

  2. I was the President of the Epilepsy Foundation and we had the privilege of Sister Josephine serving on our national board for many years. She was an outstanding leader and did so much to advance the cause of people with epilepsy She represented all of our affiliates in the southeast US as well as being a outstanding leader on the National level

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