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For immediate release


CHICAGO, January 2, 2002—Colleen L. Kannaday, CHE, president of St. Francis Hospital and Health Center, Blue Island, Ill., has won the American College of Healthcare Executives 2002 Robert S. Hudgens Award for young healthcare executive of the year. Kannaday will receive the award on March 18, 2002, at the Parker B. Francis Distinguished Lecture during ACHE's 45th Congress on Healthcare Management in Chicago.

The Hudgens Award is presented annually to an exceptional healthcare executive who is less than 40 years old and who is the chief executive officer or chief operating officer of a health services organization. The award was established in 1969 by the Alumni/ae Association of the Department of Health Administration at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, in tribute to its former course director and ACHE's first vice president, Robert S. Hudgens, FACHE.

Board certified in healthcare management and an ACHE Diplomate, Kannaday was selected from among numerous young healthcare executives who were nominated for the award by their professional colleagues. The Hudgens Memorial Award Committee selected the winner based on demonstrated leadership, administrative ability, motivation, attitude, innovation, and creativity. St. Francis Hospital and Health Center is a 410-bed member organization of SSM Health Care, which is based in St. Louis. Kannaday joined St. Francis in 1996 as executive vice president and chief operating officer and was named president in 2001. Prior to this, she worked as one of the first trainees in SSM Health Care's Executive Trainee Program, designed to develop future leaders within the SSM system. Following her training, she served as vice president of Operations and then interim president at Saint Eugene Community Hospital in Dillon, S.C.

Kannaday serves on the boards of St. Benedict Catholic School and Main Street Blue Island and is a past member of the ACHE Regent's Advisory Council for Illinois - Southern Cook County. She was named the 1995 Business and Professional Women's Young Careerist for the State of South Carolina and received the Reverend John J. Flanagan Award for Outstanding Leadership from St. Louis University in 1991. Under Kannaday's leadership, St. Francis was named one of the nation's 2001 top 100 cardiovascular hospitals by Solucient (formerly HCIA Inc.).

Kannaday received her master's degree in health administration from St. Louis University and her bachelor's degree in political science from Santa Clara (Calif.) University.

CONTACT: Deborah A. Labb, (312) 424-9426