On Thursdays, we will highlight an oral history featuring health care leaders who shaped the past and laid the foundation for the future. Since 1978, the AHA has conducted more than 100 interviews as part of this project and transcripts are available in the oral history collection on the AHA’s Resource Center webpage. The following oral history with Sister Mary Roch Rocklage comes from an interview conducted in 2011. 

Sister Mary Roch Rocklage spent her entire career working in the health care ministry, and in the mid-1980s, she became the first president/CEO of the newly-formed Sisters of Mercy Health System. Later, she became chair of the Sponsor Counsel of the Sisters of Mercy Health System and then became Health Ministry Liaison. Sister Roch in 2002 served as board chair of the AHA and served as board chair of the Catholic Health Association of the United States.
In the interview, Sister Roch discusses what would be the best way to educate nurses, how Vatican II affected Catholic hospitals and what are characteristics of a good board chair. She also reflected on her time as AHA board chair and discussed other events that shaped her career and the people she met and worked with along the way. 

To read the full oral history transcript, click here. To watch a video of highlights of the interview, click here