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Monica Anderson is a fierce and respected Alaskan advocate, educator, mentor and humanitarian. In her present role as Chief Mission Integration Officer for Alaska Health and Services Alaska, she is its conscience and moral compass. Anderson is a thoughtful, intuitive listener who speaks truth to power.
Anderson has an oral legacy of leadership, knowledge and inspiration. She is a frequent speaker at nonprofit and community service events and leadership meetings across Alaska and the lower 48. Through her steadfast commitment to service, she passionately and professionally influences strategic leadership in community partnerships, ethics, spiritual care and justice in the workplace.
Anderson was the child of a military family who experienced life in naval air stations up and down both U.S. coasts before choosing to make Alaska her permanent home. She learned early on that as painful as it was to leave your best friend, there was a new best friend waiting for her in the location of her family’s new home. Anderson believes all those moves helped her become resilient during change. She grew up loving art, sports, ballet and animals.
Anderson earned a Bachelor of Science in Theology from Loyola College in Baltimore, M.D. and a Master of Arts in Counseling from the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies in Charleston, WV. She is a board-certified, professional chaplain with more than 2,000 hours of clinical pastoral education. These areas of study were an expression of her early interest in medicine and healing and the role spirituality plays in health and healing.
Anderson’s career began as the Director of Spiritual Care at St. Francis Hospital in Charleston, WV and then as Chaplain for Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, Oregon. In 1992 she was invited to Providence Alaska to provide leadership to the Spiritual Care Department .She went on to become Director of Mission/Spiritual Care for Providence Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska, followed by Director of Spiritual Care for Providence St. Vincent Hospital in Portland, Oregon. When she became a hospital chaplain and later a mission leader, she was able to blend her love of being a part of a person’s healing journey and exploring the role of spirituality in this journey.
In 2002, Anderson became the Chief Mission Integration Officer for Providence Health and Services Alaska, which includes Anchorage, Kodiak, Seward and Valdez. Providence Health and Services Alaska is a non-for-profit Catholic network of hospital, care centers, health plans, physicians, clinic’s, home health care and affiliated services guided by a mission of caring that the Sisters of Providence brought to the rough and tumble gold fields of Nome in 1902.
Anderson is responsible for bringing the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program to Alaska. Its practical, hands-on theological curriculum is designed to help ministers and seminarians from around the world meet the unique spiritual needs of those in hospitals, long-tern care and other health care facilities. The program is accredited by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education to offer Level I, Level II, Certified Education CPE programs.
Recognizing and encouraging talent and ideas are natural components of Anderson’s repertoire. She serves on the faculty of the Providence Leadership Formation Program as well as the Talent Development Program.
Anderson serves as the regional health care system’s vital link between high tech medical care of the regional Providence community, its history as a healing ministry, and serving those in need medically, socially and spiritually. This role is a critical asset to the state of Alaska. She works closely with Providence Health and Service Alaska leaders and caregivers at many levels to animate a mission-inspired culture. Key areas of influence include strategic leadership in community partnerships, ethics, spiritual care and justice in the workplace.
Numerous programs identified and developed by Anderson, in conjunction with clinical and administrative Providence Health and Service Alaska leaders have transformed Alaskan communities: Behavior Health Services advancing the continuum of mental health care, the Breakthrough Outpatient Chemical Dependency Treatment Program, an Anchorage Health Literacy Collaborative Peer Navigator Program, a Catholic Social Services Refugee Assistance & Immigration Services Workforce Development Program, Project Search, and the Nurse-Family Partnership Program.
Anderson served as an active and influential member of the Catholic Social Services Board of Directors for 9 years. She supports the Faith Community Nurses volunteer network, and the Alaska CARES Program. She also started the Pet-Assisted Wellness Services Program at Providence Alaska Medical Center.
Anderson is living proof that the true test of a person’s character can be seen in what she does when no one is watching. Her brand of selfless service functions behind the scenes and under the radar. She typically is the one recognizing, rewarding and encouraging others for their achievements and contributions to the greater good.