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Connolly named mission director at Pittsburgh Mercy


William Connolly has been appointed mission director at Pittsburgh Mercy, a part of Trinity Health, serving in the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy, one of the region’s largest health and social service nonprofits.

Mr. Connolly will lead the implementation of mission and values functions, programs, and activities, as well participate in strategic planning for Pittsburgh Mercy. Serving on the senior leadership team, he will be a resource, provide education, and raise value-based questions and concerns pertinent to the organization’s mission and values as it makes decisions and sets direction.

He will also be responsible for promoting the development of ethical decision-making behaviors throughout the organization.

Mr. Connolly has been with Pittsburgh Mercy for eight years. He earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary English education with a certification in special education from La Roche College and graduated from Robert Morris University this past August with a master’s degree in organizational leadership.

He began his career in human services, working as a child case manager for Mon Yough Community Services. He has also worked as a habilitation aide for an individual in Duquesne, Pa. since his college years.

Mr. Connolly joined Pittsburgh Mercy as an adult service coordinator at Mercy Behavioral Health in 2007 and then became an assistant site supervisor at one of its supportive housing programs in 2010. While in that position, he was asked to lead a new Accountability Group, which introduced him to a different side of the nonprofit organization.

He was selected for a fellowship position in Pittsburgh Mercy’s Quality, Risk, and Compliance Department in February 2013, a move that led to a full-time position within that department.

“I am truly thrilled with Bill’s appointment,” said Margaret “Peggy” Kearney, the current mission director, who is retiring after serving Pittsburgh Mercy in a number of roles over the last three decades. “He embodies our mission and values.”

Mr. Connolly will transition to his new post over the next few months, working closely with Ms. Kearney to learn the nuances of the position and to gain organizational knowledge.

“I certainly have a lot of ideas and areas that I feel very strongly about, but the plan for now is to take full advantage of the opportunity to apprentice with Peggy Kearney, the current mission director, until the end of the year,” Mr. Connolly said.

This fall, Mr. Connolly participated in a seven-day pilgrimage to Ireland where he and other Pittsburgh Mercy leaders were immersed in the spirit, mission, and traditions of the Sisters of Mercy. He and others visited Mercy International Centre in Dublin and other places of historical significance to the Sisters of Mercy and Pittsburgh Mercy’s mission.

“I certainly feel that this gives me a head start and will allow me to hit the ground running come January,” Mr. Connolly said.

In his new role, Mr. Connolly has the responsibility to ensure that the mission statement and core values remain the guidelines and supports that guide all Pittsburgh Mercy colleagues to live the organization’s mission. The mission and core values are inspired by the legacy of Catherine McAuley, who founded the Sisters of Mercy in 1831, and the seven “walking sisters,” who arrived in Pittsburgh from Ireland in 1843 and began caring for the sick poor in their homes and their convent basement.

“Bill was chosen from a field of very qualified applicants,” said Sister Susan Welsh, RSM, president and CEO of Pittsburgh Mercy. “The variety of experiences he has had and clinical positions he has held within Pittsburgh Mercy give him a base to be the ‘face of Mercy’ in mission. I look forward to having Bill as a part of the senior leadership team and also helping him to develop his talents and skills to be our mission leader.”

Mr. Connolly and his wife, Linda, a financial benefits coordinator at Pittsburgh Mercy, reside in Reserve Township. They are members of Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish on Troy Hill.


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