Introducing St. Joseph's Mercy Affiliates

In 2016, with support from the foundation, the remaining Sisters of Mercy at St. Joseph's collaborated with hospital leadership to establish a spiritual leadership program. Knowing that fewer and fewer women were called to become Sisters, Sister Madonna and Sister Margaret, along with Hospital President Patty White, took the first steps to create what would become the Mercy Heritage Program. 

In due time, the program began to take shape, and several employees began asking how they could become involved. Applications were passed to prospective candidates, employees who felt a calling to become closer to the doctrines of the Catholic faith, the traditions of the Sisters and many other lessons. New affiliates have been handpicked from the applicants each year, and each new contingent of employees begin the journey to become spiritual leaders. Currently, nine Mercy Affliliates have been indoctrinated into the program and can minister to employees, staff and patients in a time of need, comforting them with lessons they've learned from the mentoring program.

Alysha Berger began her career at St. Joseph’s in 2016 in the radiology department. Later that same year, she submitted her application for inclusion in the newly introduced Mercy Heritage Program, in which chosen employees enter intensive training to absorb the traditions and doctrines of St. Joseph’s founding Sisters of Mercy with the goal of maintaining their heritage within the hospital for many years to come.

“Through my participation in the Mercy Heritage Program, I realized that I wanted to shift my focus to working full time in [the hospital’s] Mission [Integration department]. Sister Margaret [the hospital’s sole remaining Sister of Mercy] gave me the opportunity to join her as the Mission Integration Program Manager. It was bittersweet to leave my role in patient care in radiology, but I am so incredibly happy and blessed. I look forward to growing and learning under the mentorship of Sr. Margaret. I would have never envisioned my career unfolding in this way, but it is truly amazing the ways in which God works in our lives. In my new role, I look forward to growing the Mercy Affiliate program and providing a strong Mission presence within our organization. It is truly an honor and my privilege.”


"As a practicing Catholic seeking to fulfill my vocation in life, I was drawn to medical social work and grateful to be working on the St. Joseph campus, where the Sisters of Mercy have been ministering to the community for 125 years. Over time, I developed friendships with the sisters and learned about their rich heritage of social service intertwined with faith to the St. Joseph campus/community. It was simply a matter of time that my vocation would lead me to consider joining the Sisters of Mercy Heritage Program. Here I am."

Chris Barreto LMSW, MBA
Social Worker


"I was inspired to become a Mercy Affiliate because, after working here over 23 years, I wanted to deepen my involvement and commitment to the mission the Sisters of Mercy established. I have really enjoyed learning more about the history of the Sisters of Mercy!"

Patricia Briody, P.T, D.P.T
Physical Therapist



"I believe in the mission founded by the Sisters of Mercy. I wanted to be a part of continuing their mission and bring awareness to what an impact they made and continue to make."

Tracy Knight
Director, Financial Operations



"The presence of the Sisters of Mercy is palpable in the mission and core values as well as the staff who work here. I was inspired to become a Mercy Affiliate to learn more about the sisters, the history of the hospital, as well as to help carry on the culture and core values of our incredible organization."

Kelly Komaromy
Physical Therapist



"When I came to work at Joseph’s, I was inspired by all of the gentle, loving people who work here and care ferociously not just for their patients but for each other. This is the legacy of the Sisters of Mercy and why I became a Mercy Affiliate—to continue our uniquely St. Joseph’s way of healthcare delivery!"

Jennie Orr de Lopez, RN




"My inspiration to become an affiliate grew as I became more aware of the wonderful work and history of the Sisters of Mercy and how they founded St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center." 

Frank Ruelas
Corporate Responsibility Officer



"My mother was my inspiration to become an Affiliate of the Sisters of Mercy. My mother always believed in treating every human being the same regardless of race and economic value. The Sisters of Mercy channel the values my mother instilled in her daughters. The Sisters of Mercy now and in the past are committed to helping the uneducated, the poor and community. Their values continue to live on in the foundation of St Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. The Sisters of Mercy are inspiration for us all to continue to follow." 

Carmen Salas
Research Finance Manager