Leading With Faith honoree – Joe Stanislav

| August 9, 2018 | 0 Comments
Joe Stanislav

Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Joe Stanislav

President/CEO, Our Lady of Peace

Age 61

Parish Transfiguration, Oakdale

Spouse Pam Stanislav

Children Amanda Lynn Rosenthal (37), Megan Marie, Hume (30), Anna Jean Nordlund (28)

Volunteer activities Parish and Catholic school fundraising, Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos Foundation for Children in Need, Families Moving Forward, Feed My Starving Children, hosting exchange students, SCORE, American Red Cross

Education B.A., University of Minnesota, 1980; MBA, University of St. Thomas, 2001

Number of years with organization 26

For Joe Stanislav, being the president of Our Lady of Peace home and hospice care in St. Paul requires a deep devotion to compassionate caregiving. In caring for individuals at the end of their lives, Stanislav integrates mission into his work and daily life by modeling optimism and understanding. He encourages his staff to hold fast in the face of adversity and to trust in God’s plan to help them overcome challenges. For Stanislav, “leading with faith” means being an example of God’s healing work to those around him.

Q. Describe your organization.

A. Our Lady of Peace is a Catholic health care organization and private “juridic person” within the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. OLP provides hospice and home care services in its residence and in the homes of its patients, usually at no cost to families. OLP is the result of the 2009 merger of Our Lady of Good Counsel Cancer Home (founded in 1941 by the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne) and Franciscan Health Community (founded in 1938 by the Franciscan Sisters of Penance and Christian Charity).

Q. Describe your position and role.

A. As president/CEO, I provide general active management, planning, and leadership of the business and affairs of Our Lady of Peace, including the development of mechanisms to implement the policies established by the board of directors. I ensure that all orders and resolutions of the board are carried into effect in keeping with the mission and philosophy of OLP. I interpret the purpose and programs of OLP to outside organizations and the public, and I develop and administer standards and procedures related to quality of services, human resources, budget and physical facilities. I lead OLP to meet the annual organizational goals established by the OLP board pursuant to the OLP strategic plan.

Q. What does “leading with faith” mean to you?

A. I have always been attracted to Jesus’ healing mission, and I am humbled by the many staff I have worked with who continue his mission every day. I truly believe that every person is a gift from God and worthy of love. I hope that I model optimism, cooperation and the Golden Rule. Actions speak louder than words, and leadership in this sense goes both ways, manager to direct report, and direct report to manager.

Q. How do you concretely apply your faith and Catholic values at work?

A. I have always believed that compassionate caregiving is a ministry, and that my role as a manager is to support caregivers and not put obstacles in their paths. I try to keep my composure when events conspire to create challenges, and I support them in their tasks through giving them the resources they need to provide the best care possible.

Q. Please tell a story about a time when living out your faith at work really made a difference.

A. Leading OLP for 26 years, I have a perspective on the ebb and flow of the organization. Daunting challenges viewed retrospectively reveal God’s purposes, unknowable when those challenges were first faced. I think faith in his plan has kept me on task during those times. If the leader has faith in God’s plan and does not cut and run in the face of adversity, his staff will believe that all will end well.

Q. Who or what has inspired you to bring your faith to the marketplace?

A. As a young person, I longed for work that was meaningful, and I was inspired by the mission and optimism of the Franciscan Sisters. They were my teachers through high school and were instrumental in the development of the Mayo Clinic and St. Mary’s Hospital in my hometown of Rochester. I totally bought into their insistence to integrate mission into all aspects of our health care ministry, for I know that people who work in Catholic health care answer God’s call. My wife, Pam, is a nurse, and her faith in the face of adversity inspires me daily.

Q. What achievement at work are you most proud of?

A. I am proud of the mostly seamless transition of Our Lady of Peace from a senior care organization to an organization primarily caring for persons at the end of their lives. Merging two Catholic health care organizations presented unexpected challenges, but the faith and diligence displayed by our board of directors during those months still astounds me, particularly that of board chair Ed Martini. I am so grateful to our staff and volunteers for giving us the benefit of the doubt and continuing to give the wonderful care they are famous for.

Q. In what specific ways have you experienced God’s presence in your workplace?

A. I experience God’s presence every day at Our Lady of Peace. I see gentle, compassionate, loving care of patients and families at the most important times of their lives. I see his presence in the teamwork and mutual concern of staff members for one another. My family and I personally witnessed this compassionate care for both of my parents as they were cared for by our staff at the end of their lives.

Q. What advice do you have for others who want to lead with faith?

A. I believe that our faith lives are more like a marathon than a sprint. Like the lives of the organizations we lead, our faith is stronger at some times and weaker at others. I try to realize that God is always there even when we don’t believe it. It’s easier to see his presence in retrospect, so we have to hang on during the rough times and pray that the organizations we lead will do the same.


Category: Leading With Faith