2014 Distinguished Alumna

2014 Mercy High School Distinguished Alumna
Paula Chermside ’72
COO, Aspirus Grand View Hospital, Ironwood, MI

Mercy High School is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Alumna Award, Paula Chermside ’72. Dr. Cheryl Delaney Kreger ’66 presented Paula with the award at Tea for Tuition on April 13.

Since her days at Mercy, Paula has felt a calling to dedicate her life to the mission of Catherine McAuley. She has emulated Catherine’s spirit through her affiliation with the Sisters of Mercy, first as a vowed member for 15 years, then as an associate member for 22 years. In these capacities, Paula joyfully embraced many ministerial opportunities. Through parish ministry, she engaged parishioners in programs to provide outreach services such as a food pantry, emergency housing, and transportation. She also started support groups for senior citizens and widows and helped the elderly remain self-sufficient. As a medical social worker, she helped patients with transitions of care – assisting victims of domestic violence, placing individuals in foster care, and helping patients in need of home and nursing care.

Paula’s experience as a social worker and her leadership capabilities led her to pursue a career in hospital administration. For 20 years, she served as vice president at MidMichigan Health, a branch of the University of Michigan Health System. Her executive level responsibility included the specialties of Laboratory, Radiology, Dialysis, Physical Rehabilitation, Inpatient Acute Medical Rehabilitation and Inpatient Psychiatry, and her expertise spanned areas such as physician recruitment, physician enterprise development, and practice management.

In December 2012, Paula was named Chief Operating Officer of Aspirus Grand View Hospital in Ironwood, Michigan. In this role, she remains committed to health care excellence and ensuring access to high-quality health care for all.

Paula holds masters’ degrees in Business Administration and Hospital and Health Administration from Xavier University, a master’s degree in Religious Education from Aquinas College, and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology/Sociology from Central Michigan University. She has been an adjunct faculty member at Michigan State University and has served as trustee or board member for numerous organizations. Currently, Paula is a trustee of St. Joseph Mercy Oakland and of Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital. She is a member of Kiwanis and is an Adult Volunteer with Boy Scouts of America.

Paula’s mother, Jeannette Charette Chermside ’49, notes that Paula “has dedicated her life to being a woman of Mercy and has been faithful to her call to serve others and make a difference in our world. Her dedication to service, justice, compassion, and simplicity has shined throughout her life on both professional and personal levels.”

Paula enjoys the outdoors, especially snowshoeing and cross country skiing. She also enjoys plays, concerts, and reading. Paula is proud of son Christopher, a junior at the University of Michigan who plans to become a surgeon.