St. Joseph’s president retires

Mercy Health appoints Wray as the new leader

WARREN — Leadership at Mercy Health-Youngstown’s St. Joseph Warren Hospital is changing.

Kathy Cook stepped down as president to retire after a 38-year career with the health care provider that had begun with her joining the system as a staff nurse at Mercy Health’s St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital.

Her last day was Friday.

Cook’s successor, the hospital announced, is Charlotte Wray, who comes to Warren after serving as chief nursing officer for Mercy Health-Lorain.

Cook served as St. Joseph’s president for eight years. She held a variety of roles during her career, including chief nursing officer of St. Elizabeth Youngstown.

“We are blessed to have had Kathy spend her entire health care career here at Mercy Health,” Dr. John Luellen, Mercy Health market president for Lorain and Youngstown, said. “Her dedication to the Mahoning Valley and providing compassionate, high-quality health care to its people will leave a lasting legacy on this community.”

Cook was a part of the team to start the Humility of Mary Home Therapies program as well as the Humility of Mary Hospice program. She served as director of nursing of St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital and was a key leader in opening that hospital and enhancing access to health care in our community.

She also served on the team that engaged Akron Children’s Hospital to help elevate the quality of newborn and pediatric care in Trumbull County by bringing pediatric and special nursery care to the hospital.

In 2016, she was awarded the ATHENA Award by the Youngstown / Warren Regional Chamber. It is given annually to recognize area business and professional women who have demonstrated excellence in their careers, provided leadership in the community and mentored or contributed to the growth of other professional women.

Cook thanked those with whom she has worked.

“You have been my inspiration every step of the way, especially these last two years as we’ve faced an unprecedented pandemic. From serving at the bedside as a nurse manager to my latest role as a hospital administrator, I am blessed to have been able to serve this wonderful community for so long,” Cook said.

Wray joined Mercy Health-Lorain in 2018, serving as president of Mercy Health-Allen Hospital. She assumed additional responsibilities in 2019 also serving as chief operating officer for Mercy Health-Lorain. In 2020, she was named chief nursing officer for Mercy Health-Lorain in addition to her role as president of Allen Hospital.

Prior to joining Mercy Health, Wray has served in various health care leadership roles. She also started her career at the bedside, serving patients as a registered nurse in critical care.

She began as president of St. Joseph Warren Hospital last month as part of Cook’s retirement transition.

“I am honored to serve the people of Trumbull County and the Mahoning Valley in my new role …,” said Wray. “We will continue to provide our community with high-quality, compassionate health care, while also responding to the ever-changing health care needs of its residents by enhancing access to care.”


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