Raymond A. Graeca graduated from Gannon University in 1967 with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting. A native of Erie, he commuted to Gannon to receive a cost effective yet quality education on which he could form a base to continue his studies.
During his undergraduate career, Mr. Graeca played intramural basketball and also worked part time during the semester to pay his tuition bills. He credits his time at Gannon for teaching him the value of working hard in order to get ahead.
Upon finishing his studies at Gannon, Mr. Graeca attended Tulane University in New Orleans and received his Master’s in health service administration. He then began his professional career, serving in the administrations of John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, TX, Garland Community Hospital in Garland, TX, and Medical City Hospital in Dallas, TX. Prior to enrolling at Tulane, Mr. Graeca served in the U.S. Army Finance Corps as an accounting specialist and was employed by the General Accounting Office in Washington, D.C. as an account auditor.
Mr. Graeca eventually found his way back to Pennsylvania, serving as President of Corry Memorial Hospital for twelve years before accepting a position as the President of DuBois Regional Medical Center from November 1990 to October, 2011.
Currently, Mr. Graeca serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Penn Highlands Healthcare System, a position he will be retiring from in the summer of 2016.
Throughout his career, he has been involved with several college advisory boards and numerous professional organizations such as the American College of Health Care Executives, the American Hospital Association, and the Hospital Association of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Graeca is a member of the Hospital Association of Pennsylvania Strategic Planning Committee as well as the Tax Exempt Committee. He serves as a member of the DuBois Central Catholic School’s Finance Committee and also contributes as a member of the Advisory Board for the DuBois Business College and Lock Haven University’s Clearfield campus. He was named the Distinguished Citizen of the Year in DuBois in 1998.
One of Mr. Graeca’s most honorable accomplishments is becoming one of the founding members of the Free Medical Clinic in DuBois. In 1996, while serving as President of DuBois Medical Center, he was approached by Sister Rita Kartavich to discuss how communities throughout the nation were addressing the unfulfilled need for healthcare. Mr. Graeca had been aware of the increasing number of cases at the DuBois Medical Center that needed to be treated as emergencies because uninsured patients could not afford preventative care. Using this knowledge, he and various community members formed a plan to create a medical clinic that could provide uninsured individuals with quality medical and pharmaceutical services with dignity and confidentiality at an easily accessible location. In 1998, the clinic accepted its first patients. Mr. Graeca has served on its Board since its inception in 1997.
Currently, Mr. Graeca lives in DuBois with his wife, Mary. The couple has three children and seven grandchildren.
In 2014, Mr. and Mrs. Graeca established the Stephanie Rae Graeca Memorial Endowed "Power" Scholarship in Healthcare Management, in memory of their late daughter, Stephanie, who passed away unexpectedly in December 1991. The scholarship was first awarded during the 2015-2016 academic year. Under the provisions of the "Power" Scholarship Challenge, the gift is matched by Gannon and benefits students from DuBois Central Catholic High School who wish to study healthcare management at Gannon.
Speaking to current students of Gannon, Mr. Graeca has one piece of advice. “Don’t be afraid to set high goals for yourself and do whatever it takes to achieve those goals!”
(Published July 2016)