Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

Colby-Sawyer’s Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree recognizes an individual of humanitarian character and superior intellect whose life and work have brought about positive, far-reaching consequences for individuals and organizations.

Joanne M. Conroy, MD

Chief Executive Officer and President
Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health

Since 2017 and the start of her tenure as chief executive officer and president of Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (D-HH) Joanne M. Conroy, MD, has been committed to furthering her organization’s decades-long academic partnership with Colby-Sawyer College.

In 2019, after many years of collaboration between Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Colby-Sawyer on nursing education, Dr. Conroy saw the opportunity to partner further to expand high-quality clinical education in nursing and other important health science fields as a way to support D-HH’s mission of delivering high-quality patient care by investing in the workforce.

Under Dr. Conroy’s leadership, D-HH committed to a multi-year strategic investment in the college of up to $3.2 million to meet the demand for qualified health care workers. This support enabled Colby-Sawyer to expand its undergraduate nursing classes, launch five new health science programs, develop an associate degree program to further the education of current D-HH employees and design two new tracks for the Master of Science in Nursing program.

In addition to advancing the partnership with Colby Sawyer, Dr. Conroy has prioritized staff morale and engagement for employees across the D-HH system and has implemented significant improvements in compensation and benefits. Under her stewardship, D-HH announced a $150 million expansion of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon and a $59 million expansion at its Manchester location—two projects that will increase patient access to key clinical services.

A committed leader in advancing equity in the workplace, she is a co-founder of Women of Impact, a nonpartisan group of 60 female health care leaders nationwide. Modern Healthcare honored her in 2019 as an inaugural recipient of its Women Leaders’ Luminary Award and in 2020 as one of the 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives.

Dr. Conroy received her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Dartmouth College and her medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina. She is certified with the American Board of Anesthesiologists, attained a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Pain Management and is a diplomat with the American Academy of Pain Management.

This year, Dr. Conroy is the recipient of an honorary doctor of humane letters. The honorary degree recognizes the college’s gratitude for the remarkable leadership and commitment she has offered through her dedication to health care and her partnership with Colby-Sawyer College.