The three original founding healthcare systems and 10 sponsoring religious institutes of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) have developed an unprecedented governance model to support their vision of a national Catholic health ministry in the twenty-first century. The new organization spans 22 states; annual revenues exceed $4.7 billion. Religious institutes choose either active or honorary status before consolidating with CHI, depending on their desired involvement in the organization. Currently, nine are active and two are honorary. CHI's civil corporation comprises one representative from each active congregation. These representatives approve major changes in mission or philosophical direction. They control board membership by appointing three to five congregation representatives as sponsorship trustees, who are responsible for approving the remaining members of the Board of Stewardship Trustees. This half-religious, half-lay governing board is responsible for leading CHI. CHI has only two levels of governance, a national board and boards of market-based organizations, for instance a network of facilities with one management structure, or a community board of an individual facility. This avoids multiple administrative layers and approval processes. The organization has a civil identity as CHI and a canonical identity as a public juridic person of pontifical right, called Catholic Health Care Federation (CHCF). The governing board members of CHI, as members of CHCF, serve as the religious sponsors for all CHI health facilities. Some facilities have already been "alienated" (turned over) to CHI by their religious institutes; others will be alienated in the future. CHI's recent consolidation with Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Health System added an 11th sponsor, a sixth geographic region, and two members--one religious and one lay--to the governing board. The governance model assists such growth through the appeal of an equal religious-lay partnership and a flexible sponsorship model.