Ascension Health has asked all of its health care ministries to promote spirituality in the workplace. St. Mary's Health System, Evansville, IN, responded to this request with several initiatives, including the development, facilitation, and implementation of a new model for what St. Mary's calls its "Employee Renewal Day." Revamped from a voluntary unpaid day to a paid day on which participation is strongly encouraged, Employee Renewal Day 2004 focused on fellowship, relaxation, and the history and heritage of St. Mary's and its sponsor.
As responsibility for mission shifts from religious to lay leadership, sponsor-secular partnerships and new models of governance help to ensure that Catholic health care facilities continue the healing ministry of Jesus. By appointing lay mission directors and developing programs that support the work of health care professionals and associates "in the trenches," the sponsors of Catholic health care facilities are embedding particular values and behaviors in their organizations.
The Franciscan Health System has designed a new employee orientation program that is both interactive and thought-provoking. The program has transitioned from a predominantly lecture-based format to one that consists of group discussion, role playing, lunch with senior leaders in the organization, and the utilization of adult learning principles. This article describes the shortcomings of the previous program, gaps identified in the needs assessment, and performance improvement methodology used to enhance the program.
Journal of healthcare information management: JHIM
It had been almost a decade since the hospitals that make up the Daughters of Charity Health System (DCHS) had engaged in a formal information technology strategic planning process. In the summer of 2002, as the health system re-formed, there was a unique opportunity to introduce a planning process that reflected the governance style of the new health system.
STUDY OBJECTIVE: I investigate accessibility of emergency contraception pills at hospital emergency departments and survey staff at Catholic and non-Catholic hospitals across the United States. More specifically, I sought to report the likelihood that a woman calling a hospital and seeking emergency contraception could access the medication; (2) if emergency contraception is not provided, whether hospital staff would provide a referral to another facility; and (3) the outcome of the referral process.
The Catholic health ministry's concern for communities stems from the church's belief that human dignity is most fully expressed and recognized within the context of community. We humans are social beings by our very beings, and unless we involve ourselves in relationships with others, we fail to develop our innate human gifts. We who serve Catholic health care recognize that Jesus had a special affection for and ministry for the poor and vulnerable. Our church calls on us to provide service and advocacy for people whose disadvantages put them at society's margins.
"Community benefit" is the measurable contribtution made by Catholic and other tax-exempt organizations to support the health needs of disadvantaged persons and to improve the overall health and well-being of local communities. Community benefit activities include outreach to low-income and other vulnerable persons; charity care for people unable to afford services; health education and illness prevention; special health care initiatives for at-risk school children; free or low-cost clinics; and efforts to improve and revitalize communities.
In a time of public scrutiny, it is paramount that Catholic health care organizations examine their commitments to their communities and effectively communicate community benefit activities to stakeholders-employees, physicians, patients, and the public. CHRISTUS Academy, a leadership development program at CHRISTUS Health, Irving, TX, conducted two studies regarding community benefit.
"While contemporary Catholic health care and other not-for-profit health care institutions excel in quality, innovation and technology, they remain community-benefit organizations, founded and sustained because of community need," Sister Carol Keehan, a Daughter of Charity who chairs the board of trustees of the Catholic Health Association of the United States, said in May 26 testimony in Washington before the House Ways and Means Committee, which conducted a hearing on the tax-exempt hospital sector. Keehan chairs the board of Sacred Heart Health System in Pensacola, Fla.
Catholic health care leaders differ from others in the field in that "they are expected to serve as Jesus served, teach as Jesus taught, and lead as Jesus led, in order to heal as Jesus healed." The Catholic health ministry today is led largely by laypeople-what might be called the "first generation" of lay leaders. This first generation was privileged in that it was tutored by and worked alongside women and men religious. Those religious are now mostly gone from the ministry, and that first generation of lay leaders will also be retiring in the not too distant future.