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DECEMBER 15, 2014  |  VOLUME 30, NUMBER 22

SCL's 'good humor' brings giggles and gladness to patients and staff


Every year around Christmastime, the seven-member leadership team of the Mount Saint Vincent behavioral health treatment program in Denver dons Santa hats and regales the children they treat, the children’s family members, the program's staff and visitors with a slapstick rendition of "The Twelve Days of Christmas." They leap as lords, pirouette as dancing ladies, milk as maids, swim as swans and squat as geese laying — all to the delight of the 100-plus spectators.

Keeping Christmas by distilling its simple and pure message

President and chief mission officer
PeaceHealth, Vancouver, Wash.
Chairman of the CHA Board of Trustees

One bright star. One stable. One baby. The first Christmas was blessed in its pure simplicity. At a time of year when the message God sent to all of the world with the birth of Jesus can be lost in the cacophony of our daily lives, we search for ways to be reminded of the simplicity of the miracle of Christ's birth.

The doctor's on a roll at Bon Secours

It's an odd contraption — a vertical pipe mounted on two wheels with a video pad perched on top. It slips silently down a hospital hallway, through a door and stops at a patient's bed.

Dr. Robert Lancey, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va., uses the robot to communicate with patients from his home at night. He sees and talks with them over the video-link on his smartphone.

Keeping Up


Alan Yordy will retire as president and chief mission officer of PeaceHealth of Vancouver, Wash., effective June 30, 2015.

Toni R. Ardabell to chief executive of
Bon Secours Richmond Health System of Richmond, Va. She will continue as chief executive at Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital in Richmond.

Trinity Health of Livonia, Mich., has made these changes: Rob Casalou to regional president and chief executive of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System of Ypsilanti, Mich., from president and chief executive of St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor of Ypsilanti and St. Joseph Mercy Livingston in Howell, Mich. He succeeds Garry C. Faja, who is retiring. Also, Dr. Mark I. Froimson to executive vice president, chief clinical officer of Trinity Health; and Dr. Barbara A. Walters to executive vice president, chief population health officer of Trinity Health.


St. Vincent Refugee Clinic is doorway to care in Indianapolis

The five children crowded around the monitor, munching on snacks and intently watching the baby squirming in their mother’s womb. The parents were just as transfixed.

It was the family's first exposure to prenatal ultrasound, a procedure common in prenatal care in the U.S. Refugees from Myanmar (formerly Burma) in Southeast Asia, they were getting their first medical checkups in America at the St. Vincent Joshua Max Simon Primary Care Center at St. Vincent Indianapolis.

Caritas Internationalis seeks ministry's support in response to Ebola epidemic


Caritas Internationalis' Msgr. Robert Vitillo provided Catholic Health World with an update about the organization's response to Ebola in West Africa and how CHA members can support that effort.

Caritas Internationalis, based in Vatican City, is a confederation of 164 national Catholic aid organizations around the world, providing humanitarian assistance, health and social services, and advocacy for some of the globe's most needy and marginalized populations. Its two U.S. member organizations are Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Charities USA.

Bishops, Catholic Charities, CHA press Congress to extend CHIP

In a joint letter to Congress, U.S. bishops,CHA and Catholic Charities USA are urging congressional members to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program this year, prior to its expiration in 2015.

CHIP has been a reliable source of health insurance coverage since its inception in 1997, currently covering over 8 million low-income children in working families whose parents earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to afford private health insurance. According to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, as many as 2 million children nationally could become uninsured because employer-sponsored family coverage is available but unaffordable.

Mercy of Buffalo, N.Y., serves as port in the storm during historic blizzard


When the Buffalo, N.Y., area was hit with nearly 8 feet of snow over a three-day period in mid-November — nearly the amount of snow that the region gets over a full snow season, according to The Associated Press — staff of Catholic Health facilities in the Buffalo area "braved the most treacherous conditions to get to our hospitals, nursing homes, health centers and patients' homes, and worked countless hours to provide uninterrupted care," Catholic Health President and Chief Executive Joe McDonald said in a memo to staff.

Hamel to retire as CHA senior ethicist

Ron Hamel will retire as senior ethicist for CHA at year's end.

Since he joined CHA 16 years ago, Hamel has been instrumental in developing resources on the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, genomic medicine and ethical decision making. He has assisted ministry organizations with ethics consultations and has presented to them on a wide variety of ethics topics. He has been CHA's primary ethics liaison to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Hamel has lectured worldwide on ethics subjects.

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