Catholic and other not-for-profit health care organizations were established to respond to community need. The early sisters who founded our facilities arrived in this country to deal with epidemics, to care for the poor and to comfort the dying. Today's Catholic hospitals and long-term care programs continue a commitment to community service that began nearly 300 years ago. They are charitable organizations, reaching out to low-income and other vulnerable persons in order to improve access to health care and engaging in activities designed to make our communities healthier places to live, work and raise families. Our facilities provide a wide array of services for low-income and other vulnerable persons and for their broader communities.
As members of the Catholic health ministry, our mission of community service is based upon social justice teachings that respect the human dignity of each person, acknowledge the importance of the common good, have special concern for low-income and other vulnerable persons and call for responsible stewardship of resources. Because of this, the Catholic health ministry has a long-standing commitment to ensure that every patient has access to quality care, regardless of ability to pay. Every year, Catholic hospitals provide care to thousands of patients who cannot afford health care coverage and contribute to the overall health and well being of their local communities through outreach services and programs that specifically address identified community needs.
CHA welcomes the opportunity to tell the story that Catholic health care facilities continue to be charitable community benefit organizations deserving of preferential tax status. For more information about this issue, see Commitment to Community Benefit.