Supportive Care Coalition Joins the Catholic Health Association of the United States

For Immediate Release
November 18, 2020
Contact: Brian Reardon

St. Louis, MO – The Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA) today announced that the Supportive Care Coalition (SCC) will become part of CHA in January 2021.  SCC is a coalition of Catholic health ministries dedicated to providing high-quality palliative care to persons who are living with or are affected by serious illness.

“SCC’s commitment to outstanding palliative care in accordance with Catholic teachings and ethical principles is perfectly aligned with CHA’s mission to provide high-quality health care to all persons in need, particularly those who are poor and vulnerable. The integration of SCC into CHA will enhance palliative care programs and services to our members and will create a strong and unified voice for enhanced funding and support for outstanding palliative care at the state and national levels,” said Sr. Mary Haddad, RSM, president and CEO of CHA.

Denise Hess, MDiv, BCC-PCHAC, current executive director of SCC, will continue to lead Supportive Care Coalition programming at CHA and the SCC board of directors will continue to serve as an advisory committee to CHA.

"Since its inception, the Coalition has sought to raise awareness about the increasing medicalization of death and equip Catholic health ministries to care for the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of those transitioning from this life to the next," said Hess.

Hess will work with CHA staff in mission, ethics and advocacy to develop and implement programs, resources and services that advance excellence in Catholic-sponsored palliative care across the entire continuum of care for the seriously ill of all ages and stages of illness.

CHA has been a long-standing and active member of SCC, including serving on the organization’s board and partnering on several national palliative care advocacy initiatives. Many CHA member hospitals and health systems are also members of SCC and have participated in its educational programs and resource offerings. Since 2006, more than 17,000 physicians, nurses, chaplains and other caregivers and health care professionals have attended SCC’s in-person and virtual programs.

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Denise Hess Bio


About the Supportive Care Coalition
The Supportive Care Coalition (SCC) was founded in 1994 by Providence Health & Services, PeaceHealth and Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI). Initially called Supportive Care of the Dying: A Coalition for Compassionate Care, SCC partnered in research and project development with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Last Acts National Advisory Council, and the Public Broadcasting Service to highlight the medicalization of dying in the United States during the late 1990s and early 2000s. In 1997, the Coalition opened membership to Catholic health care systems across the United States. The Supportive Care Coalition is the only national Catholic membership organization whose primary mission is advancing excellence in palliative care. Learn more at

The Catholic Health Association of the United States is the national leadership organization of the Catholic health ministry, representing the largest nonprofit provider of health care services in the nation.

  • 1 in 7 patients in the U.S. is cared for in a Catholic hospital each day.
  • Catholic health care, which includes more than 2,200 hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, systems, sponsors, and related organizations, serves the full continuum of health care across our nation.
  • Learn more at

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