HealthCalls_250x250From ethics to advocacy, Health Calls brings together thought leaders from Catholic health care, academia, public policy, and other organizations to discuss timely topics related to the common good and creating a more just and healthy society. Hosted by Brian Reardon, Health Calls is the official podcast of the Catholic Health Association of the United States. Scroll down on this page for a listing of previous episodes.

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Catholic Health USA is now Health Calls

Season 4: Episode 6 - Providence’s Carbon-Negative Health Care Pledge
Between hurricanes and heat waves, the effects of the climate crisis have never been more evident. How can health care systems make bold commitments that will make a difference in the fight against climate change?

Ali Santore, Chief Advocacy and Social Responsibility Officer at Providence, and Beth Schenk, Chief Environmental Stewardship Officer at Providence, join Health Calls to discuss their system’s pledge to be carbon-negative by 2030. They discuss the way the pledge has been integrated throughout leadership structures, the definition of “carbon negative” health care and how their climate impacts can be measured using data.

Season 4: Episode 5 - What Patients with Chronic Illness Want Providers to Know
Patients with chronic illnesses want what any patient seeking health care wants: to improve their health without exhaustive treatment. Unlike the majority, however, these patients face specific barriers to achieving that care.

Betsy Taylor, editor of Health Progress, and Tricia Steele, author of the Sick Person Guide e-book series, join Health Calls to discuss Steele’s recent article for Health Progress. Steele discusses her experiences as a patient advocate and ways that health care delivery isn’t equipped to meet specific patients’ needs and proposes steps that health systems can take to better care for those with chronic illnesses.

"What Patients With Chronic Illness Want Providers to Know
(Health Progress, Summer 2023)

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Season 4: Episode 4 - Medicaid Coverage for Spiritual Care
Studies suggest that whole-person health care isn’t limited to physical health but also includes mental and spiritual well-being. So why is spiritual care more difficult to find coverage for?
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Season 4: Episode 3 - Strategies for Talking about the ERDs
The Ethical and Religious Directives have been a popular topic of conversation in health care circles for the past year. But what if we stopped viewing them simply as a list of do's and dont's, but as a living document articulating the mission and identity of Catholic health care?
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Season 4: Episode 2 - Roadmaps to Health Equity
The road to health equity is long, and many hospitals and healthcare facilities are on different parts of the journey. How do we gauge best practices and strategies for different parties?

Season 4: Episode 1 - Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy in a Virtual Age
Much of the health care process happens virtually these days. In the Catholic health ministry, how does spiritual care play into this equation?

Health Calls Season Four Promo
Season Four of Health Calls, the podcast of the Catholic Health Association, kicks off on June 27! Subscribe now!

Season 3 Episodes

Episode 21 - Montessori Methods in Memory Care
When we think of "long term care," we may bring assumptions to the table about how patients are cared for or act. What happens when the care we provide challenges those assumptions?

Julie Minda, Associate Editor of Catholic Health World, joins the show to discuss her recent article regarding Montessori principles used in memory care. Michelle Feller, Assistant Administrator at Ferncliff Nursing Home, and Cameron Camp, Co-Founder of the Center for Applied Research in Dementia, also join to discuss these methods, how they benefit long term care patients, and the process of implementing Montessori principles in existing facilities.


Episode 20 - Visiting Ukraine: An On-the-Ground Look at the Catholic Response

As the war in Ukraine continues well over a year after Russia's invasion, humanitarian efforts continue in an effort to meet the growing needs of the Ukrainian people.

Bruce Compton, CHA's Senior Director of Global Health, joins the show after his recent visit to Ukraine with partners from the International Catholic Migration Commission. In the conversation, Bruce shares the impact the trip had on him along with details about the Catholic church’s work and how the people of Ukraine are displaying resilience in the face of war.

Episode 19 - Continuing Collaboration in Health Equity

The work of equity in health care is never finished. After the initial buy-in and foundational changes, how do health systems continue to work toward equity for communities, patients and colleagues?

Kathy Curran, CHA Sr. Director of Public Policy, and Ralph McCloud, Director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Catholic Campaign for Human Development, join the show to discuss Catholic health care's continued journey with other Catholic organizations toward health equity. They discuss the first two years of CHA's We Are Called initiative, the crucial role of Catholic social teaching, and how polarization and other challenges can be faced head-on.


CHA's A Guide for Planning & Reporting Community Benefit, revised in 2022 to incorporate equity and social determinants of health as community benefit priorities

CHA's We Are Called web page

"Health Equity - A Call To Seek and Tell the 'True Truth' of Injustice" (Health Progress, Spring 2023)

Visit the USCCB's website for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development

Episode 18 - Health Care Advocacy Priorities in 2023-2024

With the 2022 midterm elections behind us, a reshaped Congress represents a new landscape and new challenges for health care advocacy.

Lisa Smith, CHA's Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy, and Lucas Swanepoel, CHA's Sr. Director of Government Relations, join the show to discuss the new Congress and how the next two years could be challenging when passing policies. They also address CHA's new Advocacy Agenda and some of the top priorities for Catholic health care over the next two years.


CHA’s Advocacy Agenda for the 118th Congress

Episode 17 - Policy Victories for Catholic Health Care in 2022
It can be difficult to understand what's happening in Congress, especially in the lawmaking process – what policies are passing, what buzzwords actually mean and how does it affect the American people?

Lisa Smith, CHA's Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy, and Paulo Pontemayor, CHA's Sr. Director of Government Relations, review the past year of health care advocacy and discuss some of the highlights of a busy year. They specifically address the much-discussed "Omnibus" bill that was passed in the final weeks of 2022, as well as policies relating to maternal health, environmental sustainability and health equity, among others.

Episode 16 - Well-being for Busy Health Care Leaders
Increased mindfulness is vital to our well-being, but it requires a significant time commitment. For those with full schedules, how do we begin to build these practices into our busy lives?

In a Health Calls special, Diarmuid Rooney, CHA's Interim Vice President of Sponsorship and Mission Services, and Jill Fisk, CHA's Director of Mission Services, discuss the benefits and importance of incorporating mindfulness exercises into our every day lives. They suggest a few easy ways to get started before Diarmuid leads listeners in a simple exercise that will refresh your spirit.


A Fresh Approach to Well-being in Health Care: A Health Calls Special Episode

Visit CHA's ReNew Year page to explore a new foundational approach to Well-being in Catholic Health Care.

Utilize meditative resources from CHA such as our "Be Still" and "Peace in Anxiety" videos.

Read Sarah Reddin's recent Health Progress article, "Flourishing Through Formation: Catholic Identity Is Reinforced With Thoughtful Approaches"

Contemplative Outreach, a spiritual network committed to living the contemplative dimension of the Gospel

Read Margaret J. Wheatley's article, "Can We Reclaim Time to Think?" (Shambala Sun, Sept. 2001)

Episode 15 - A Fresh Approach to Well-being in Health Care
Maintaining our own well-being can be a challenge in a world where we’re constantly bombarded with new ideas, challenges, and tasks. When everything feels so urgent, how do we re-orient our minds and take the time to slow down?

In a Health Calls special, Diarmuid Rooney, CHA's Interim Vice President of Sponsorship and Mission Services, and Jill Fisk, CHA's Director of Mission Services, host an intentional, meditative conversation on well-being and its roots in Catholic health ministry. They discuss the Christian history of meditative practice as well as the benefits of mindfulness and meditation before Diarmuid leads listeners in a simple exercise that will refresh your spirit.


Visit CHA's ReNew Year page to explore a new foundational approach to Well-being in Catholic Health Care.

Utilize meditative resources from CHA such as our "Be Still" and "Peace in Anxiety" videos.

Episode 14 - A Vision for Catholic Health Care
In 2022, the Catholic Health Association's Board of Directors called for a new vision statement for the organization and Catholic health care as a whole, a significant step in the organization’s 108-year history.

Sr. Mary Haddad, President and CEO of CHA, and Laura Kaiser, FACHE, President and CEO of SSM Health and Chairperson of the CHA Board, join the show to discuss the motivation behind the visioning process, how they foresee alignment with CHA's core values and mission and how the new vision statement could be used by CHA and its members in the future.

Episode 13 - The Ministry Identity Assessment for Catholic Health Care
As 2023 begins, organizations around the world are taking stock of what drives them: their mission, vision and values. In Catholic Health Care, a commitment to the ministry is paramount and should be part of such evaluations.

Dennis Gonzales, Ph.D., CHA's Sr. Director of Mission Innovation and Integration, and Paul Wojda, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas, join the show to discuss CHA's re-imagined Ministry Identity Assessment. They describe the importance of the assessment in continuing Jesus' healing ministry as well as changes that have been made to help health systems self-assess in a digital age.

Episode 12 - Community Health and Revillagizing Neighborhoods
Restoring the health of an entire community can feel like an impossible task. But what if the answer is in first "revillagizing" the neighborhoods of that community?

Editor of Health Progress Betsy Taylor joins the show to discuss a recent article authored by Nadine Nadal, Director of Community Health Development at CHRISTUS Health. Nadal and Mack McCarter, Founder and Coordinator of Community Renewal International, also join the conversation to discuss the community mentioned in Nadal’s article as well as best practices for restoring and collaborating with communities which have long been the recipients of inequitable care.


Episode 11 - Leadership Equity and Community Health
Equity in the work force is a goal many institutions strive to accomplish, but is it possible without also addressing equity at the decision-making level? How does prioritizing board-level equity change the trajectory of an organization?

Julie Trocchio, CHA's Senior Director of Community Benefit and Continuing Care, and Dora Barilla, Director and Co-Founder of HC2 Strategies, join the show to discuss the following: Barilla's work with the University of Providence, including the Community Health Investment Certificate program; prioritizing equity at the same level as patient safety; and how community health is impacted by diverse workforces.


Episode 10 - Advocating for Just Wages in Health Care
The COVID-19 pandemic cast a spotlight on labor practices in the United States, leading to a "great reckoning" in 2022. How does Catholic health care fit into the larger conversation about labor?

Editor of Health Progress Betsy Taylor joins the show to discuss a recent article co-authored by Daniel Graff, director of the Higgins Labor Program at the University of Notre Dame, and Kelli Reagan, a consultant at the Francesco Collaborative. Graff and Reagan also join the conversation to discuss their work in the labor sector and how Catholic health care can serve as a trendsetter when it comes to just labor practices.


Episode 9 - Prioritizing Environmental Stewardship in Health Care
In times of financial hardship, it can be challenging to prioritize investments in projects make sweeping commitments to that address matters such as the climate crisis. But with health impacts related to environmental degradation becoming an increasing part of our daily lives, such investments have never been more important.

Indu Spugnardi, CHA Director of Advocacy and Resource Development, and Gary Cohen, President of Health Care Without Harm, join the podcast to discuss the urgent need to prioritize environmental stewardship in health care work. They address financial incentives to advance environmental sustainability, areas where systems can make the most impactful changes, and the Laudato Si' Action Platform, a Vatican-led initiative to inspire radical change in the fight against climate change.


Episode 8 - Writing Your System's Racial Autobiography
One of the first steps of engaging in meaningful Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work involves examining our own history of racial inequity. How have our organizations contributed to structural racism, and how can we work to be more accountable for the past?

Professors M. Therese Lysaught and Sheri Bartlett Browne join Brian Reardon and CHA's Editor of Health Progress Betsy Taylor to discuss their Spring 2022 article entitled, "Writing Your System’s Racial Autobiography." Lysaught and Browne give insight into how their work together started and how they’ve seen health systems respond to doing the hard work of visiting the past.


Episode 7 - Inspired by the Saints
Communion with the saints is a specific theological doctrine that can feel strange to non-Catholics working in Catholic health care. But is there more to this doctrine than simply praying to spiritual heroes? Can we view the saints as people from whom we can look to for inspiration and reflection?

CHA's Mission Project Coordinator Karla Keppel and Fr. John Fontana, OSM, discuss communion with the saints as a way of drawing inspiration from imperfect people who have gone before us, highlighting the life of St. Peregrine Laziosi as one specific example. They also discuss "Inspired By the Saints: Contemplations for the Catholic Health Ministry," a new series of reflections offered by CHA.

Producer’s Note: Artist Lydia Wood is a Nurse Case Manager rather than a Nurse Manager, as described in the episode.

Episode 6 - Health Care Ethics and Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence is changing the world with every passing day, especially in the health care industry. But are we correct to trust that machine learning can effectively do the work needed? Will A.I. prevent harm or perpetuate it?

CHA Senior Director of Public Policy Kathy Curran and Michael Miller, System Vice President of Mission and Ethics at SSM Health, discuss ethical concerns that arise from A.I. use, including complex power dynamics, data privacy and how machine learning can contribute to systemic racism and inequity.

Episode 5 - Medicaid Priorities in 2022: Extending Postpartum Care and Closing the Gap
For more than 4 out of 10 new moms in the United States, postpartum care is covered by Medicaid. But when coverage ends after 60 days, these mothers are left vulnerable to some of the most dangerous complications of childbirth.

CHA Senior Director of Government Relations Paulo Pontemayor and Kinda Serafi, J.D., Partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, discuss tax-payer benefits to closing the gap, advocating for expansion and the impact communities would see if postpartum coverage was permanently extended.


Episode 4 - Medicaid Priorities in 2022: Medicaid Redetermination
Medicaid is an integral part of our health care system, covering millions of men, women and children who would otherwise be uninsured. Yet millions of these people may soon be in danger of losing their coverage.

CHA Senior Director of Government Relations Paulo Pontemayor and Corey Surber, St. Alphonsus’ Director of State Advocacy, relay why Medicaid coverage is essential to Catholic values, define “Medicaid Redetermination,” and explain how systems can advocate for their patients so that they don’t lose coverage.


Episode 3 - Catholic Response for Ukraine Pt. 2
Following their conversation with Msgr. Robert Vitillo of the International Catholic Migration Commission, host Brian Reardon and CHA's Sr. Director of Global Health Bruce Compton continue their conversation about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Christian Kostko, a consultant with the Catholic Response for Ukraine, joins the program from Ukraine and updates us on the morale of the Ukrainian people. Kostko also highlights some of the biggest needs facing war-torn communities and the importance of working with well-connected international partners when looking to donate material goods.


Episode 2 - Catholic Response for Ukraine Pt. 1
We're now six months into Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and while the military operations continue in full force, it feels as if global interest may be waning. What’s happening in Ukraine at the end of summer 2022, and what is the global church doing in response?

In the first conversation of a two-part episode, CHA's Sr. Director of Global Health Bruce Compton and Msgr. Robert Vitillo, Secretary General of the International Catholic Migration Commission, talk about the Catholic Migration Commission’s role in the conflict, unique challenges facing Ukrainian migrants and how interfaith communities are rallying together to address the humanitarian issues at hand.


Episode 1 - The Future of Formation
Formation has been called the heartbeat of Catholic health care and is vital to the success of the ministry's future. In a world where in-person access becomes increasingly complicated, how can systems best provide formation for their associates?

In the inaugural episode of Health Calls Diarmuid Rooney, CHA's Sr. Director of Ministry Formation, and Mary Anne Sladich-Lantz, Senior Vice President of Ministry Leadership Formation for Providence St. Joseph, discuss the hunger for formation in Catholic health care, the importance of making sure there are formators for the next generation and ways that formation leaders can adapt to a more virtual world.


CHA Members! Do you have a podcast that you would like CHA to add to our listing? If so, please contact Nick Osterholt, Editor, Digital Communications.

CHA creates prayers and reflections for holy days and other observances throughout the year.


Juneteenth Audio Reflection: Bearers of Peace

CHA is pleased to offer this audio reflection to honor and celebrate Juneteenth, which commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. The holiday was first celebrated in Texas, where, on June 19, 1865, General Granger read General Order Number 3, which declared all who were enslaved free. As we join our hearts in prayer, we renew our commitment to working for justice and remember our call to be bearers of peace.


America Magazine Podcast Series

CHA's Julie Trocchio discusses partnering with rural communities in a recent MEDHOST podcast