Podcasts Archive 2023

Listen to previous episodes of Catholic Health USA

Season 4: Episode 11 - Caring for Neurodivergent Patients at Treffert Studios

Treating neurodivergent patients is a complicated process. How do we approach the spectrum of neurodivergence with the care, compassion, and intentionality that it deserves?

Betsy Taylor, editor of Health Progress, Dr. Jeremy Chapman, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist at SSM Health Treffert Studios, Meg Puddy, Director of Behavioral Health at SSM Health Greater Fond du Lac, and Spencer Depies, Technician at SSM Health Treffer Studios, all join Health Calls to discuss Treffert Studios’ unique approach to caring for neurodivergent patients. Dr. Chapman discusses the key tenants of the Treffert approach, Meg Puddy recounts her personal experiences with Dr. Treffert, and Spencer Depies gives specific examples of how Treffert Studios offers its patients opportunities to flourish.

» View transcript


Read the recent Health Progress article on the Treffert Studios

Season 4: Episode 10 - Caring for Double-Duty Caregivers

Do you know what a "double-duty caregiver" is? Chances are that if you work in health care, you know a few of them… and you may even be one yourself!

Betsy Taylor, editor of Health Progress, and Debra Kelsey-Davis, co-founder of Nourish for Caregivers and Sagacity.Care, join the show to discuss Kelsey-Davis's recent article for the fall issue of Health Progress. They discuss how COVID-19 impacted the stress levels of double-duty caregivers, raising awareness and how Catholic health systems can better care and advocate for the double-duty caregivers working in the ministry.


Read Debra Kelsey-Davis's article, "Double-Duty Caregiving: Clinicians Caring for Others at Work and Home Need Support" for Health Progress

Visit the Nourish for Caregivers website

» View transcript

Season 4: Episode 9 - Stories of Catholic Health Care from the AIDS Crisis

World AIDS Day is commemorated every year on Dec. 1. As we approach this year's observance, how do the stories of those who pioneered care for AIDS patients inform our care today?

Paulo Pontemayor, CHA's Senior Director of Government Relations, and Michael O'Loughlin, national correspondent for America magazine and author of Hidden Mercy, join the show to discuss O'Loughlin's contributions to Hold Out Your Hand, a new resource offered by CHA. O'Loughlin discusses his work telling the stories of Catholic caregivers during the AIDS crisis and offers thoughts on how these stories can inspire Catholic health care providers to care for the marginalized in the future.


Hold Out Your Hand - Stories from the Catholic Health Care Effort During the Global AIDS Crisis

Listen to Plague, a podcast produced by America Media and hosted by Michael O'Loughlin

Read Hidden Mercy, Michael O'Loughlin’s book on stories of Catholics and the AIDS crisis

Read this story about St. Mary's CARE Center from Catholic Health World

A World AIDS Day Conversation

» View transcript

Season 4: Episode 8 - Laudate Deum and the Urgent Call to Climate Action

Pope Francis recently released his new apostolic exhortation, Laudate Deum, calling for a renewed sense of urgency in combatting climate change. As he cites overwhelming scientific evidence that the world is facing a climate crisis that is caused by human activity, how should Catholic health care best respond to this urgent Apostolic exhortation?

Indu Spugnardi, Director of Advocacy and Resource Development for CHA, and Fr. Daniel Horan, Professor of Philosophy, Religious Studies and Theology at St. Mary's College and Director of the Center for the Study of Spirituality, join the show to discuss the new apostolic exhortation and Fr. Daniel's coverage of the release for the National Catholic Reporter. Fr. Daniel discusses our relationship to the world around us, the document's inspiration from St. Francis of Assisi, and having hope for the future.


Read Laudate Deum at the Vatican's official website

Read Fr. Daniel's column on Laudate Deum at the National Catholic Reporter

Visit CHA's Environment page for more resources

Sign up for the Laudato Si' Action Platform

» View transcript

Season 4: Episode 7 - Environmental Considerations for Global Health
As health care systems look to develop healthy partnerships across the globe, environmental impacts must become a factor to consider. How do we partner with organizations in a way that isn’t harmful to communities already experiencing the effects of climate change?

Erica Smith, Executive Director of Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach, and Bruce Compton, Sr. Director of Global Health and International Outreach at CHA, join Health Calls to discuss their recent international visits, developing partnerships that focus on lessening environmental impacts and how to effectively and safely donate material goods.


Visit Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach website
Check out CHA’s Medical Surplus Recovery resources

» View transcript

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.
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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)

» View transcript

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.