Breathe in, then join the effort to advance CHA's vision

July 2023

2022-2023 Chairperson
CHA Board of Trustees
President and chief executive
SSM Health, St. Louis


At a recent CHA meeting, we began by taking three deep breaths — one for ourselves, the second for our colleagues and the third for those we serve together. This simple reflection was a powerful reminder to take time to pause and be fully present in all circumstances. Being present fosters health and well-being, strengthens connectedness to one another and enhances our ability to deliver our mission.

The theme of this year's Assembly is "A Time to Connect." God made us for connection — with Him and with others. We find God in community, and these social connections make us stronger and more resilient. Our work is both thrilling and difficult, at times. With significant challenges ahead, like the increasing health equity gap and deteriorating health of our planet, we are called to lean in to address these opportunities together.

Our new vision statement — "We will empower bold change to elevate human flourishing" — speaks to these challenges and to the very fabric of Catholic health care. The founders of our shared health ministry answered the sacred call to bring hope and healing to all who were suffering. They boldly challenged the status quo, working tirelessly to advance social justice and compassionate care for creation, and they helped build many of our nation's first schools, hospitals and health systems. Today, we carry on their legacy, stewarding for today and for the future. 

As I pass the chairperson baton into the capable hands of my friend and colleague, Damond Boatwright, I am eager to advance our vision together. It's ambitious and exciting — so let's pause to take a centering breath for ourselves, for each other and, finally, for those we serve together.


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