CHA's history book chronicles association's first century of caring, advocacy

June 1, 2015

On July 1, CHA will make available A Passionate Voice for Compassionate Care, a book tracing CHA's evolution from an April 1915 Milwaukee meeting of 35 sisters involved in Catholic hospitals to what the organization is today: a national association representing more than 600 hospitals and 1,400 long-term care and other health facilities in all 50 states.

Published to coincide with CHA's centennial, the 184-page soft-cover book describes CHA's founding at a time when hospitals nationwide were standardizing their operations and the leaders of Catholic hospitals wanted to ensure their facilities stayed ahead of the changes. It covers the association's early development and growth; its transformation into an organization helping its members adopt new methods of organizing and running their hospitals; its support of its facilities during the World War II years including by helping them comply with Selective Service requests for clinicians and its key role in ushering its members through the postwar era, when many hospitals were rebuilding or expanding. The book explores the impact of Vatican II on the association's work.

A Passionate Voice explains CHA's essential role in guiding Catholic health care facilities as they began merging into systems, particularly during the 1990s. The association also has been a key resource during the ministry's ongoing transition from religious sponsorship to greater lay sponsorship. The book details how CHA has helped members standardize the way they organize and report their community benefit and how it has shaped the way they navigate health care ethics issues. A chapter describes the association's essential role in advancing health care reform.

A Passionate Voice closes with a hopeful vision for sustaining Catholic health care into the future.

The first six of the book's 12 chapters were written by Christopher Kauffman, who holds a doctorate in church history. Those chapters were initially published as articles in CHA's Health Progress journal around the time of CHA's 75th anniversary then released as a book called A Commitment to Care. Six new chapters chronicling CHA's most recent 25 years were written by Pamela Schaeffer, who holds a doctorate in theology and who was Health Progress editor from June of 2008 to January of 2014. Those pieces have been published in recent issues of Health Progress. Mary Ann Steiner, Health Progress editor, edited the book.

The book will be available for purchase July 1 at The price is $35 for CHA members, and $50 for nonmembers.


Copyright © 2015 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.

Copyright © 2015 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3490.