By JUDITH VANDEWATER
FORT WORTH, Texas — Ministry leaders including sponsors, chief executives and mission executives gathered here in late January to discuss pressing challenges and mission-critical issues in Catholic health care.
Convened by CHA, the meeting was the second in the biennial Critical Conversations assemblages. It was a forum for CHA members to share information and expertise with each other and offer input that will inform CHA's ongoing work in advancing Catholic health care as a ministry of the church.
That work includes developing a ministerial identity assessment tool that hospitals, non-acute settings and health systems can opt to use to measure the extent to which Catholic social teaching and values permeate their work from the back offices to the bedside.
CHA also is involved in an ongoing effort to assist the ministry in succession planning and talent development of ethicists, mission leaders and pastoral care providers. It is expected that a wave of retirements will create widespread vacancies in those essential areas in the near term.