MARCH 1, 2017  |  VOLUME 33, NUMBER 4

Catholic Health World Current Issue


Editor's note: With Republicans laying the groundwork to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, CHA is urging legislators to put people above politics and proceed in a way that preserves and ultimately broadens health care access. Beginning in this issue and extending for several issues, Catholic Health World is publishing profiles of individuals whose lives have been improved by ACA-enabled health insurance coverage. Those stories will be compiled on the CHA website. We invite ministry members to contribute patient profiles of their own to this project and to use the stories to reach out to legislators with the message that health insurance matters to the dignity, quality of life and well-being of individuals and families. To contribute profiles, or suggest individuals for profiles, please email To see a collection of profiles, click here.

ACA health insurance covers the unexpected for retired salesman



John Bower tripped on a concrete barrier, lost his balance and conked his head in a Rolla, Mo., parking lot in early 2016.

His wife drove him to the hospital, where he got stitches to close his head gash and received a concussion diagnosis. The medical bills for the visit totaled about $6,000.

Subsidy enables owner of business start-up to buy health insurance

Jordan Maney launched her wedding and event planning business about a year and a half ago because she recognized that nontraditional couples were being overlooked by the wedding industry.

As owner and sole employee of her home-based consulting company, All The Days Event Co., in San Antonio, Maney can plan and coordinate everything from the engagement party to the music that plays as a newly married couple exits their reception. She specializes in events for nontraditional couples, people whom other bridal planners may overlook. This includes couples who are biracial, older, minority or gay.


Data analysis can greatly improve outcomes, says CHI expert


Dr. Jim Reichert believes that people should be able to go to any health care provider and know that they are getting high-quality care, and they should be able to expect an optimal outcome.

Reichert, who is vice president of clinical analytics for Catholic Health Initiatives, knows U.S. health care is still a long way from being able to deliver on the promise of consistent high-quality care. But he believes data analytics holds promise for moving the industry closer to that aspirational goal.


CHI using purchasing power to curb antibiotics in feed animals

Meat industry on board with new FDA restrictions

Catholic Health Initiatives has joined eight other major hospital groups in a campaign to reduce the medically unnecessary use of veterinary antibiotics in producing the nation's meat and poultry supplies.

"We believe that what we eat is a significant component of health care," said Dave Ryan, who oversees CHI food and nutrition services for its far-flung hospital network. "We want to help push the meat industry to provide a healthier food supply and do so economically."

CHI and the other health systems are working on the effort with Health Care Without Harm, which promotes environmentally safer practices by health providers


Ministry systems express solidarity with immigrants, refugees in wake of travel ban

Court temporarily stays order that could be drag on health care workforce


Several Catholic health care systems have called President Donald Trump's executive order imposing a 90-day travel ban on nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries and barring Syrian refugees indefinitely from entry into the United States "disappointing" and "confusing" and pledged their support for clinicians, medical residents and other employees affected by the unexpected executive order.


Fetal surgery mitigates life-altering spinal deformities


Lots of people pass through the doors of St. Louis Fetal Care Institute at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. Since it opened eight years ago, more than 1,500 expectant mothers have received care for prenatal complications ranging from heart and lung anomalies to genetic syndromes and twin abnormalities.

The institute's medical team comprises fetal care specialists, surgeons, technicians, nurses and social workers, plus dozens of specialists who come to the center from the pediatric hospital to coordinate care.


St. Francis de Sales Hospital in Port-au-Prince ramps up services

ER open, ICU coming soon


St. Francis de Sales Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, has made much progress since its August 2015 opening in ramping up services and now provides both inpatient and outpatient care. CHA executives visited the facility in late January as part of a delegation representing U.S. Catholic ministries.

"The people at the hospital are very grateful for what has been given, and they look forward to continuing their relationship with CHA and its members," said Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, CHA president and chief executive officer.


Medical mission trips can transform participants open to growth


Formation, values, mission and personal call converged for Elizabeth Brophy when she traveled to Guatemala as part of a Providence Health International mission trip. The reflective processes surrounding the volunteer experience made it a formative journey — a goal of  many Catholic health care-sponsored mission trips.

CHA created "A Reflection Guide for International Health Activities" to facilitate profound and lasting personal transformation in volunteers who participate in medical mission trips or other immersion experiences in developing or low-resource countries.


CHRISTUS works to spur student, employee interest in mission, ethics careers


About 60 percent of Catholic health care mission leaders said in a 2013 CHA survey that they planned to retire by 2022. And more than 70 percent of Catholic health care ethicists said in a 2014 CHA survey that they planned to retire by 2029.



Kaiser to lead SSM Health as Thompson retires

SSM Health announced that Laura Kaiser will begin as president and chief executive May 1. She replaces William P. Thompson, who is retiring at the end of April after 37 years with the St. Louis-based health system.

Kaiser, 56, most recently was executive vice president and chief operating officer for Intermountain Healthcare, a nonprofit health system based in Salt Lake City.


Keeping Up

Kerry Swanson to president of hospital operations for SSM Health's Southern Illinois region, from president of SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital   Janesville, Wis.