March 1, 2018  |  VOLUME 34, NUMBER 4

Critical Conversations 2018 explores issues central to mission


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.


Providence St. Joseph Health sees much progress under population health approach


Dr. Rhonda Medows, Providence St. Joseph Health's executive vice president of population health spoke with Catholic Health World about how the system is transforming to improve care quality and outcomes while managing costs for defined groups of people. She detailed how the system has revamped its approach to pinpoint the needs of specific populations and how to best address those needs.


Bishop calls on health ministry to advocate for immigrants


FORT WORTH, Texas — The Catholic Church and its ministries, including Catholic health care, have an imperative to actively engage in the contentious debate around the status of undocumented immigrants to influence a fair and just treatment for that vulnerable group, Bishop Joe Vásquez told health ministry leaders in an address at the Critical Conversations 2018 forum here.


Service animals provide independence and support for people with disabilities


Emma is a border collie mix with a specialized skill set — she can smell when 47-year-old Kathleen Simmonds, a diabetic, has blood sugar levels that are too high or too low, and she'll prod at Simmonds repeatedly with her snout, to prompt the woman to take steps like increasing her insulin dose or having a sweet drink to get her levels back to a healthy range.


Holy Redeemer undertakes culture change grounded in personal connections


It was a tough move to Holy Redeemer St. Joseph Manor in Meadowbrook, Pa., in late 2016 for George Hargraves. He'd lived his entire life with his brother Tom Hargraves until Tom's health declined and he needed skilled nursing care. When circumstances prompted George to move to the long-term care facility, there was no room at the time for his beloved sibling.


Two hospitals blanket communities with mental health training


Two Hospital Sisters Health System medical centers in western Wisconsin are leading a multiyear effort to educate thousands of people about mental illness and suicide prevention. A need for better education and resources related to mental health has been a concern in the region for years. That was underscored when mental health was identified as the top issue in a 2015 community health needs assessment.


Moms-to-be earn baby gear following their prenatal care plans

Expectant moms earn points for learning how to take care of themselves and their babies through Stork's Nest, a decade-old behavior incentive program offered by St. Joseph's Women's Outpatient Center. As their delivery date nears, the women cash in the points for baby clothes and infant supplies.


Keeping Up

Dr. Marc Gunter to the new position of system-wide president of Mercy Clinic, a physician organization made up of more than 2,100 primary care and specialty physicians and 1,200 other providers connected with Chesterfield, Mo.-based Mercy. Gunter was senior vice president and chief operating officer of Mercy Clinic.