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SSM Health, Providence St. Joseph among vanguard offering behavioral health urgent care

Centers provide ready access to care, referrals
By JULIE MINDA
Nearly 60 percent of U.S. adults with a mental illness have not received treatment for their conditions. And nearly a quarter of adults with mental illness reported that they have been unable to receive the treatment they sought.
more
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Community benefit departments shift gears to respond to hard times

By JULIE MINDA
Pandemic-related shutdowns have dealt a powerful blow to the U.S. workforce. Unemployment hit its highest point since the Great Depression.
more
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CHI Health pulmonologist says sticking to the fundamentals of ICU medicine saved lives of COVID patients

Rising to the Call
Dr. Nikhil Jagan, a critical care and pulmonology physician at CHI Health St. Francis hospital in Grand Island, Nebraska, is among the team of clinicians that has treated COVID-19 patients at the 159-bed, community hospital, part of the CommonSpirit Health system.
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With abundance of caution, care communities move toward welcoming visitors back

By LISA EISENHAUER
Sr. Anthony Veilleux, O CARM, has seen firsthand the ill effects that visitation restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have had on some nursing home residents.
more
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Eldercare facility staff guard against the consequences of isolation

By JULIE MINDA
When the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services advised March 13 that all long-term care facilities strictly limit visitation and communal activities, few could have foreseen that the restrictions would stretch into late summer and beyond.
more
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Catholic health facilities aid employees whose lives are upended by West Coast fires

By JULIE MINDA
Sept. 21, 2020
For the many employees of Providence St. Joseph, PeaceHealth and CommonSpirit who lost their homes, have had to evacuate or whose lives have otherwise been upended by wildfires in Oregon or California, there have been many immediate worries: Where to stay?
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Catholic health systems maintain operations, serve community members amid wildfires

By JULIE MINDA
Sept. 18, 2020
Catholic health facilities in regions of the western United States that are being ravaged by wildfires are in disaster response mode.
more
w200917_Wildfires_ci-1

Is that cough coronavirus or wildfire toxins?

By LISA EISENHAUER
Sept. 18, 2020
Dr. Ryan Cudahy, a family and sports medicine physician who practices in the San Francisco area, said that while he has not seen a sharp increase in patients with wildfire-related injuries or conditions, his practice is hearing from patients who are unsure whether the respiratory ailments they are experiencing are from the fires or coronavirus.
more

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Ministry facilities in Iowa aided patients and neighbors in wake of epic winds

By JULIE MINDA
Sept. 8, 2020
The highly destructive windstorm that crossed the Midwest Aug. 10 wreaked havoc in communities throughout Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan.
more
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Dignity Health physician executive removes barriers to pandemic innovations

Rising to the Call
Sept. 8, 2020
Dr. Keith Frey, chief medical officer for Dignity Health Arizona, is responsible for physician integration and engagement, evidence-based practice and system redesign, and physician leadership development.
more

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Interpreters help non-English speakers navigate the pandemic

By NANCY FOWLER
Sept. 4, 2020
Last spring, as Avera Health ramped up to be a trusted source of COVID-19 information and help patients navigate care, the Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based health system paid particular attention to communications with non-English speakers.
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Program gathers community resources to build resiliency for survivors of childhood trauma

By KATHLEEN NELSON
Sept. 2, 2020
Just as childhood abuse, neglect and family dysfunction can have lasting effects on an individual's mental and physical health, systemic racism, generational poverty and related trauma can endanger the health and well-being of an entire community.
more
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Nearby hospitals rally to the aid of those on Gulf Coast damaged by hurricane

By LISA EISENHAUER
Sept. 1, 2020
Updated Sept. 4, 2020
After Hurricane Laura smashed ashore on the western side of Louisiana's Gulf Coast last week, workers from Our Lady of Lourdes Women's and Children's Hospital in Lafayette came to the aid of some of the massive storm's tiniest victims.
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w200901_Fire_ci-1

In fire amid pandemic, Wisconsin eldercare workers rush to the rescue

By LISA EISENHAUER
Sept. 1, 2020
When Sondra Norder got the call that a nearby residential care facility was on fire and the patients who had been evacuated needed other accommodations, she issued a call of her own to her staff at St. Paul Elder Services in Kaukauna, Wisconsin.
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w200828_LessonsLearned_ci-1

Health system executives say much is being learned, shared as pandemic unfolds

By LISA EISENHAUER
Aug. 28, 2020
When Providence St. Joseph Health compiled its latest data on the death rate from COVID-19 in its hospitals in early August, the numbers brought some good news: the rate was down 40% from where it stood after the first three months of the pandemic.
more
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St. Joseph's/Candler lung cancer treatment program cuts time from diagnosis to treatment

By NANCY FOWLER
Aug. 26, 2020
Any cancer diagnosis may come as a shock but a lung cancer diagnosis can be particularly shattering. Statistically, it’s more deadly than any other cancer, with more than half of patients dying within a year of diagnosis, according to the American Lung Association.
more
w200817_Sacraments_ci-1

Pandemic alters delivery of sacraments in health care settings

By KIM VAN OOSTEN
Sept. 1, 2020
Several of the sacraments that ministry pastoral care departments administer are highly intimate, involving close personal interaction and touch.
more
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Ministry chaplains lighten emotional, spiritual burdens of pandemic caregivers

By JULIE MINDA
Sept. 1, 2020
Chaplains in the Catholic ministry have been a supportive presence among hospital staff caring for COVID-19 patients, helping staff process and cope with pandemic-related trauma, grief and exhaustion.
more
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Chaplains find patients searching for insights, open to deep spiritual conversations

By JULIE MINDA
Sept. 1, 2020
The coronavirus has had a big impact on pastoral care in Catholic health systems. At the outset of the pandemic, outpatient and elective inpatient services were canceled, or greatly restricted. Hospitals across the country prohibited in-person visits.
more

Amid much ongoing stress, chaplains help one another to cope

By JULIE MINDA
Sept. 1, 2020
Chaplains throughout the Catholic health ministry have been serving as a type of stress release valve for hospital staff who are feeling burned out by the pandemic and for COVID-19 patients who may fear for their lives.
more
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Eldercare staff keep the good times rolling amid lockdowns

By JULIE MINDA
Sept. 1, 2020
On a Friday morning in early June, after months of a precautionary lockdown against coronavirus, 40 residents of St. Andre Health Care of Biddeford, Maine, sat, socially distanced, in chairs, benches and wheelchairs around the perimeter of the eldercare facility's parking lot. A long parade of festooned cars wove its way slowly toward them.
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w200901_SchoolFears_ci-1

For those resuming in-person school, ministry providers offer guidance, resources

By JULIE MINDA
Sept. 1, 2020
In mid to late August, schools across the U.S. began resuming classes — with some of them offering just distance learning; some, in-person instruction; and some, a hybrid of the two.
more
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Sound public health data is essential to safe school reopenings

By LISA EISENHAUER
Sept. 1, 2020
While scattered districts across the country that reopened for in-person classes have seen immediate outbreaks of COVID-19, some school-based health care workers say they are confident schools can operate without jeopardizing the health of students and staff in communities where the rate of the virus is low and strict precautions are observed.
more
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Mercy, SSM Health open new hospitals amid pandemic

By LISA EISENHAUER
Aug. 11, 2020
Perhaps it's only fitting that Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City – South opened its doors in the middle of a crisis, since its origins trace back to another one.
more

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HSHS doctor describes COVID response as 'building an airplane' midflight

Rising to the Call
Aug. 10, 2020
Dr. Erynn Elleby is a family practitioner with the HSHS Medical Group Family Medicine–Shiloh in Southern Illinois. From March to early June, she volunteered to work one day a week at one of the seven respiratory clinics Hospital Sisters Health System set up in central and Southern Illinois to screen patients for coronavirus and provide first line, outpatient care.
more

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CHI Health hosts 'virtual assembly' for teachers preparing to return to the physical classroom

By JULIE MINDA
School districts and administrators across the U.S. have been working closely with their state and local health and education departments and other agencies to determine whether their schools will use distance learning, in-person learning or a hybrid of the two modes when classes resume in a few weeks.
more
w200730_Marlene_02_Isolation_ci

Isolation, loneliness take their toll during the COVID-19 pandemic

By NANCY FOWLER
July 30, 2020
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Marlene DonVito of Brea, California, regularly visited with her grandchildren, went shopping and enjoyed dining out. One grandson picked her up for Mass every Sunday then took her out to breakfast.
more
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Bishop Rozanski appointed USCCB liaison to CHA

July 30, 2020
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has appointed Archbishop-Designate Mitchell Thomas Rozanski as the bishops' conference liaison to the CHA Board of Trustees.
more
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Hospital's meal program boosts spirits of givers and receivers

By LISA EISENHAUER
Aug. 1, 2020
A weekend meal program started in March has helped to nourish families in an impoverished section of southeast Canton, Ohio, and provided a spiritual lift to the group from Mercy Medical Center behind it.
more
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Nurse bonded with families as liaison for patients with COVID-19 in ICU

Rising to the Call
July 29, 2020
In March, when the first COVID-19 patients were admitted to the intensive care unit at Platte Valley Medical Center, in Brighton, Colorado, patient advocate Lori Fensterman was tasked with providing clinical updates to anxious and frightened family members.
more
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Benedictine nurse leader fights COVID with truth-telling, empathy

Rising to the Call
July 24, 2020
When about one-third of the residents and staff of the Benedictine Health Center at Innsbruck in New Brighton, Minnesota, tested positive for COVID-19 in March, staff quickly converted the long-term care facility's transitional care unit into a COVID-19 isolation unit.
more
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Eldercare staff work conscientiously to protect residents from COVID-19, says infection preventionist

Rising to the Call
July 23, 2020
Corinne Sieker, infection preventionist at St. Paul Elder Services in Kaukauna, Wisconsin, heads the long-term care organization's efforts to protect its elderly population from coronavirus infection.
more
w200722_Masks-AscensionPhoto_a-ci

Catholic systems urge public to mask up for the sake of others

By LISA EISENHAUER
July 22, 2020
While Americans remain divided on whether wearing protective masks helps contain the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, doctors and infection control experts at several Catholic health systems say they have no doubts.
more
w200801_Congregations_ci-1

Congregations find creative ways to support health ministry amid shutdowns

Sisters, brothers provide presence, prayer, PPE
By JULIE MINDA
July 20, 2020
Sisters and brothers in congregations that founded Catholic health systems are staying actively engaged with the leadership, clinicians, staff and patients of hospitals and long-term care sites, offering support and encouragement through the long trial of the pandemic.
more
w200801_AsylumSeekers_ci-1

Incarnate Word sisters aid asylum seekers at the southern border

By KATHLEEN NELSON
Aug. 1, 2020
After months of discernment and discussion, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, distilled their vision for the future in five words:

Human dignity knows no borders.
more

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Four siblings care for patients and each other through the pandemic

By NANCY FOWLER
Aug. 1, 2020
Growing up in southeastern Michigan, the six Vecore brothers and sisters shared everything from camping trips to backyard baseball games to their Catholic faith. As adults, the siblings continue to celebrate holidays and birthdays together, along with their parents and their combined six children.
more
w200629_PeggyMartin_ci-1

Sr. Peggy Martin, OP, reflects on decades at leading edge of sponsorship changes

By JULIE MINDA
Aug. 1, 2020
Sr. Peggy Martin, OP, retired June 30 as executive vice president of sponsorship and governance for Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health, capping off decades of service to the Catholic health ministry.
more
w200701_Racial_Disparities_ci-1

Racial disparities in health brought to fore by COVID-19

By LISA EISENHAUER
June 25, 2020
Pamela Mitchell-Boyd remembers exactly when the breadth of the racial disparities of the coronavirus pandemic hit her full bore.
more
w200701_Rural_Hospitals_ci-1

Rural hospitals work to stave off financial hit of pandemic

By LISA EISENHAUER and JULIE MINDA
June 26, 2020
While some organizations are warning that the COVID-19 pandemic could spell doom for many rural hospitals that were already on shaky financial ground before the crisis, several executives with rural Catholic hospitals say they expect their organizations to withstand the health emergency with government help.
more
Sr Mary Haddad

A threshold moment requires trust in God, letting go of what has been

By SR. MARY HADDAD, RSM
June 26, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic, which is the greatest public health crisis that most of us have faced in our lifetime, has presented Catholic health care with immense and unprecedented challenges in the span of just a few months.
more
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AMITA, Catholic hospitals join call to end racism, bring sweeping change in Chicago

By LISA EISENHAUER
June 25, 2020
AMITA Health and three Catholic hospitals in Chicago are among 36 signatories to a statement denouncing "systemic racism" and vowing to help bring the "sweeping change that is needed to ensure health equity across the city and particularly in our most vulnerable neighborhoods."
more
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Ministries join calls for justice and change amid outcry over killings of African Americans

By LISA EISENHAUER
June 24, 2020
Catholic ministries across the nation have joined the outcry against police brutality and systemic racism.
more
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Peer navigators improve health literacy of Alaskan natives and immigrants

By PATRICIA CORRIGAN
June 25, 2020
"Hunker down." That's the message many medical centers and municipalities are broadcasting throughout the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. But how is that message received in communities that have no comparable phrase in their native languages?
more
w200623_SSM_Health_Neurosurgeon-DrShakir_ci-1

SSM Health neurosurgeon helps sound the alarm about stroke risk linked to pandemic

By LISA EISENHAUER
June 23, 2020
Among the many mysteries physicians and researchers are trying to solve regarding COVID-19 is why the deadly virus may be correlating with severe strokes in a small number of patients under the age of 50 who typically wouldn't be considered at high risk.
more

CHA recognizes and celebrates contributions of Tomorrow's Leaders

By KATHLEEN NELSON
Grounded in tradition and faith, each member of the CHA 2020 class of Tomorrow's Leaders is advancing the work of the founders of the Catholic health ministry. Their intelligence, resourcefulness and enthusiasm will help Catholic health care navigate through the challenges that lie ahead, and do so with an unblinkered commitment to care for the poor and vulnerable. Here is a look at the contributions of this year's honorees.
more

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Lifetime Achievement Award

Nurse-ethicist-professor identifies most of all as healer

By NANCY FRAZIER O'BRIEN
June 15, 2020
Johnny Cox has had many jobs during his lifetime: nurse, ethicist, professor, hospice director, mission leader, health system sponsor. But the role he most identifies with is healer.
more
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Sister Carol Keehan Award

Graf believes that everyone deserves a safe, affordable place to call home

By MARY DELACH LEONARD
June 12, 2020
For more than 40 years, Jane Graf has championed efforts to provide safe, affordable housing for vulnerable Americans — the elderly, people with special needs, low-income families and those experiencing homelessness — because good health and a good home go hand in hand.
more
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Sister Concilia Moran Award

Casey ensures that medically fragile children get highly individualized emergency care

By MARY DELACH LEONARD
June 11, 2020
Patricia Casey adds the hashtag #OneKidCounts to social media posts about her groundbreaking program that connects St. Louis area children who have special health care needs with the first responders who answer their emergencies.
more
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Achievement Citation

Alaska CARES' holistic treatment helps young abuse victims recover and thrive

By LISA EISENHAUER
June 9, 2020
When someone reports maltreatment of a child in the greater Anchorage area, Alaska CARES is at the ready to help coordinate a response that is both compassionate and culturally sensitive.
more
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CHRISTUS hospital in Texas opens drive-thru emergency room

By LISA EISENHAUER
June 10, 2020
CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Medical Center-Longview in northeast Texas is giving some patients who visit the emergency center at its NorthPark campus the option of seeing a provider without ever leaving their cars.
more
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CHA lauds front-line workers at assembly pushed to the virtual realm by pandemic

By LISA EISENHAUER
June 9, 2020
Although the pandemic kept health ministry leaders from gathering in person at CHA's annual Catholic Health Assembly for the first time in 105 years, hundreds convened online Monday for an inspiring and forward-looking virtual version of the event.
more

CHA board members weigh in on next steps

By JULIE MINDA
June 9, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic that has been fundamentally altering life in the U.S. for months and the civil unrest that has been shaking the nation for weeks are adding urgency to long-standing failings in the health system and introducing unexpected challenges.
more
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Assembly keynote speaker says ministry must help lay right foundation for nation's rebuilding

By JULIE MINDA
June 9, 2020
In the view of futurist Jamie Metzl, the world will never be the same after the pandemic — it will be transformed either for the better or for the worse.
more
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CHA members elect three new board members during annual Membership Assembly

June 9, 2020
During CHA's annual Membership Assembly — this year held virtually June 8 — CHA members elected three new board members and installed new board leadership.
more

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PANDEMIC COVERAGE

May 20 – As pandemic makes staples scarce, health systems turn to suppliers near and far

May 19 – Trinity Health offers free COVID-19 testing in hard-hit areas in and near Detroit

May 15 – Commentary: COVID-19 amplifies already urgent need for solutions to homelessness

May 14 – Pandemic laid bare emerging and ongoing ethical dilemmas, say Providence ethicists

May 13 – Rural hospitals make contingency plans to account for, limit vulnerabilities

May 11 – Hospitals see up to half their patients delaying ER visits, other health care, during the pandemic

May 7 – Emergency management and financial experts share tips on tapping COVID-19 federal assistance

May 5 – Hospitals set up grocery stores, offer takeout meals for employees during pandemic

May 5 – A commentary: Health disparities in America are real

May 1 – After near-death bout with COVID-19, Mercy patient who got plasma treatment is almost ready to go home

May 1 – SSM Health DePaul partners with food bank for a healthier start to family life

April 21 – Centura Health nurses come flying when New Jersey hospitals call for help

April 21 – Providence St. Joseph associates get quick access to mental health care amid pandemic

April 20 – Happy hours: Orthopedic surgeon lifts spirits by producing hand sanitizer at his vodka distillery

April 16 – As pandemic spreads, use of telehealth by clinicians and health systems surges

April 15 – For people who don't have an advance care directive, this quick form could be the next best thing

April 10 – Hallway karaoke and bingo with call lights: Residential care centers get creative to keep residents engaged, connected

April 9 – HSHS home care staffers deliver 'Baskets of Blessings' for Easter

April 8 – Palliative care practitioners can stretch resources while defending the integrity of their specialty

April 6 – Foundational principles should guide care decisions for COVID-19 patients, ethicists say

April 6 – SSM finds Costco partnership especially timely amid health emergency

April 3 – ArchCare pleads for personal protective equipment

April 2 – Iowa hospital asks visitors and patients to mask up to protect others

April 2 – Health facilities turn to virtual visits to keep public at safe distance

March 26 – Shortfall Of Comfort Care Signals Undue Suffering For Coronavirus Patients

March 30 – Hospitals asking community for personal protective gear is 'unprecedented'

March 30 – PeaceHealth workers in Washington volunteer for duty at hard-hit private rehab center

March 27 – Providence St. Joseph moves to shore up supplies ahead of surge of COVID-19 patients

March 24 – Mass General disaster medicine specialist shares COVID-19 preparations and concerns

 



CHA WEBINAR COVERAGE