There's a sense of openness to change and a willingness to act." In these words a participant voiced the mood of more than 170 healthcare leaders gathered at the National Convocation of Catholic Healthcare Leaders last October. Now these leaders are taking action to live out those prophetic words in ways that will optimize the ministry's strengths in today's uncertain market environment.
Strategy Action Groups
At the National Convocation, 15 strategy action groups developed six-month plans to assess and/or pursue collaboration. Initiatives undertaken by the groups and other collaborative arrangements will be highlighted at the Catholic Health Association's (CHA's) Catholic Health Assembly in June 1996.
CHA staff is tracking the progress of the strategy action groups and providing assistance as needed. Here are some examples of efforts occurring when this issue went to press.
Groups representing Illinois, East/Southeast, New England, Texas/Louisiana, New Jersey, Midwest, West Coast, Michigan, and Wisconsin are exploring regional cosponsorship arrangements and other collaborative initiatives. For example:
- Illinois. In February sponsors, system and facility chief executive officers (CEOs), and bishops will meet for two days. They will review the National Convocation outcomes and explore statewide and regional opportunities for cosponsorship, combined business arrangements, and joint advocacy efforts on Medicaid.
- Texas/Louisiana. Three large systems are examining potential cosponsorship arrangements and in March will report their progress to other area sponsors.
- Northwest. Several sponsors and executives are meeting in early February to explore cosponsorship and other forms of collaboration.
- Midwest. Bishops in Ohio, Kansas, Indiana, and Missouri have been apprised of the New Covenant process. Indianapolis Abp. Daniel Buechlein will convene a statewide meeting in February where leaders will discuss collaboration within and beyond the region. In Kansas the bishops and representatives of systems and sponsors having facilities in Kansas will meet in late winter to discuss cosponsorship models.
- East/Southeast. Several multi-institutional systems and their sponsors met in Baltimore in December to discuss potential sponsorship arrangements.
Managed Care Collaboration for the Upper Midwest
Sponsors, system CEOs, facility CEOs, and diocesan representatives from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota will meet in late January to concentrate on managed care initiatives.
New York State Regional Catholic HMO
Work is moving rapidly to develop a statewide proposal covering Medicaid recipients. This proposal will involve all eight dioceses in the state and is viewed as a first step toward greater collaboration in the future.
Regional/National Business Coalition
CHA is commissioning a study on business alliances, which will provide information on the feasibility of various strategies for participating in business coalitions.
Catholic Ministries as Catalysts for Healthy Communities
The group is gathering data on existing healthy community efforts, with the goal of formulating a conceptual model for an initiative in which Catholic organizations lead in focusing efforts on developing healthy communities.
In support of the Convocation initiatives, especially that of facilitating networking among sponsors, CHA has convened a working group to develop a matrix of cosponsorship models. The data came from sponsors that completed a survey regarding alternative sponsorship relationships/structures in which they are involved. The goal is to distribute the matrix to sponsors and members by early spring.
CHA is also assisting several of the action groups and their regional meetings with data on Catholic ministries, overview materials on the National Convocation, and other resources.
For more information about the New Covenant process, order "A Report on the National Convocation of Catholic Healthcare Leaders" (call CHA at 314-253-3458). You may also contact Tim Eckels at CHA's Washington, DC, office: 1875 Eye Street, NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC, 20006-5409 (202-296-3993).
A PROCESS FOR CHANGE
The National Convocation of Catholic Healthcare Leaders, attended by more than 170 representatives of the Catholic health ministry, was the first step in the New Covenant process, which is cosponsored by the National Coalition on Catholic Health Care Ministry, the Catholic Health Association (CHA), and Consolidated Catholic Health Care. According to CHA President Jack Curley, the process is bringing together leaders from across the country to promote the ministry through collaborative strategies at national, regional, and local levels. (See Health Progress, November-December 1995.)
Copyright © 1996 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.