Community Networks

March-April 1997

Partnerships between Catholic Charities and Catholic Healthcare Organizations

Like other healthcare organizations in the United States, Catholic healthcare facilities are developing new relationships with a wide array of partners to extend their ministry and to improve efficiency, coordination, and quality of care.

In forming these partnerships, Catholic-sponsored organizations may have an advantage over others. Through Catholic Charities and other social service programs, the Catholic Church in the United States is the largest provider of human services (see Profile of a Community Partner: Building Networks with Catholic Charities, Catholic Health Association [CHA], 1996). In addition, the Church's network of almost 20,000 parishes enables healthcare organizations to reach into communities where little infrastructure exists. The current movement toward integration of community-based health and social services creates opportunities for Church-sponsored organizations to work together as never before.

In its January-February issue, Health Progress began offering a series of case studies of such partnerships, hoping they might serve as models for those creating integrated systems of care.

Here are two more case studies. Health Progress will present others in future issues.

Partnership for a Pace
Buffalo, NY

Mary Jo Giambelluca
Director, Department of Services to the Aging
and Managed Behavioral Care
Catholic Charities, Buffalo

Robert Stanek
President and Chief Executive Officer
Mercy Health System of Western New York

Organizational Structure
The Partnership for a PACE is an informal alliance of Catholic Charities of Buffalo, Sisters of Charity Hospital, and Mercy Health System of Western New York.

Goals of Affiliation
The partnership was formed in summer 1996 to explore the possibility of beginning a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) in the Buffalo area.

Partnership's Project
PACE is the congressionally authorized replication of the fully integrated, managed care system pioneered 20 years ago in San Francisco by On Lok Senior Health Services. Since 1990, replicas of the On Lok program have been established in various parts of the nation. Today, more than a dozen are operating under Medicaid and Medicare waivers, and many more are planned.

PACE's goal is to help frail elderly people remain in the community as long as possible, and it does this by offering all the health, medical, and social services required to restore or maintain their independence. (See Nancy Gorshe, "An Effective, Efficient Elder Care Program," Health Progress, April 1993, pp. 57-59.) PACE teams--which include physicians, nurses, therapists, home health aides, drivers, and others--provide the frail elderly with preventive, rehabilitative, curative, and supportive services in day care centers, homes, hospitals, and nursing homes. PACE programs are funded by Medicare, Medicaid, and private fees.

The national PACE organization recently approved the partnership's plan for a project in Buffalo. A decision on the next step, providing the substantial funds necessary for launching such a project, will soon be made by the three organizations that make up the partnership.

If funding is approved, Buffalo's PACE program will be marketed to the 4,000 local elderly persons who are eligible for it. From that number, 200 to 300 persons would be chosen for the program's start. A Buffalo PACE would be based at Catholic Charities' day care center.

Governance Structure
The Partnership for a PACE is governed by meetings of its representatives.

Staffing and Budget
As yet, the partnership has no formal staff or budget. If the PACE project is approved, its initial costs will be funded by Catholic Charities of Buffalo, Sisters of Charity Hospital, and Mercy Health System of Western New York.

Practical Advice

  • To launch a PACE program, you need solid collaboration between a given area's healthcare providers and its social services.

Catholic Community Adult Day Services
Massillon, OH

Sr. Edwardine Baznik, SJSM
Program Coordinator

Organizational Structure
Catholic Community Adult Day Services is a pilot project launched this spring to provide day care services for elderly people. It is the result of collaboration between three organizations in the Youngstown, OH, diocese:

  • The Pathways program of the Aging Ministry Network of Youngstown, a Catholic Charities program that provides services for the elderly
  • Catholic Community Services of Stark County, in Massillon, OH
  • St. Joseph's Care Center, a long-term care facility, in Louisville, OH

Goals and Benefits of Affiliation
The goal of the collaboration is to serve the needs of the Massillon area's large elderly population and their families through a new community-based resource. If this project is a success, satellite programs may be launched in other small communities in Stark County.

Each of the three collaborating organizations had special knowledge and expertise necessary to develop such a program. The Aging Ministry Network had many diocesan contacts and knowledge of state and federal programs for the elderly; Catholic Community Services could identify the needs and resources of the community; and St. Joseph's Care Center was experienced in medical care of the elderly.

Governance and Structure
The three executive administrators of the collaborating organizations form the administrative team for the new project. They set the policies and direct the service. The program coordinator reports to this administrative team.

The project has a full-time program coordinator and an activities director; an assistant activities director may be added. Their salaries are paid out of the program's operational funds. Catholic Community Services is providing a part-time social worker and clerical staff; the Aging Ministry Network provides other human resources. St. Joseph's Care Center is administering the payroll and benefits.

The service will be supported by the income it generates and, its developers hope, will be self-supporting. It has received some initial funding from the United Way, and has requested funding from Catholic Charities for participants who cannot pay. Catholic Community Services is supplying space in its building for the program and received a grant to do necessary renovations.

Effect on the Community
For the first time, elderly people in the community have adult care services available nearby. The service will care for approximately 18 adults and assist their families with counseling and information on other available resources. The service will also be a resource for families in the community that care for the elderly at home.

Practical Advice

  • In the planning stage, tap the experience and knowledge of people in the community who know its needs.
  • Don't think you can do everything yourself. The collaborative approach is invaluable, as each contributing organization has unique knowledge and resources.

Other Collaborations

Catholic Charities USA and Catholic healthcare organizations are collaborating on a number of projects, which vary in their stages of development. Below are some of these projects, their contact persons, and phone numbers:

Albany, NY
Diocesan Community Health Alliance
James J. McCormack, 518-453-6650

Continuum of Care for Older Adults
Becky Galloway, 410-644-7100
Robert Adams, 410-368-2102

Hospice of Peace
Ann Luke, 303-575-8393
Silas Weir, 303-899-5546

Project Capable
Nydia Cortez, 713-671-3704
Kathy Bingham, 713-526-4611

Manchester, NH
New Hampshire Catholic Charities
Msgr. John P. Quinn, 603-669-3030

New Orleans
Daughters of Charity Health Center at Carrollton
David J. Ward, 504-482-0084
Rebecca Lomax, 504-523-3755

Oakland, CA
Community Senior Outreach Program
Greg Kepferle, 510-834-5656
Else Marie Kiefer, 510-534-8540

Oklahoma City
Catholic Charities
Tim O'Connor, 405-523-3000

Catholic Care Options for the Elderly
Rev. Timothy Senior, 215-587-3908

Foundation for Senior Living
Guy Mikkelsen, 602-285-1800

Richmond, VA
Partnership for Families
Rev. Dave Bergner, 804-285-5900

St. Louis
Archbishop's Commission on Community Health
Sr. Betty Bruckner, SSM, 314-531-0511

San Jose, CA
Catholic Community Initiative
Marilou Cristina, 408-944-0282

Wilkes Barre, PA
Neighborhood-based Senior Outreach
Ned Delaney, 717-822-7118
Robert Williams, 717-735-9210

This compendium of partnerships between Catholic Charities agencies and Catholic health organizations was prepared by the Catholic Health Association as part of an initiative called New Covenant: A Health Ministry for the 21st Century. The New Covenant process is designed to strengthen and promote the organized expression of the Catholic health ministry through strategies and actions at the national and regional levels. New Covenant is cosponsored by the National Coalition on Catholic Health Care Ministry, CHA, and Consolidated Catholic Health Care. Catholic Charities USA is a member of the National Coalition.

If your healthcare organization is collaborating with a Catholic Charities agency in your area, we would like to know about it. Please contact Julie Trocchio by phone at 202-296-3993 or by e-mail at [email protected].


Copyright © 1997 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.

Community Networks - MarApr1997

Copyright © 1997 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3490.