Partnerships between Catholic Health Care Organizations,
Catholic Charities, and Other Groups
Like other health care organizations in the United States, Catholic health
care facilities are developing new relationships with a wide array of partners
to extend their ministry and to improve efficiency, coordination, and quality of
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. In addition, the church's network of almost 20,000 parishes
enables health care 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.
Health Progress publishes an ongoing series of case studies of such
partnerships, hoping they might serve as models for those creating integrated
systems of care. These case studies of partnerships between Catholic health care
organizations, Catholic Charities agencies, and other groups were prepared by
the Catholic Health Association as part of New Covenant, an initiative designed
to promote collaborative efforts of the Catholic health ministry at the national
and regional levels.
Here is another case study. Health Progress will present others in
If your health care organization is involved in a similar collaboration,
we would like to know about it. Please contact Julie Trocchio by phone at
202-296-3993 or by e-mail at [email protected].
National Catholic Collaborative Refugee Initiative
The program is cosponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office
of Migration and Refugee Services (MRS), Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), and the
Catholic Health Association (CHA).
Goals of Affiliation
The program was established to provide various kinds of assistance — including
health care, employment, and education — to the nation's current wave of refugee
The program began in the summer of 2000 when representatives of MRS, CCUSA,
and CHA met to discuss creating a more focused method of aiding refugees. To
accomplish this, they formed the National Catholic Collaborative Refugee
Initiative (NCCRI) with a steering committee composed of Dick Hogan and
Anastasia Brown (MRS), Ruth D'Allesandri (CCUSA), and Julie Trocchio (CHA); the
steering committee engaged Terry McGuire as a consultant.
For its first year, NCCRI identified likely project sites in four
- Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL, where Renaud St. Phard and Pat Fredericks are
the site cocoordinators. The program helps Cuban and Haitian refugees find
- Phoenix; Barbara Klimek is the coordinator. The program primarily helps
Cuban, Haitian, and Sudanese refugees.
- Joliet, IL; Annie Lavin and Pam Terrell are the cocoordinators. The
program primarily helps Bosnian and Iraqi refugees.
- Seattle; Cindy Koser is the coordinator. The program primarily helps
Now in its second year, the NCCRI has added three sites:
- Cleveland; Marjean Perhot, coordinator
- Portland, ME; Matthew Ward, coordinator
- Pittsburgh; Anthony Turo and Peter Harvey, cocoordinators
Although no two sites are alike, all are committed to helping refugees
prepare for and find employment, preferably with health insurance coverage of
some kind. All are sites based in local Catholic Charities' offices. Each has a
staff and volunteers, usually former refugees who, in many cases, speak the new
refugees' language. The program's aim in its first year was finding jobs for
refugees; its current focus is on helping them find entry-level work in acute
care and long-term care facilities.
The NCCRI's national coordinating committee meets once a year. The steering
committee conducts a monthly phone conference. In addition, the site
coordinators have a monthly teleconference with the consultant. The site
coordinators also fax the consultant a four-page quarterly progress report.
NCCRI site coordinators are Catholic Charities personnel who spend most (but
not all) of their time on refugee work. The size of a site's paid staff depends
on the number of refugees involved. NCCRI volunteers are unpaid.
Most of the necessary funding comes from the U.S. State Department. MRS
allocates funds among the sites according to the number of refugees
Effect on Community
The NCCRI's consultant says, "In the seven communities involved in the
project, the health care providers, the Catholic Charities agencies, the local
employers, and the parish all say that this has been a challenging and rewarding
People interested in launching a similar program in their own diocese should
contact Julie Trocchio at 202-296-6320 or [email protected]. They should also
attend the joint CCUSA-CHA Assembly in Chicago, August 3-5, at which the NCCRI
will make a presentation and have a booth.
Copyright © 2002 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.