CHA's New Vision Statement

Summer 2023

Over the past several years, Catholic health care has faced unprecedented challenges. From the start of the COVID pandemic and the severe financial and workforce strains that followed, to the ongoing polarization in society that has led to attacks on our Catholic identity, it became clear that external pressures were thrusting us into a time of transition and much-needed change. With this new reality in mind, CHA's Board of Trustees and leaders from across our membership recognized that in order to serve in dynamic ways and meet the needs of our patients and community, we must change how we approach our work. There was a strong feeling that in this profound time of transformation, we must let go of what has been while actively embracing what is to come.

Last year, as the CHA board considered a refresh of CHA’s Fiscal Year 2021-23 strategic plan, it decided that a new vision statement was necessary to guide CHA into the future and serve as a compass for our roadmap, a new Fiscal Year 2024-26 strategic plan. During a nine-month period beginning in the fall, and culminating with the virtual Catholic Health Assembly in June, we engaged in a visioning process that was directed by a six-person committee from the CHA board.

The result of this work is a new vision statement for CHA: We Will Empower Bold Change to Elevate Human Flourishing.

This vision statement complements our mission "to advance the Catholic health ministry of the United States in caring for people and communities." Along with our core values of respect, integrity, stewardship and excellence, this vision reinforces our commitment to the belief that every person is a treasure, every life a sacred gift, every human being a unity of body, mind and spirit. Taken together, our mission, vision and values give us a clarity of purpose, priorities and principles as we continue to advocate for health policy that leaves no one behind.

The vision statement is aspirational, as it calls us to elevate human flourishing.

During the assembly, Laura Kaiser, president and CEO of SSM Health and past chairperson of the CHA Board of Trustees, said, "Human flourishing means standing tall and strong, being blessed with good health, longevity and a thriving environment. Flourishing is the result of faith and justice — and is much more than just ‘getting by." She added, "When we provide compassionate care and protect human dignity, we help all those who suffer to "flourish in the courts of our God.’”

Damond Boatwright, president and CEO of Hospital Sisters Health System, who currently serves as CHA's chairperson, also spoke about the vision statement during the assembly. He called CHA to lead the transformation of care and payment reform, to embrace a spirit of innovation and to lead through the shared values of Catholic health care. He said, "As members of this association and leaders in Catholic health care, let’s not be dismayed by what seems impossible. Our tradition has been a source of love and service for … over 2000 years, and it continues to equip us for the work we need to take on today." He then called on attendees to join him in "rising with faith and courage to advance a better future — a future where we see improved access to health care for all people; a future where we find new ways of overcoming the challenges in front of us; a future where we continue to advance the tradition of Jesus’ healing ministry."

The founders of our health ministries had the courage to move beyond their known reality. They responded to God's call and trusted in God's abiding presence. Today, we, too, are called to trust God; to embrace what is emerging in Catholic health care; and to have the courage — as we open doors to provide access to care for all — to step through this threshold into a new reality.

I am certain that guided by our vision, the Catholic health ministry will elevate its prophetic voice, and we will help lead the transformation of health care in this country.

CHA's New Vision Statement

Copyright © 2023 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

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