Editor's Note - Summer 2022

Summer 2022


Those employed in Catholic health care know that our work environments are distinctive, but it can take a little time — along with some learning from our more experienced colleagues — before we can articulate why that is.

We don't just show up and do our jobs. We're called to reveal the love of Jesus in the care we provide. It's a tall order, right? But it doesn't feel like a burden, especially not these days. To exhibit, or at least to constantly strive to demonstrate, love for others in the workplace can be a challenge, but so worth the effort.

This issue of Health Progress focuses on how our work is Guided by Faith. Our beliefs turn jobs into vocations. Meaningful labor can bring us fulfillment, because we know when done well the work of the ministry can, and does, change lives. While the Catholic identity of the ministry remains a constant, its leadership frequently refines the ways in which it is preserved, taught and shared with staff members, patients and their families.

Much of this journal is focused on that refinement. What aspects of health care do sponsors, who ensure fidelity to the ministry's mission and Catholic identity, most need to consider these days? What are the latest ways of making sure quality formation opportunities are available to more employees, so that they better understand connections between what's personally meaningful to them and how their gifts can contribute to the healing purpose of their organizations? When is a quick decision needed, and when should a group take time to commit to a discernment process? And how, exactly, do you do that?

I'm often surprised by what passes as customer service these days when I interact with other industries. I tell myself to lower my expectations, that I'm only setting myself up for frustration when experiences don't match my perceptions of what they could be: the checkout person who doesn't say "hello" or "thank you" at the grocery; the lengthy phone call to a business that doesn't resolve what I think will be a simple fix.

Conversely, my expectations are often exceeded in my encounters with those who work in Catholic health care. Because you already know your colleagues, I'm probably not telling you much that's new. But the smart, capable and sometimes joyful people we work with amaze me on a regular basis.

Certainly not everyone who works in Catholic health care shares the same beliefs. But part of our work is to cultivate environments where all feel loved, welcomed and cared for. The articles in this Health Progress show a variety of ways Catholic health care systems are doing this, from their first interaction with job candidates to the groundbreaking treatment provided to patients with complex cases. It's a marvel what we can do for others when we do it with love.


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