January-February 2020 | Volume 101, Number 1
BY: FR. ANDREA VICINI, SJ, MD, PhD, STD
Blessing or curse? When we reflect on new biotechnologies in health care, do we consider them a blessing or a curse? Will they be a blessing, by helping us to dismantle barriers to health care and to facilitate access to quality health care services for all citizens around the world? Or will they be a curse, adding further barriers that will inhibit or limit the availability and accessibility of health care services to people around the world today and in the future?
BY: ALAN PITT, MD, and CORY PITT
What if we told you that we could help you live three or five years longer — would you want to hear more? And what if we said that this gift wouldn't cost you a thing — that it involves neither surgery nor experimental drugs — all you have to give us is your data. All those likes, those posts, all those things you're doing anyway. Would you be willing to sacrifice some privacy so that you or a loved one could live a longer, healthier life?
BY: B.J. MOORE
Do you remember what the world looked like before Expedia and Uber? Until 1996, booking flights at the lowest price required you to do comparison shopping across disparate sources, from airline websites to travel agencies. Before 2009, you had to call a taxi dispatcher and worry about whether your transportation would show up on time, or at all. And all of this effort demanded so much of our time and energy — often for little reward. It seems forever ago now, but this distant memory is not unlike the fragmentation we see in health care today.
BY: FR. JOSEPH J. DRISCOLL, DMin
The political wisdom then, and even now nearly 30 years later, is that then-candidate Bill Clinton won the presidency with his spot-on, shock-succinct message: "It's the economy, stupid!" Minus the insult, but with the same urgency for the very survival of our Catholic health care ministry, I will paraphrase his words and argue the laser beam focus for us: "It's the charism!"
BY: BETH MOORE, MSN, RN, and AMBER WOOD, MSN, MBA, RN
In June 2019, a vision became reality when the SSM Health Simulation and Training Center opened its doors to provide new and advanced training opportunities. The medical simulation lab houses the latest technology and equipment for simulation-based learning, which has been shown to improve patient safety and clinical outcomes. While SSM Health has used simulation in some form or fashion for the past 20 years, it has historically occurred in the hospital, on a patient care unit or in a classroom setting — as opposed to a dedicated facility.
BY: NICK RAGONE, JD
In 2015, Ascension undertook a journey to remind ourselves and our communities that through our unified ministry, Jesus "is alive in our midst in a new way." Rebranding our ministry to One Ascension became one of the largest such initiatives among health care organizations. Just as our historic sponsors adapted to the needs of their times to best serve God's people, we sought ways to meet the evolving needs of our times. In addition to the industry shift toward value-based care with greater focus on health outcomes, the digital revolution and regulatory reform, we knew that consumer behavior was also changing."
BY: ERIN ARCHER KELSER, RN
Health care and legal landscapes are rapidly changing when it comes to numerous compounds recently thought of as street drugs. Cannabis, or marijuana, products are becoming more commonplace, and some "psychedelic" drugs are being researched as potentially effective therapies for a variety of resistant neurological and psychological disorders.
BY: SR. JENNIFER GORDON, SCL
When I made my first vows as a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth in 2004, I chose one of my favorite Scripture passages as the first reading in my vow liturgy. "See," God says to us through the prophet Isaiah. "I am doing something new!" (Isaiah 43:19)
BY: BRUCE COMPTON
A review of the 100 years of Health Progress
, the official journal of the Catholic Health Association, yields an interesting perspective on the ministry's involvement in global health and international outreach. There are three areas that from the beginning have been critical elements of CHA's ministry. First, CHA's original purpose was to assist the founding congregations with their ministries — developing better processes, infrastructure, expertise and standards of quality care. This purpose has remained a consistent theme throughout the past century and continues in our global health outreach efforts today. Secondly, it is noteworthy that some of the terrible diseases and types of outbreaks either were the same threats today, as in malaria, typhoid, cholera and tuberculosis, or were similar in scope and social context, such as polio was in the past and HIV/AIDS and Ebola are now. And the third element relates to CHA's geographic ties — there are a number of regions and countries around the world that played a part in CHA's activities over the past 100 years where our members have presence, relationships and commitments today.