BY: CLAY O'DELL, PhD
Much has changed since this journal began publishing in 1919. At that time, the then-Catholic Hospital Association was only 5 years old. Based in Milwaukee, Wis., at the time, it was founded as an outlet for the nation's approximately 600 Catholic hospitals to share operational best practices and ideas to help maintain their mission and identity. "Advocacy," or government affairs, was not one of CHA's core activities when Hospital Progress
debuted in 1919. This was hardly surprising given the federal government's small role in the health care industry at that time. But over the course of the next century, the government's role and the role of health care organizations such as CHA would change dramatically, making advocacy one of CHA's top priorities.
BY: JULIE TROCCHIO, RN, MS
It was April 1988, my second week on the job and first board meeting. Policy expert Larry Lewin (may he rest in peace), was leading the Catholic Health Association board through recent attacks on hospital tax-exemption. A large nonprofit health system in Utah was being asked to pay state taxes for the first time. In Vermont, Burlington Mayor Bernie Sanders sent a local hospital a $2.9 million tax bill. Rep. Pete Stark, chair of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, was instrumental in taking away federal tax-exemption of nonprofit health plans.