ICHA Executive Director’s Report – June, 2017

RECENT ACTIVITIES

The second quarter of 2017, ICHA’s Executive Director continued to meet individually with leadership and is responding to various challenges facing Catholic healthcare in Illinois. ICHA and the Catholic Conference of Illinois (CCI) were unsuccessful in defeating HB 40, which would allow for public funding of abortion for any reason and at any point in a pregnancy. Governor Rauner has said that he intends to veto the bill but the Senate has yet to send it to him for action.

ICHA’s Executive Director continues his travels throughout the state, meeting personally with Sponsors, Bishops, Board members and CEOs.

In April, ICHA, in partnership with Little Company of Mary Hospital, hosted the first meeting of ICHA Chaplains in the Chicagoland area on April 6th at Little Company of Mary Hospital. It was well attended and greatly appreciated by the Chaplains.

In May, ICHA hosted a meeting of the Mission Leaders on May 10th at the Presence Health offices in Mokena, IL. The speakers included Fr. Michael Place, Ethicist, Franciscan Alliance, on Exploring Trans Gender Issues, and Rebecca Davis Mathias, Ethicist, St. Anthony’s Hospital, on the Principle of Double Effect: Palliative Sedation and Physician Assisted Suicide.

In June, ICHA hosted a meeting of the Ethicists/Healthcare Vicars on June 23rd at the Presence Health offices in Mokena, IL. Speakers included Mark Repenshek, Ethicist, Ascension Health, on Models of Joint Ventures. Bob Gilligan, Executive Director, Illinois Catholic Conference, on Legislative and Legal Issues in Illinois. Fr. Michael Place also reprised his presentation on Exploring Trans Gender Issues with the Healthcare Vicars and Ethicists.

2017 UPCOMING MEETINGS

ICHA, in conjunction with HSHS and OSF, will be holding their first Physician’s Retreat on October 27th at the Jump Education Center in downtown Peoria. The keynote speaker and retreat leader will be Myles Sheehan, SJ, MD. Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits will be provided by the Prairie Heart Institute.

ADVOCACY UPDATE

At the Federal level, ICHA continues to monitor congressional action concerning the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and replacing it with the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Currently, the Senate is crafting their version of AHCA behind closed doors and it is uncertain if it will ever see the light of day. One aspect of the ACA that most certainly will go away is the HHS Contraception Mandate which Secretary Price has already initiated with a regulatory comment period.

At the state level ICHA is following the State Supreme Court case, Carle Hospital v. Cunningham Township, which will determine if the State’s tax-exemption law for not-for-profit hospitals is constitutional. An initial ruling favored Carle Hospital but the issue still remains in the courts. The courts also provided an injunction to the Crisis Pregnancy Center in Rockford, IL concerning the requirements from HB 1564 that healthcare institutions provide information concerning other providers who may deliver services that we find objectionable. This is also still in the courts.

Finally, as mentioned above, ICHA is actively urging Governor Rauner to veto HB 40 when it comes to his desk.

MISSION EDUCATION

As an update on ICHA’s Chaplaincy Education Program with the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), ICHA continues to register participants. To date, 176 persons registered for the course; 96 have completed it.

ICHA FINANCES

ICHA continues to operate under a balanced budget. ICHA recently developed their FY 17-18 budget which was recommend unanimously by the Finance Committee and approved by the Board on March 10th. There will be no dues increase for the upcoming fiscal year. Invoices for the FY 17-18 dues will go out on July 1st.

CONCLUSION

Thank you for all you do on behalf of the ministry. We continue to look for better ways to serve you and are always open to new ideas.  If ICHA may assist you in any way, please contact me anytime at pcacchione@il-cha.org.

ICHA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT – July, 2014

RECENT ACTIVITIES

During the second quarter of 2014, ICHA’s Executive Director continued to meet individually with leadership, and is responding to various challenges facing Catholic healthcare in Illinois. These challenges include implementing same sex marriage benefits and cooperation issues around Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and Accountable Care Entities (ACEs).

ICHA’s Executive Director continues his travels throughout the state, meeting personally with Sponsors, Bishops, Board members and CEOs. He met with the Board of Directors on June 2nd by conference call and individually with Board Chair, Brother Tom Keusenkothen on June 9th in St. Louis.

In April, ICHA’s Executive Director planned and hosted a webinar with Loyola University’s law school on April 30th to discuss cooperation (ERD Part 6) and Cardinal Mueller’s recent memo and 17 principles on cooperation. The speakers were Fr. Grogan, Larry Singer, Jack Gallagher and Sr. Terry Maltby.

In May, ICHA hosted a meeting of the Mission Leaders on May 13th in Mokena, IL. The speakers included Jack Gallagher on the future of Catholic healthcare and ICHA’s legal counsel, Jim Geoly, on ministerial positions.

In June, ICHA hosted a meeting of the Ethicists/Healthcare Vicars on June 17th at the University Club in Chicago. The morning session was a discussion of ministerial positions and the afternoon was a conversation with representatives of the ACLU concerning the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs). The outcome from the frank conversation was very positive. One of the ACLU representatives responded after the meeting by writing:

“Please accept again my thanks for inviting me and Lorie to join your meeting yesterday. As I said, I was deeply moved — by your openness, and by the respect the invitation accorded us. And I very much appreciated the conversation. I learned. We may not have ended the meeting seeing eye to eye on everything, but I trust we all ended the conversation having a greater understanding of one another and an openness to be in touch about issues going forward.”

The other ACLU participant responded by writing:

“I just wanted to second Louise’s remarks. I so very much appreciated being included. It was a fascinating and edifying experience. Please extend my thanks to your colleagues.”

The ICHA Executive Director has also been speaking with all the Bishops by phone or in person during the month of June, and met with the leadership team of Presence Health on June 18th in Chicago.

2014 UPCOMING MEETINGS

ICHA will be cosponsoring an ethics conference with Loyola’s Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and the Catholic Health Association (CHA) on October 9-10 in Chicago.

ICHA will be holding their Annual Meeting on October 23rd at the Rosemont Hilton in Rosemont, IL.

 

ADVOCACY UPDATE

With regard to the proposed federal regulations mandating coverage for contraception and sterilization, ICHA’s Executive Director is pleased to report that the Supreme Court, on June 30, ruled that corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women. Although this case doesn’t directly mention religious organizations, it bodes well for ICHA’s members. ICHA will continue to monitor this and report on any further development.

MISSION EDUCATION

As an update on ICHA’s Chaplaincy Education Program with the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), ICHA continues to register participants. To date, 135 persons registered for the course; 87 have completed it.

ICHA FINANCES

ICHA continues to operate under a balanced budget. ICHA recently developed their FY 14-15 budget which was recommend unanimously by the Finance Committee and approved by the Board on March 27th. For the third straight year, ICHA dues will be frozen for the upcoming fiscal year. Invoices for the FY 14-15 dues will go out on July 1st.

CONCLUSION

Thank you for all you do on behalf of the ministry. We continue to look for better ways to serve you and are always open to new ideas. If ICHA may assist you in any way, please contact me anytime at pcacchione@il-cha.org.