(312) 368-0011 assistance@il-cha.org


For the final quarter of 2017, ICHA’s Executive Director continued to meet individually with leadership and preparing to respond to future challenges to Catholic healthcare in Illinois. These challenges include the possibility of efforts to legalize physician assisted suicide (PAS), continued funding for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and adequate funding for both Medicare and Medicaid programs.

ICHA’s Executive Director’s travels and meetings over the last three months were as follows:

In October, the Executive Director attended Springfield Diocese’s White Mass with Bishop Paprocki, met with the Bishop’s at the Illinois Catholic Conference’s (CCI) Board Meeting in Chicago, and attended the retirement party for Kevin Schoeplein, President of OSF Healthcare. Finally, on October 27th ICHA hosted it first Physician’s Retreat in Peoria, IL with Fr. Myles Sheehan, SJ as the featured presenter.

In November, ICHA participated in Diocese of Peoria’s Ethics Day on November 9th. The day featured two talks Dr. Wesley Ely from Vanderbilt University on physician assisted suicide and euthanasia. It was an excellent day and ICHA has already used Dr. Ely’s material in other venues. On November 22nd, ICHA hosted a conference call with the diocesan Healthcare Vicars to discuss the procedure of salpingectomy to diminish ovarian cancer.

On December 8th, ICHA’s Executive Director with Allan Spooner, the new CEO of St. James Hospital in Chicago Heights.

ICHA Board Members for 2018

In the last quarter, by mail-in ballots, the Sponsors approved ICHA’s new Board of Directors and Officers for 2018. They are as follows: Msgr. Mark Merdian (Chair), Bishop Thomas Paprocki (Vice Chair), Br. Thomas Keusenkothen (Finance Chair), Bishop Daniel Jenky, Msgr. Michael Boland, Megan Brennan, Michael Englehart, Beth Florczak, Sr. Terry Maltby, Dawn Mayer, Steve Roach, Robert Sehring, Theresa Rutherford, Sr. Jomary Trstensky, Sr. Sharon Ann Walsh, and Sr. Anthony Veilleux.

ICHA’s Updated Information Systems

ICHA recently updated it website, www.il-cha.org, and set up a Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Illinoiscatholichealth. We encourage our members to visit us on Facebook and feel free to post their news or send us comments. Finally, ICHA has updated its computer systems to allow us to do more small meetings by video conferencing using Skype for Business. We will be experimenting with this over the next few months.


ICHA’s Finance Committee will meet on January 11th. The Board of Directors will meet on Wednesday, January 24th. The spring Board of Directors Meeting will be held on Thursday, April 5th.


On the state level, ICHA will be watching closely to see if there is any activity on end of life issues (EOL). In this regard, ICHA and CCI have put a request for proposals to various public relations and advocacy agencies to help us develop and disseminate a proactive and positive message before anything gets introduced in the Illinois legislature. We are also beginning to further develop our advocacy group of like-minded organizations. Once these preliminary efforts are complete, ICHA and CCI will seek out funding to promote a statewide communications effort.


As an update on ICHA’s Chaplaincy Education Program with the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), ICHA continues to register participants. To date, 194 persons registered for the course; 96 have completed it.


ICHA continues to operate under a balanced budget and ICHA has collected all of its FY 17-18 dues (One hospital has not paid their dues and it will be written off as bad debt).  ICHA has received the final audit, from the firm Hochfelder & Weber, and has shared it with the Finance Committee and the Board of Directors.


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.