During 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.
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.
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 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.