ICHA Executive Director’s Report – June, 2016

RECENT ACTIVITIES

The second quarter of 2016, 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) continue to work with the Bishops and healthcare institution on the issue of same-gender benefits and are following a State Supreme Court case that could have tax implications for ICHA members (see Advocacy Update below).

An issue left over from last year’s legislative session is the bill sponsored by the ACLU to amend Illinois’ Healthcare Right of Conscience Act (SB 1564). ICHA, in conjunction with the CCI and the Bishops, worked hard to modify SB 1564 to have it comply with current Catholic healthcare practices. Because of this, ICHA took a position of neutrality and continued to monitor the legislation. At the end of May, SB 1564 passed both the House and Senate and the Legislature has 30 days to send it to Governor Rauner. Although no one is certain whether the Governor will veto or sign the bill into law, it is ICHA’s inclination that he will sign it.

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

In May, ICHA hosted a meeting of the Mission Leaders on May 10th at the Presence Health offices in Mokena, IL. The speakers included John Hardt, VP, Mission Integration, Loyola University Health System, on Preparing Future Leaders in Catholic Healthcare, and Debbie Converse, Senior Manager, Programming and Education Center for Ministry Leadership, Bon Secours Health System, on Ministry Development in the Age of Social Media.

In June, ICHA hosted a meeting of the Ethicists/Healthcare Vicars on June 9th at the Presence Health offices in Mokena, IL. Speakers included Dr. Daniel Sulmasy, Professor of Medicine and Ethics, University of Chicago, on Catholic Healthcare in a Rapidly Changing Secular Society and Bob Gilligan, Executive Director, Illinois Catholic Conference, on Legislative and Legal Issues in Illinois. Other issues covered included:

1) The Zika Virus

2) Cooperation with non-Catholic Partners

3) Coordinating Care across the Healthcare Continuum

4) Enhancing Connections between Healthcare Ministries and Local Parishes

2016 UPCOMING MEETINGS

ICHA will be holding their Annual Meeting on November 10th at the Union League Club in downtown Chicago. The keynote speaker will be Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich. Additional speakers are Lisa Gilden, General Counsel, Catholic Health Association, and MC Sullivan, Director, Initiative on Palliative Care and Advanced Care Planning, Archdiocese of Boston.

ADVOCACY UPDATE

With regard to the proposed federal HHS regulations mandating coverage for contraception and sterilization, ICHA’s Executive Director continues to follow this issue closely after the Supreme Court failed to rule and returned the issue back to the lower courts.

Also, 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 unfavorable ruling against Carle Hospital will have dire consequence for our Catholic hospitals. At the direction of Archbishop Cupich, ICHA is convening a working group with CCI to determine if ICHA should submit an amicus brief in this case.

Finally, as mentioned above, ICHA is actively monitoring SB 1564 to see what action Governor Rauner will take.

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, 155 persons registered for the course; 94 have completed it.

ICHA FINANCES

ICHA continues to operate under a balanced budget. ICHA recently developed their FY 16-17 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 16-17 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.