ICHA Executive Director’s Report – March, 2016

RECENT ACTIVITIES

For the first quarter of 2016, ICHA’s Executive Director continued to meet individually with leadership and is responding to various challenges facing Catholic healthcare in Illinois and at the federal level.  These challenges include advocating for better care at the end of life and for a state budget to alleviate the non-payment for Medicaid and a variety of social service programs.

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 January 13th and March 10th and the Finance Committee on January 6th and March 2nd. On March 11th the Executive Director also met with the Board of the Illinois Catholic Conference (CCI).

In February, ICHA’s Executive Director co-hosted a webinar with Loyola Law School on Religious Liberty and Conscience Protection.  Presenters for this webinar were Hillary Byrnes, USCCB; Jim Geoly, Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella; Erica Laethem, OSF Healthcare; Larry Singer, Loyola School of Law. Ms. Laethem presented on the Catholic Moral Traditions on Conscience and Implications for Catholic Healthcare and Ms. Byrnes and Mr. Geoly presented on the Federal Protections and Legislative and Regulatory Challenges and the Illinois State Protections and Legislative and Regulatory Challenges respectively. He also met with Dougal Hewitt, Vice President of Presence Health.

In March, the Executive Director convened a meeting of all the health system ethicists and the Diocesan Healthcare Vicars at the offices of Presence Health. The theme of the meeting and discussion was “Catholic Healthcare in a Rapidly Changing Secular Society”.  The issues that were discussed were what the Michigan Catholic Conference recently did concerning Legally Domiciled Adults (LDA); ministerial positions; (ICHA’s Board Resolution on Ministerial Positions from, 2014, re: CEO’s, chaplains, ethicists, and Vice President of Mission) because, by nature of their job, are certainly a minister of the Church and should be written into their job description. The meeting also addressed the Zika virus issue and if contraception is acceptable use during this pandemic.

2016 UPCOMING MEETINGS

ICHA’s Executive Director will meet with the ICHA Mission Leaders on May 10th, and with the ICHA Ethicists/Healthcare Vicars will meet on June 9th, both meetings will be held at Presence Health Offices in Mokena.  Dates still to be determined, in May or June, are conference call meetings for the Finance Committee and the Board of Directors; if needed.

ADVOCACY UPDATE

ICHA continues to participate in advocacy calls by the Catholic Health Association (CHA) and working at the state level with the Illinois Catholic Conference (CCI). At the federal level, ICHA conducted a letter writing campaign to members of the Illinois congressional delegation urging them to support the Care Planning Act of 2016 (S. 1549). ICHA has been working with CHA on this bill to insure that Medicare patients have the care that they need.

Finally, ICHA has been working with CCI to develop a viable option for the Bishops to consider concerning offering health benefits to employees who enter into same-gender marriages.

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 increase in ICHA dues for the coming fiscal year.

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.