For the first quarter of 2019, 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 efforts to legalize marijuana and pass less restrictive abortion laws.
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 30th and the Finance Committee on January 15th. ICHA’s Executive Director also met with Shawn Vincent, the new CEO of Loyola Medical Center. On March 28th, ICHA’s Executive Director participated in the Bishop’s press conference opposing the Reproductive Health Act and attended CCI’s Board of Director’s meeting in Springfield.
2019 UPCOMING MEETINGS
ICHA’s Board of Directors and Illinois Bishops are scheduled to meet on Wednesday, April 3rd.
ICHA’s Executive Director will meet with the ICHA Mission Leaders on May 15th, in Mokena, IL. The ICHA Ethicists/Healthcare Vicars meeting is TBA.
ICHA’s Annual Meeting will be Thursday, September 26, 2019, at the Union League Club of Chicago. “Save the Date” email was sent to everyone in early February.
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). Most of ICHA’s advocacy efforts have been focused on the state level due to the month long shutdown of the federal government and inactivity in Washington. Furthermore, as mentioned above, with the new governor, legislators are moving rapidly to pass the legalization of recreational marijuana and repealing many safeguards against abortion (HB 2467) while passing many less restrictive abortion measures with the Reproduction Health Act (HB 2495/SB 1942).
Most concerning, HB 2495/SB 1942 repeals the Abortion Performance Refusal Act, that specifically protected the right of anyone to refuse to recommend or participate in the performance of an abortion, and protects employees from retaliation for exercising this right. The Act also shields hospitals from civil liability for refusing to perform an abortion. Finally, the Act prohibits the state from revoking or suspending a license (of a hospital, doctor, etc.) for refusing to recommend or perform an abortion. The repeal eliminates these specific, explicit protections from IL law.
The bill also repeals Section 9 of the Sexual Assault Survivors Emergency Treatment Act, which provides that “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require a hospital or an approved pediatric health care facility to provide any services which relate to an abortion.” Therefore, it seems to nullify the Peoria Protocols.
Finally, the bill mandates insurance coverage for abortions with no co-pays or deductibles.
In addition to participating in the Bishop’s March 28th press conference opposing the Reproductive Health Act, ICHA has been keeping the membership up to date on this issue and organizing a grassroots lobbying effort while trying to build a coalition of like-minded groups to oppose HB 2495/SB 1942.
As an update on ICHA’s Chaplaincy Education Program with the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), ICHA continues to register participants. To date, 215 persons registered for the course; 115 have completed it.
ICHA continues to operate under a balanced budget. ICHA recently developed their FY ‘19-‘20 budget which was recommend unanimously by the Finance Committee and approved by the Board on January 30th. After a recalculation of System dues, some Systems will see an increase in their ICHA dues and others will see a decrease in their ICHA dues for the coming fiscal year. The majority of members will experience no change in their ICHA dues.
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.