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For the final quarter of 2015, 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 implementing same sex marriage benefits and lobbying for religious conscious protection.
ICHA’s Annual Meeting on October 22rd, at the Union League Club, was a great success. Approximately 50 persons attended morning Mass and nearly 100 persons were in attendance for the meeting. Bishop Doherty and Marian Jennings examined the ethical and administrative challenges in a rapidly changing healthcare environment and the specific challenges to Catholic healthcare facilities and their sponsors and Brian Corbin addressed collaboration between Catholic healthcare and Catholic Charities. The evaluations were extremely positive and offered suggestions for next year’s meeting.
Also, during the Annual Meeting, it was announced that the Sponsors had approved ICHA’s new Board of Directors and Officers for 2016. They are as follows: Daniel Perryman (Chair), Bishop Thomas Paprocki (Vice Chair), Br. Thomas Keusenkothen (Finance Chair), Bishop Daniel Jenky, Msgr. Michael Boland, Msgr. Mark Merdian, Nancy Razo, Steve Roach, Janine Rossi and Theresa Rutherford, Sr. Sharon Ann Walsh. Sr. Anthony Veilleux was elected to her first Board term and will represent the Sponsors. Also, Sr. Terry Maltby has agreed to complete Sr. Patricia Ann Koschalke’s term, and Kevin Schoeplein has agreed to complete the term of Sandy Bruce who retired on October 1st. A special presentation was made to Sr. Jomary Trstensky for her years of service to ICHA and the Catholic healthcare ministry.
Following the Annual Meeting, Dawn Mayer, Vice President, Mission Integration and Pastoral Care for the Franciscan Ministries, agreed to serve on the ICHA Board as the Long-Term Care representative and filling the position previously held by Barbara Prosser.
ICHA’s Executive Director continues his travels throughout the state, meeting personally with Sponsors, Bishops, Board members and CEOs. In October and November, the Executive Director attended Springfield Diocese’s White Mass with Bishop Paprocki. Cosponsored and attended the Neiswanger Ethics Conference at Loyola Medical Center, participated in conference calls with the Catholic Health Association and attended CHA’s annual legislative conference in Washington, D.C., participated in Catholic Conference of Illinois’ (CCI) organizational meeting on “Doctor Prescribed Suicide” and met with Karen Teitelbaum, CEO of Sinai Hospital and Holy Cross Hospital.
ICHA’s Finance Committee will meet on January 6th. The Board of Directors will meet on Wednesday, January 13th. ICHA will be co-sponsoring a webinar with Loyola Law School on February 23rd on the issue of Religious Conscience Protection. The spring Board of Directors Meeting will be held on Thursday, March 10th, at the Cenacle Retreat and Conference Center in Chicago, IL.
On the state level, ICHA will be watching closely to see if there is any activity on end of life issues (EOL) and at the federal level, we lobbied for the passage of the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (ANDA) which would protect healthcare providers from violating their religious and moral beliefs concerning respect for life when they provide health services. Unfortunately, the ANDA was not included in the year end budget which was passed and signed by the president. ICHA also sent letters to Congress and encouraging them to allow expenditures for safe and clean housing for the needy to be reported as community benefit on Form 990.
ICHA continues to work with CCI and others to update and distribute “A Catholic Perspective on Advance Directives”.
As an update on ICHA’s Chaplaincy Education Program with the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), ICHA continues to register participants. To date, 153 persons registered for the course; 90 have completed it.
ICHA continues to operate under a balanced budget and ICHA has collected all of its FY 15-16 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.