(312) 368-0011 assistance@il-cha.org


For the final quarter of 2016, ICHA’s Executive Director continued to meet individually with leadership and is responding to various challenges facing Catholic healthcare in Illinois. These challenges include implementing same sex marriage benefits and preparing for the January 2017 implementation of SB 1564 which amends The Health Care Right of Conscience Act.

ICHA’s Annual Meeting scheduled for Thursday, November 10th, at the Union League Club, was cancelled due to a change in Cardinal Cupich’s schedule. Cardinal Cupich was the designated to provide the Keynote Address. Subsequently, the Annual Meeting has been rescheduled for Thursday, March 30, 2017. Sister Carol Keehan, CEO of the Catholic Health Association (CHA) has agreed to provide the Keynote Address which will focus on the incoming Trump Administration and expected changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In addition to Sr. Carol, MC Sullivan from the Archdiocese of Boston will be presenting on the issue of Physician-Assisted Suicide. Other speakers are to be determined.

Also, by mail-in ballots, the Sponsors approved ICHA’s new Board of Directors and Officers for 2017. They are as follows: Msgr. Mark Merdian (Chair), Bishop Thomas Paprocki (Vice Chair), Br. Thomas Keusenkothen (Finance Chair), Bishop Daniel Jenky, Msgr. Michael Boland, Sr. Terry Maltby, Dawn Mayer, Daniel Perryman, Steve Roach, Janine Rossi and Theresa Rutherford, Sr. Sharon Ann Walsh. Sr. Anthony Veilleux. New Board members include Michael Englehart, Sr. Jomary Trstensky and Beth Florczak.

ICHA’s Executive Director continues his travels throughout the state, meeting personally with Sponsors, Bishops, Board members and CEOs.  In October the Executive Director attended Springfield Diocese’s White Mass with Bishop Paprocki and health care leaders from the Springfield Diocese and attended Mass and a presentation by Cardinal Muller at Mundelein Seminary titled “The Theology of Freedom: Encountering Christ at the Margins of Society”. In November, the Executive Director meet with the Bishop’s at their Provincial Council and presented on the issue of Legally Domiciled Adults (ADL).


ICHA’s Finance Committee will meet on January 12th. The Board of Directors will meet on Thursday, January 19th. The spring Board of Directors Meeting will be held on Thursday, March 16th, at the Cenacle Retreat and Conference Center in Chicago, IL. As mentioned above, the ICHA Annual Meeting will be on Thursday, March 30, 2017.


On the state level, ICHA will be watching closely to see if there is any activity on end of life issues (EOL). On November 10th, ICHA hosted a conference call with Mission, Ethics and Advocacy members on the requirements from SB 1564 and on December 16th, ICHA disseminated draft protocols dealing with patients who request morally objectionable services to all of our local facilities. These draft protocols were developed by the OSF Healthcare System on behalf of ICHA and its members.  ICHA also disseminated a Memorandum Opinion and Order from the Circuit Court of the 17th Judicial Circuit, County of Winnebago.  This memorandum provides a preliminary injunction for the Pregnancy Care Center of Rockford. Although this preliminary injunction only applies to this pregnancy center, it may have ramifications for all of us in the future. At the federal level, we are preparing for major changes due to the incoming Trump Administration. Specifically on religious liberty issues and the overhaul of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).


In conjunction with CCI, ICHA updated and distributed “A Catholic Perspective on Advance Directives” to all of our members. It is available electronically on CCI’s website and hard copies can be ordered at a minimal cost.

ICHA also distributed the Bishop’s agreement on health care benefits to employees in a same-gender marriage. Each facility should work with their local ordinary as they work toward implementing the Legal Domiciled Adult (LDA) policy.

As an update on ICHA’s Chaplaincy Education Program with the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), ICHA continues to register participants. To date, 167 persons registered for the course; 94 have completed it.


ICHA continues to operate under a balanced budget and ICHA has collected all of its FY 16-17 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.