For the first quarter of 2017, 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 against public funding of abortion in Illinois for any reason and at any time during the pregnancy (HB 40) and reviewing and responding to Congress’ repeal and replacement plan for the Accountable Care Act (ACA).
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 19th and March 16th and the Finance Committee on January 12th and on March 8th. ICHA’s Executive Director also convened a task force to plan the first Catholic physicians meeting. The meeting will take place at OSF’s Jump Center in Peoria on Friday, October 27, 2017, with Fr. Myles Sheehan, S.J., as the featured presenter.
ICHA’s Annual Meeting was held on Thursday, March 30, 2017. Sister Carol Keehan, CEO of the Catholic Health Association (CHA), provided the Keynote Address which focused on changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In addition to Sr. Carol, MC Sullivan from the Archdiocese of Boston presented on the issue of Physician-Assisted Suicide and Hillary Byrnes with the United States Catholic Conference (USCCB), gave an update on religious liberty. We had nearly 100 attendees and the evaluations of the meeting were overwhelmingly positive.
2017 UPCOMING MEETINGS
ICHA, in partnership with Little Company of Mary Hospital, will host the inaugural meeting of Catholic Chaplains in the Chicagoland area on April 6th at Little Company of Mary Hospital. Next year ICHA will plan a similar event in downstate Illinois.
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 23rd, 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.
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).
As mentioned above, at the federal level, ICHA is coordinated activities with CHA and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in an effort to review and respond to Congress’ attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and replace it with the American Health Care Act (AHCA). As part of this effort, on March 23rd and 24th, ICHA’s Executive Director (along with many ICHA members) attended CHA’s Legislative Days in Washington, DC, to advocate against the increasingly conservative AHCA which was ultimately pulled from the floor by Speaker Ryan. ICHA, along with CHA and USCCB continue to monitor action on healthcare reform.
Finally, ICHA has been working closely with CCI to advocate against the passage of HB 40, which would provide public funding through the State’s Medicaid program for an abortion for any reason and at any time during pregnancy.
ICHA and CCI have also been working to amend HB 5576 which passed last year and would require, as of January 1, 2017, that all group health insurance policies include coverage for certain contraceptive drugs, devices and products, including voluntary sterilization.
As an update on ICHA’s Chaplaincy Education Program with the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), ICHA continues to register participants. To date, 170 persons registered for the course; 96 have completed it.
ICHA continues to operate under a balanced budget. ICHA recently developed their FY ‘17-‘18 budget which was recommend unanimously by the Finance Committee and approved by the Board on March 16th. There will be no increase in ICHA dues for the coming fiscal year.
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.