September 2002

Leadership Letter from Gerard T. Broccolo, STD
Vice President, Spirituality

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Dear Catholic Health Initiatives Family:

The report of a Catholic Health Initiatives task force that studied the measurement of chaplain performance and productivity uncovered some challenging problems: primarily, a lack of clarity and consistency within our organization when it comes to understanding, articulating and measuring what chaplains do. However, the task force also made some reassuring discoveries, including the fact that chaplains are consistently perceived as adding value to the distinctive culture of Catholic Health Initiatives’ market-based organizations. Specifically, chaplains are perceived as adding value when they:
  • Are available to meet others’ needs, with no agenda of their own.
  • Provide comfort and support in a variety of circumstances.
  • Assist with practical details (such as hospitality and advance directives).
  • Facilitate an individual’s or group’s journey to peace and wholeness.
  • Participate in interdisciplinary case conferences or help coordinate a more holistic approach to care delivery.
  • "Walk the talk" as symbols of the organization’s identity, mission and values.
Chaplains add value through their ministry and their witness to what we claim to be: a health care organization that carries on the healing work of Jesus. They are a significant influence in our ability to maintain a distinctive Catholic culture that has a positive impact on our relationships with our patients and our communities. While there is more to do in order to develop a sound method of evaluating chaplain performance, the task force has made a significant start by generating a body of knowledge about what chaplains do – and how they provide an intangible but essential element to Catholic health care.