February 2003

Leadership Letter from Diana Bader, OP, PhD, Senior Vice President, Mission, and
James R. Kaskie, Senior Vice President, Operations

02_03Bader_Kaskie Photo

Dear Catholic Health Initiatives Family:

Using the rich history and heritage of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati as a cornerstone, Catholic Health Initiatives is working to create a new health ministry: a community health services organization funded by the proceeds of the sale of St. Joseph Healthcare System of Albuquerque, N.M. Over time, the net proceeds of the sale may exceed $20 million, and every dollar will be used to sustain an organization that will serve the unmet health needs of the people of New Mexico. To ensure that these financial resources will be put to the best possible use, the steering committee for the new community health services organization recently convened a panel of experts on health and wellness in the state. This was their consensus:
  • New Mexico has a significant base of existing community health services, but lacks coordination of the care delivered by these services.
  • New Mexicans who need community health services often face significant barriers to access, such as a lack of knowledge about the services available to them and a lack of consistent connection to services that meet their needs.
  • Many health problems that are common in New Mexico have their roots in socio-economic and behavioral health issues, such as poverty, unemployment and substance abuse.
  • New Mexico’s population is diverse and many segments of the population – including Native Americans, Hispanics and undocumented immigrants – have special health needs.
These realities will help guide the steering committee. Uppermost in our minds will be the need to collaborate with existing providers of health services, to avoid duplication of services, and to make it easier for the people who need us to find us. This will not be a simple process, and there is no roadmap to follow. However, we have the continuing support of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, for which we are grateful. We are full of faith that an active Catholic health ministry, rooted in the heritage of the Sisters of Charity and sponsored by Catholic Health Initiatives, will flourish in New Mexico for many years to come.