January 2004

Leadership Letter from Kevin E. Lofton, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer


Dear Catholic Health Initiatives Family:

You’ve probably heard of the wise man who passed three bricklayers and asked each what he was doing. “I’m laying bricks,” said the first. “I’m building a wall,” said the second. “I’m building a cathedral,” said the third.

This wonderful story tells us to keep our eyes on our goals and not get distracted by the tools we use. Our foundresses knew that to maintain a true and deep Catholic health ministry, we needed to come together in strength. Catholic Health Initiatives’ size, scope and diversity allow us to build a health delivery system to serve our patients and communities with innovation and commitment long into the future.

We have new tools for market-based organizations to use to leverage our strength and focus our efforts more intensely on local needs and services. Five market-based organizations have initiated the Advanced Clinical
Information System and are moving toward a computerized medical record that supports electronic clinical tools for decision-making. We have also introduced CHI Connect and started the process of standardizing and centralizing some finance, human resources, payroll and supply chain functions. This effort will extend system-wide over a five-year period, resulting in cost savings and better information for local decision-making. You can read more about these tools in this issue of Initiatives.

Information technology provides the bricks we are using to lay this foundation. With the help of these tools and standardized processes, we can better direct our resources — both people and money — to safe patient care, healthy communities and local market strategies.

Significant progress can be made only by taking some risk. The success of these programs is completely dependent on our commitment to the future. Vision, resolve, flexibility and patience are needed to build a cathedral, as they are to build a strong and lasting health delivery system. I appreciate your willingness to take the very large steps needed to move our mission forward.