April/May 2004

Leadership Letter from Kevin E. Lofton and John DiCola

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Dear Catholic Health Initiatives Family:

The work of Catholic Health Initiatives’ Innovation Team, detailed in the cover story of this issue of Initiatives, has produced three strategic priorities that we believe can move us toward the goal of becoming a more innovative organization.

First, we’d like to improve our ability to produce even more innovation across Catholic Health Initiatives on a regular basis: to raise our productive “yield” of innovations. We believe that the key to higher yield will be improving our ability to scan, evaluate and transfer proven innovations to the rest of the organization. Using our knowledge management resources to more effectively spread the knowledge we gain from our Institute for Healthcare Improvement Impact projects is a perfect example of how this strategy can produce positive results.

Second, we’d like to proactively generate more innovation in a few selected, strategically important areas that would produce benefit and value system-wide. Initially, we’ve identified end-of-life care and senior services as two areas in which Catholic Health Initiatives could potentially take a leadership role in producing innovative approaches to care delivery.

Our third priority is an integral part of each of the first two priorities: a vital commitment to the role and responsibility of leadership in making innovation happen. We must establish innovation as one of our most important core competencies, just as our capital planning and allocation process is today. Additionally, as leaders and managers, we must grow our personal skills in creative thinking and planning methodologies to help us produce more innovation.

Finally, we must ensure that our policies and procedures are completely aligned in order to reduce organizational barriers to innovation and reward positive results.

Innovation — from our unique model of sponsorship to the way our front-line employees deliver care to our patients and residents — is part of the fabric of Catholic Health Initiatives. With your help, we can take innovation to another level in patient care and our building of healthy communities. Thank you for all you do to foster and spread innovation today, and for being part of our commitment to becoming a more innovative organization tomorrow.