June/July 2004

Human Resources Leaders Meet to Learn from National Experts and Each Other


At Catholic Health Initiatives’ annual National Human Resources Conference, May 2-5 in San Antonio, Texas, human resources leaders from throughout the organization learned more about how their competencies contribute to the realization of the organization’s core strategies.

The more than 80 attendees also discussed how to build work communities of choice with guest speakers and each other. “This was our third national conference for human resources leaders, and I could see that the group has grown very comfortable about sharing best ideas and strategies,” said Michael Fordyce, chief administrative officer for Catholic Health Initiatives. “It’s gratifying to see our human resources leaders taking advantage of this networking opportunity.”

The conference featured two nationally known speakers. Mark Huselid, PhD, associate professor of human resource strategy at Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J., spoke about “Linking People, Strategy and Performance.” Simon Bailey, chief creative officer of the Imagination Institute in Windermere, Fla., formerly an executive with the Walt Disney Co., spoke to the gathering about “Unleashing HR Greatness.”

Dan Clark, vice president of human resources for Catholic Health Initiatives, presented the organization’s Human Resources Leader Competency Model on the first day of the conference. The second day was devoted to overviews of the Work Community of Choice initiative and leadership development programs, plus breakout sessions in which market-based human resources leaders shared their best practices.

Conference evaluations indicate that 98 percent of the participants are glad they attended.

“In the future, these conferences will continue to address issues that are most important to human resources leaders in health care,” said Carol Keenan, director of human resources for Catholic Health Initiatives. “As the economy improves, retention of the workforce will become a more pressing issue. Our Work Community of Choice initiative is designed to create a workplace where people want to be, so we’ll continue to focus on that. We’ll also continue to tap into the expertise of our market-based leaders, especially those who are taking the lead in making HR more of a strategic partner to the operational and clinical areas of their organizations, and ask them to present their best practices.”

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