October 2004

National Conference Charts Faithful Passage to Tomorrow

Catholic Health Initiatives' fourth National Leadership Conference, "Faithful Passage to Tomorrow," focused on the kind of organization Catholic Health Initiatives needs to be to meet the challenges of a vibrant ministry in the next decade. The biennial event, attended by 640 leaders from throughout the organization, was held September 16-18 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The conference's keynote speakers, general sessions and breakout sessions were highly rated by attendees. In his address to the conference, Kevin E. Lofton, president and chief executive officer of Catholic Health Initiatives, detailed three themes that will shape the organization's future: its vision; the strategic plan as a roadmap to the vision; and the need for organizational change to achieve the vision. Lofton said Catholic Health Initiatives' vision of human dignity and social justice creates an obligation to be a champion for the poor and underserved. "We will be a strong national voice to advocate for legislation to redirect resources to make a difference in the lives of our patients, residents and employees," he said. He also spoke about the five platforms of the newly updated Catholic Health Initiatives strategic plan - People, Information, Quality, Performance and Growth - as the foundation that will guide the organization toward its vision. Now that Catholic Health Initiatives has matured into a true system, Lofton also described a new construct that will better leverage the size and scope of the organization. "We will continue to balance the need for high-quality, safe, state-of-theart local health ministries with the need to better integrate business processes and streamline our costs," he said. Lofton said the integration of business processes into national systems will enable market-based organizations to direct more resources to high-value activities such as creating new ministries, building physician partnerships and promoting healthy communities. He also said the systemization of business processes will be driven by participative decision-making that will engage leaders throughout the organization. To read an excerpted copy of Lofton's address to the National Leadership Conference, visit the Catholic Health Initiatives Web site at www.catholichealthinit.org.