May 2006

The First Ten Years: A Catholic Health Initiatives Timeline


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(Left) Paul Cheek, RPh, and Nora Ross, RN, House Manager at Marymount Medical Center, London, Ky., review patient information in the Pharmacy. (Center) At St. Vincent Health System, Little Rock, Ark., chaplain Michael Barnes in prayer. (Right) Mary Jo Westerfield and Patricia Bencher share a lighthearted moment at Marymount Medical Center, London, Ky.

Through times of struggle as well as success, Catholic Health Initiatives has reached its tenth anniversary as the vibrant ministry envisioned by its foundresses. Catholic Health Initiatives is characterized today by strong operating results; high levels of patient and employee satisfaction; national recognitions for excellence; and a continuing commitment to building healthy communities.

During its first ten years, Catholic Health Initiatives claimed some notable “firsts.” For example, Catholic Health Initiatives is the first Catholic health system to give laity a sponsorship role in its facilities, and the first national health system to receive the National Quality Health Care Award.

However, the most notable accomplishment of Catholic Health Initiatives may be its continuation of the essential health care commitment of its founding congregations: to build healthy communities by caring for the vulnerable; caring for the whole person in body, mind and spirit; and going outside the walls of its facilities to care for people in need, wherever they are.

While the following timeline provides an overview of Catholic Health Initiatives’ first ten year milestones, it is also meant to inspire hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future of the organization and its health ministry.