May 2006

The First Ten Years: 1990 (early) through May 1996


Early 1990s Congregations of women religious reflected on issues that challenged Catholic health care, including declining growth in their congregations, increasing costs and the need to serve growing numbers of uninsured persons. After intensive discussion and planning, the ten congregations that would ultimately form Catholic Health Initiatives agreed that joining their health care ministries would strengthen Catholic health care for the new millennium. April 1995 Three Catholic health systems sponsored by ten congregations of women religious signed a letter of intent to consolidate as Catholic Health Initiatives. They would form the first Catholic health care system to give laity a role in the sponsorship of facilities, creating a sponsorship model that was not wholly dependent on the continuing presence of women religious. May 1996 Leaders from three predecessor systems signed the documents that officially created Catholic Health Initiatives. Those three systems — Catholic Health Corporation, Franciscan Health System and Sisters of Charity Health Care Systems — represented the following congregations: Benedictine Sisters of Mother of God Monastery, Watertown, S.D. Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena of Kenosha, Inc., Kenosha, Wis. Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, Minn. Nuns of the Third Order of St. Dominic, Great Bend, Kan. Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, Ohio Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, Philadelphia, Pa. Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Regional Community of Omaha, Neb. Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Fargo, N.D. Sisters of St. Francis of Colorado Springs, Colo. Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, Pa.