Catholic Health Initiatives Engages in Community Investment, Shareholder Activism
New Direct Community Investment Through Catholic Health Initiatives’ Direct Community Investment Program, the Social Responsibility Investment Staff Committee recently approved a new, $900,000 loan to the Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership, which serves Albuquerque, N.M. The Direct Community Investment Program gives low- or no-interest loans to organizations that provide vulnerable populations with access to housing, jobs, education and health care. The Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership (GAHP) is anon-profit community housing development corporation established in 1993. Since then, GAHP has sponsored and/or served as the developer of 260affordable rental and home ownership units in seven different developments in Albuquerque. GAHP primarily develops new homes for first-time, low income home buyers with incomes equal to or less than 80% of the area median income. In addition, GAHP’s housing developments revitalize neighborhoods and promote economic development. The direct community investment from Catholic Health Initiatives will support GAHP’s development of three new subdivisions with a total of 53 home owner ship units. The Direct Community Investment Program is designed to promote social good by investing a portion of the assets of Catholic Health Initiatives’ operating investment program in organizations that build healthy communities. The program’s investments total approximately $30 million. Shareholder Resolutions Filed As part of its continued commitment to socially responsible investing, Catholic Health Initiatives also recently co-filed several shareholder resolutions. Resolutions filed with pharmaceutical firms Abbott Laboratories, Lilly (Eli) and Company and Wyeth asked the companies’ boards to establish policies separating the roles of chair and chief executive officer. The policies would facilitate independent board structures, which could improve the boards’ ability to address issues such as access to pharmaceuticals. A resolution filed with Pfizer asked the company to contain price increases for its most-prescribed drugs to levels equal to or below the annual rate of inflation. Resolutions filed with tobacco companies Loews Corporation, Altria Group, Reynolds American and UST focused on environmental smoke, fire-safe products and tobacco advertising on the Internet.