September/October 2007

Market-Based Leaders Provide Feedback for National Restructuring


As part of Catholic Health Initiatives’ organizational restructuring, national group leaders are developing action plans based on feedback provided by market-based organization leaders. The national groups will also work with Catholic Health Initiatives’ President’s Council to develop group performance metrics and benchmarks for future use. “Throughout all the feedback, one theme was clear: we need to establish and commit to performance metrics and benchmarks for all national functions and services,” said Kevin Lofton, president and chief executive officer.

Each national group leader received feedback from three sources: a focus group of market-based organization chief executives; a National Core Function Survey; and a CEO Review Panel. National group leaders are now incorporating the feedback into their resource planning. They will also work with Catholic Health Initiatives’ President’s Council to develop group performance metrics and benchmarks for future use. “Throughout all the feedback, one theme was clear: we need to establish performance metrics and benchmarks for all national functions and services,” said Kevin Lofton, president and chief executive officer for Catholic Health Initiatives. Focus Group Findings The CEO Focus Group convened in May 2007 to identify critical issues facing Catholic Health Initiatives. The group identified several critical issues, including medical staff recruitments and shortages; proposed federal changes in reimbursement to providers; capital allocation; balance between local operations and national standardization initiatives; and long-term care. The focus group members also discussed what Catholic Health Initiatives’ national operations and national groups can do to ensure their work delivers maximum value to the market-based organizations. Ideas centered on issues related to corporate growth, CHI Connect, understanding of local needs and human resources policies. “The most significant organizational issue faced by all of Catholic Health Initiatives’ leaders is—and may always be—achieving the right balance between supporting the local provider needs of the market-based organizations while advancing the system’s ministry goals,” said Lofton. “There are no easy answers, but we know that we all share ownership, responsibility and commitment to our leadership role as stewards of this ministry. Trying to keep the right balance will always be with us.” Core Function Survey More than 90 percent of market-based leadership teams responded to a survey that asked them to rate the significance and effectiveness of 75 core functions of Catholic Health Initiatives’ national groups. While results were mixed across groups, no group rated below a three on a five-point scale for both significance and effectiveness. Market-based leadership teams also provided specific suggestions on how national groups can better meet the needs of the market-based organizations. “The level of participation in the survey was excellent and we appreciate the interest and time of the market-based leaders who engaged in this work,” said Lofton. Review Panel to Meet Regularly Catholic Health Initiatives’ CEO Review Panel met for the first time in May to review proposed national priority initiatives for fiscal years 2008 and 2009. The panel will convene twice a year to review and help ensure alignment on Catholic Health Initiatives’ Annual Strategic and Financial Planning Calendar. The panel identified the following as critical priorities for Catholic Health Initiatives:
  • Physician alignment and engagement
  • Performance improvement
  • Operating model: standardization versus centralization; clear expectations and national accountability and transparency
  • CHI Connect
Lofton noted that more detail about Catholic Health Initiatives’ organizational restructuring was provided at the National Chief Executive Officer’s Meeting in October. “We will use our national meetings as well as cluster meetings of chief executive officers, our CEO Advisory Council and our CEO Review Panel to engage in thoughtful conversation on how to best achieve a balance between local and national needs,” said Lofton. “Together, we can achieve our vision for the future.”

Why is Catholic Health Initiatives Restructuring? Catholic Health Initiatives’ current organizational restructuring includes the realignment of market-based organizations into operating groups and one operating division, as well as a review of the core functions and work of system-level staff. As the work proceeds, it may be helpful to review the answers to two important questions: Catholic Health Initiatives’ current organizational restructuring includes the realignment of market-based organizations into operating groups and one operating division, as well as a review of the core functions and work of system-level staff. As the work proceeds, it may be helpful to review the answers to two important questions: Q. Why is Catholic Health Initiatives restructuring? A. To strengthen the ministry through improved performance and a better use of limited national resources. This is consistent with the goals of “building the system together” and creating “One CHI.” Q. Why does Catholic Health Initiatives want to strengthen performance? A. Catholic Health Initiatives wants to strengthen performance to achieve the vision of being a leading national health system with these characteristics: A best-in-class health ministry:
  • Built by committed, energized and creative leaders
  • Creating superior models of care and innovative business models
  • With integrated health ministries in more communities, serving more people
  • While demonstrating measurable improvements in the health of communities served
  • All of these will be best supported by building capital capacity to invest in our core strategic platforms of People, Quality, Stewardship and Growth