August 2009

CHI Healthy Spirit Offers Plan for Healthy Workplace


Building healthy communities is part of the Catholic Health Initiatives mission that is growing into a new, internal focus with an effort called CHI Healthy Spirit.

CHI Healthy Spirit is a series of programs and tools designed to improve the health of employees and their families – physically, financially, emotionally and spiritually. It includes Catholic Health Initiatives’ “total rewards” benefits package, which includes health care plans, wellness programs, retirement programs and other benefits, such as paid time off.

CHI Healthy Spirit is a commitment to one another and our ministry both today and into the future,” said Nada Vanous, vice president, employee benefits. “CHI Healthy Spirit will give us a broader understanding of how our personal choices and behaviors affect health care costs, our physical health and our financial well-being.”

CHI Healthy Spirit will include:

  • Wellness activities to support employees’ efforts to maintain and improve their health.
  • Financial education and planning tools to help employees save for retirement.
  • Information and tools to help employees become better health care consumers.
  • The Spirit newsletter – the “voice” of CHI Healthy Spirit – plus HealthTube videos and other materials.

Benefits and program changes will help employees and their families enjoy good health and have enough income for retirement. The effort also supports CHI’s commitment to human dignity, social justice, fiscal responsibility and sustainability.

Health statistics and economic factors contributed to the timing of CHI Healthy Spirit.

  • Collectively, employees across CHI have higher rates of some chronic diseases and go to the hospital 12 percent more often than the average American.
  • Benefit costs and use are rising too much and too fast for employees and CHI to be able to afford in the long term.
  • Only 30 percent of employees participate in the Catholic Health Initiatives Employee Savings Plan.

By making some changes now and using benefits and programs wisely, employees can be healthier and more financially secure.

“We have been working with employees to shape the foundation of this initiative for more than three years,” said Robyn Wilkinson, senior vice president of human resources and education services, Mercy Medical Center, Des Moines, IA, and chair of the CHI Healthy Spirit Steering Committee. “CHI Healthy Spirit will continue to be a partnership between employees and CHI. We are counting on employees’ commitment and involvement in the greater opportunities for physical and financial health.” For more information about CHI Healthy Spirit, contact Lauren Walker, laurenwalker@catholichealth.net.