August 2011

CHI Introduces Internal Coaching Program


CHI’s new internal coaching program will help current and future leaders to develop their skills and achieve greater success within the health care ministry. While CHI has used external coaching services in the past, the internal program will provide a new set of benefits to individual leaders and to the organization.

Diane Menendez, a master certified coach, joined CHI last year as director of coaching and mentoring. “There are good reasons for developing a cadre of internal coaches,” she said. “It benefits those who are coached, because they identify both their strengths and their development needs. It benefits the organization to have more capable leaders. And, it benefits those who train to be coaches because they expand their own leadership skills, such as asking the right questions, listening and relating to others.”

CHI’s internal coaching program is not designed to provide leadership consulting or to turn around poor performance, but to take leaders’ talents to a higher level. “Coaching unlocks a leader’s potential to maximize his or her own performance,” said Lou Forbringer, vice president of talent management. “We want to help leaders make the most of their innate talents and resources.”

“Coaching is yet another approach to leadership formation, which helps leaders to be more effective and successful by connecting their call, or spiritual journey, to their daily work and the rich legacy of CHI,” said Patrick Gaughan, vice president of CHI’s Center for Organizational Effectiveness and Leadership Development.

CHI recently launched the internal coaching program by taking 30 leaders through four days of training in being a coach. The group included leaders from human resources, leadership development, nursing and mission. “The training took us through the coaching process and allowed us to make sure that we could be effective coaches,” said Brad Pope, vice president of human resources for Memorial Health Care System, Chattanooga TN. “I’m excited about the program – coaching is going to help us develop a robust new generation of leaders to meet the challenges of health care reform.”

The coaches are continuing their formation with regular webinars and practice sessions, which will ultimately qualify them to become certified coaches. To help meet the anticipated demand for coaches, two additional groups will begin training this year.

Each coach will work with two to five leaders each year, deciding together how often to meet and how to measure their progress. “It’s important to have CHI coaches for CHI leaders,” said Pat Patton, RN, vice president of clinical leadership. “We walk the same path and we understand the CHI culture, the Catholic health care ministry and the ministry of CHI.”

“As coaches, we will honor our clients and help them discover their gifts,” said Manoj Pawar, MD, vice president of clinical operations improvement. “It’s a matter of helping clients find the intersection of their knowledge and their passion and how that can serve the organization.”

Janet Henry, vice president of mission and ministry for St. Joseph Medical Center, Reading, PA, believes that CHI will see a significant return on its investment in the internal coaching program. “I am in awe that CHI would make this commitment to coaching,” she said. “The most important need for moving the ministry into the future is to ensure the highest level of values-driven persons to lead the ministry.”

To learn more about becoming a coach or a client of the internal coaching program, contact your human resources leader or Diane Menendez.