December 1999

Catholic Health Initiatives participates in Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C.

Representatives from Catholic Health Initiatives’ market-based organizations and national offices recently visited members of Congress during the Catholic Health Systems Legislative Conference and Advocacy Days, held October 3-5 in Washington, D.C. "This was the first time Catholic Health Initiatives took its message to Capitol Hill as a system, with representation from around the organization," said Colleen Scanlon, senior vice president of advocacy for Catholic Health Initiatives. "We met with a variety of congressional leaders, providing them with real data and anecdotes from our market-based organizations to help put a human face on critical health care issues." The conference attendees spent a day reviewing the issues they would discuss with legislators, including access to affordable health care for all; relief from Medicare payment reductions under the Balanced Budget Act; and promoting healthy communities. The next day was spent meeting with legislators, including Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, the second highest ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee and a member of the Health Care Finance Subcommittee. Some of Catholic Health Initiatives’ representatives paid joint calls on legislators with representatives of other Catholic health systems that serve the same states and congressional districts. The Capitol Hill visits helped solidify relationships with legislators that have been established through letters, faxes, calls and e-mails. "Our presence in Washington was essential to advancing the Balanced Budget Refinement Act of 1999 recently passed by Congress," said Carmela Brown, vice president of corporate communications and government relations for Mercy Medical Center, Des Moines, Iowa. "There are very few advocacy groups that have the credibility that Catholic health care leaders have in pressuring Congress for a just and compassionate health care system." These 11 representatives of Catholic Health Initiatives recently met with legislators on Capitol Hill to lobby for increased access to health care, Medicare payment relief and healthy communities: Carmela Brown Vice President of Corporate Communications/Government Relations Mercy Medical Center, Des Moines, Iowa Patricia A. Cahill President and Chief Executive Officer Catholic Health Initiatives, Denver, Colo. Sean Patrick Flanagan Manager of Community and Government Relations St. Joseph Medical Center, Towson, Md. Steve Loveless Administrative Fellow Good Samaritan Health Systems, Kearney, Neb. Garry Mac Director of Marketing Memorial Hospital, Chattanooga, Tenn. Robert Poli Director of Reimbursement Catholic Health Initiatives, Aston, Pa. Colleen Scanlon Senior Vice President of Advocacy Catholic Health Initiatives, Denver, Colo. Larry Schulz President and Chief Executive Officer Unity Family HealthCare, Little Falls, Minn. Randy Shook Director of Media Relations Catholic Health Initiatives, Denver, Colo. Terry Wachter Vice President of Mission and Ministry St. John’s Regional Medical Center, Joplin, Mo. Andy Zampini Vice President of Mission and Healthy Communities St. Francis Healthcare Services, Wilmington, Del.