September 2001

Leadership Letter from John DiCola


9-2001_dicola Photo

Dear Catholic Health Initiatives Family:

To be effective, the strategic direction of any large organization cannot spring from a single source or point of view. A strategic plan is most effective when it integrates the perceptions, expertise and opinions of leaders throughout the organization, set in the context of the forces they agree will push, pull or guide them in the future, to establish a clear, concise focus and direction.

This is the result Catholic Health Initiatives is working to achieve during our current strategic planning effort. Based on feedback we received from market-based and national leaders after the creation of our first strategic plan two years ago, we have made inclusiveness a key element of the current strategic planning process. The process encourages — in fact, it depends on — the participation of a broad base of constituents from market-based organizations, national operations and resource groups, as well as senior leadership. We need all of these perspectives and sources of information in order to create a plan that is meaningful at both the national and local levels of this diverse organization.

Catholic Health Initiatives’ updated Environmental Assessment is now available, and it provides an excellent starting point for understanding our overall position, diverse ministries and unique challenges. Based on this comprehensive review of external forces and our own strengths and opportunities, we have focused on building consensus on key assumptions about the future and the implications for Catholic Health Initiatives’ strategic direction. We will need to think creatively about new opportunities and imperatives for strengthening our health ministry and meeting the needs of our communities.

The strategic plan forms an essential road map for the steps Catholic Health Initiatives must take to achieve its goals and a framework for market-based organizations as they move through their own planning processes. Many individuals are giving generously of their time and talent to ensure the quality of our new strategic plan, and I would like to thank all of you for your dedication to the planning process and for your ongoing commitment to the future success of Catholic Health Initiatives.