September 2001

Task Force to Develop Tools for Social Accountability


Catholic Health Initiatives has established a Social Accountability Task Force to develop tools that market-based organizations can use to report activities that add value to the communities they serve.

"Social accountability is a way of life in the Catholic health ministry, but Catholic health providers are not accustomed to drawing attention to this important work," said Dave Fantz, vice president of financial management for Catholic Health Initiatives and chair of the task force. "The task force is going to develop tools that will enable market-based organizations to consistently and effectively report their good deeds to their communities and staff. This effort will also help bring cohesiveness to social accountability efforts across our system."

The Catholic Health Association developed the concept of social accountability as a means for health care providers to demonstrate the value they deliver to their communities. Fantz served on a Catholic Health Association task force that published a resource book on the subject in 1990 and updated the book this year.

The Catholic Health Initiatives task force combines representatives from the mission, finance, advocacy, healthy community and communications functions in market-based organizations and national offices. During its first meeting on August 1, the task force formed three subgroups to address priority tasks:

·The Policy/Procedure Subgroup will develop a Catholic Health Initiatives policy statement for social accountability, relevant procedures and a plan for integrating non-acute care facilities into the process.
·The Budget Tool Subgroup will develop budgeting procedures and tools for market-based organizations.
·The Education and Communication Subgroup will develop communications plans and educational materials.

The subgroups and the entire task force plan to meet regularly throughout the fall to pursue their objectives. "One of the goals of the task force is to accomplish this work with minimal travel costs, so we plan to meet via conference call as often as possible," said Fantz. For more information on the Social Accountability Task Force, contact Dave Fantz at davefantz@chi-national.org.