November 2001

Congregations Define Their Role within Catholic Health Initiatives

When ten congregations of women religious engaged in the dialog that led to the formation of Catholic Health Initiatives, they envisioned a new model of sponsorship that would carry the Catholic health care ministry forward. This vision focused on a shared model
of sponsorship with equal participation by religious and lay members. This precedent-setting structure made Catholic Health Initiatives the first Catholic health system to give the laity
a sponsorship role in its facilities.

The Members of the civil corporation of Catholic Health Initiatives, who represent its 12 participating congregations, together with the Board of Stewardship Trustees, recently completed an
18-month discernment process to
articulate the reality of the Catholic Health Initiatives shared sponsorship model. With the help of facilitator David Nygren, CM, PhD, corporate governance practice leader for Mercer Delta Consulting, they clarified how this model shapes the roles, behaviors and activities of the religious and lay sponsors of Catholic Health Initiatives.

This discernment process led the members and Board of Stewardship Trustees to the following shared consensus:

• The Board of Stewardship Trustees
is the canonical sponsor of Catholic Health Initiatives and its public juridic person, Catholic Health Care Federation, in all of its ministries.

• The Members of the civil corporation of Catholic Health Initiatives support and influence its mission and its public juridic person, Catholic Health Care Federation.

Additional information is available in a new brochure titled Sponsorship in Catholic Health Initiatives that will be distributed throughout the organization in December.

For more information, contact Peggy Martin, OP, senior vice president of sponsorship and governance, at