Catholic Health Initiatives has created “The Center for Formation and Organizational Effectiveness” to continue to advance leadership formation and improve organizational effectiveness.
The Center will help position CHI as a recognized leader in the formation of Catholic health care leadership, the implementation of organizational initiatives and the acceleration of real-time learning.
“This is an integration of related functions that are essential to the future of our ministry,” said Kevin Lofton, president and CEO of CHI, the nation’s third-largest faith-based health care system. “CHI must have leaders who have a comprehensive understanding of the healing ministry of the Church that is integrated with knowledge of the health care industry. The process of leadership formation deepens this understanding, beginning when a leader joins CHI and concluding when that person leaves the ministry.”
The Center’s innovative, integrated approach embeds formation into daily work, advances implementation of organizational initiatives, accelerates learning and achieves better outcomes. This effort helps staff connect their roles and daily responsibilities to CHI’s efforts to meet the changing needs of communities. One example is CHI’s ongoing work to integrate the highest standards of clinical care with ministry formation and a clear focus on the organization’s core values of reverence, integrity, compassion and excellence. This integration is a guiding principle in CHI’s development of a clinical information technology strategy that includes an investment of $1.5 billion over the next five to seven years to create a system wide electronic health record, a health information exchange and physician and patient portals across 73 hospitals in 18 states. As part of this ambitious initiative, leaders are also working closely with chief medical officers and chief nursing officers to focus not only on clinical quality but also on the stewardship and formation efforts that distinguish CHI from many other health care organizations. At CHI, the highest standards of clinical quality go hand in hand with embedding the organization’s core values into the daily work of all employees.
Tom Kopfensteiner, senior vice president of mission for CHI, emphasizes the importance of the Center in deepening and expanding ongoing leadership formation in the mission, vision and core values of CHI.
“Formation is important not only during a leader’s initial orientation to our organization, but throughout their career with CHI,” said Kopfensteiner. “When leaders continue to evolve their understanding of formation and continue to embrace their sense of call to the ministry, they become more effective leaders.”
CHI integrates formational experiences into daily leadership activities, business processes and care delivery protocol, helping leaders understand how their spiritual journeys permeate their work responsibilities.
“We have an optimistic and ambitiously positive view of human labor,” said Kopfensteiner. “For us, it’s not the drudgery of a mechanical and repetitious gesture. Rather, work is ennobling and enriching for us. Our work, human work, is sharing in the activity of God.”
“Enhancing awareness and expanding capacity to effectively lead in ministry requires practicing the discipline of listening, discerning and responding to the invitation of the Holy Spirit to cooperate with the healing activity,” continued Kopfensteiner. “That invitation is ever present in the richness of the challenge, accomplishment, diversity, conflict and demand found in our daily work.”
Patrick Gaughan is vice president of the Center and works with Colleen Elliott, vice president of organizational effectiveness; and Lou Forbringer, vice president of strategic talent management. CHI’s senior leaders of mission and human resources oversee the Center.
“Health care reform is going to bring a new set of changes for ministry leaders to manage,” Lofton added. “CHI makes a variety of resources available to our leaders, including a change management methodology, professional project management and a wide range of other tools. The Center will help to ensure that CHI leaders know how and when to apply them effectively in this new era.”
About Catholic Health Initiatives
Catholic Health Initiatives is a national nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Denver, Colorado. The faith-based system operates in 19 states and includes 73 hospitals; 40 long-term care, assisted- and residential-living facilities; and two community health-services organizations. Together, those facilities provided $900 million during the 2010 fiscal year in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research. With annual revenues of $8.6 billion, CHI ranks as the nation’s third-largest Catholic health care system.