Our advocacy priorities 2017-2018

The Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) Board of Stewardship Trustees has endorsed the organization’s Advocacy Priorities for 2017-2018. The Board’s endorsement culminates an extensive priority setting process that involved input from CHI leaders and employees as well as recommendations from the Advocacy Advisory Committee.

CHI’s Advocacy Priorities remain consistent though they have been refined in response to changes in the political, social and health care environment. Universal health care access and coverage has been CHI’s highest advocacy priority for well over a decade and is a key element of our mission to create healthier communities. The updated priorities also identify four specific actions that require immediate advocacy attention.

In addition, CHI continually acts on emerging issues impacting the health and well-being of the communities we serve. Our commitment to advocacy is carried out at the local, state and national levels as we advance our mission of creating healthier communities and serving as a voice for our most vulnerable citizens.

Immediate actions

  • Protect access and coverage for more than 20 million Americans who gained insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act from efforts to amend, repeal or replace the law.
  • Protect the Medicaid program from efforts to reduce overall coverage and benefits as well as efforts to lessen federal support through state block grants or per capita caps.
  • Address the mental health crisis in America through improved access and coverage, adequate funding, and availability of mental health professionals.
  • Address the social determinants of health that impact the well-being of our communities, including violence.

Advocacy priorities

Assure that all persons have access to and coverage for needed health care services.

Pursue: continued coverage for individuals who gained insurance through the Affordable Care Act; protection of the Medicaid and Medicare programs from reforms that reduce coverage, benefits or funding; reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program; increased access to mental health services; affordable drugs; protection of rural health care; and an expanded health care workforce.

Advance high-quality, clinically integrated care that provides high value for patients and fair payment for providers and programs.

Pursue: policies that advance integrated care delivery throughout the continuum of care; new models of health care delivery and payment including effective quality measures; protection of Medicare and Medicaid from inequitable federal spending cuts; and financial assistance for safety-net hospitals.

Address factors impacting the health and well-being of individuals and communities.

Pursue:  programs to address determinants of health, including socioeconomic factors, safe and affordable housing, and the prevalence of violence; health equity to eliminate disparities in health care access, quality and outcomes; environmental health; and prevention and wellness efforts.

Preserve and promote the values and charitable purpose of Catholic health care.

Pursue:  expansion of high-quality palliative and end-of-life care while opposing physician-assisted suicide; protection of persons who are poor or vulnerable; immigrant justice; preservation of non-profit health care and tax-exempt status; and upholding of conscience protections.

Advocacy activism

As one of the largest health care systems in the country, CHI has an obligation to shape current and future public policy and advocate for systemic change on behalf of the individuals and communities we serve. 

Advocacy continues

These additional initiatives are essential to our mission as a Catholic health care system.

Violence prevention

CHI has made violence prevention a key part of our advocacy initiatives. Championing violence prevention through education, public policy advocacy, shareholder advocacy and community-based initiatives, we are successfully creating a culture of non-violence in our communities and with partners across the nation.

Environmental stewardship

Caring for our patients starts with caring about the natural environment. The health of our planet affects the health and well-being of everyone. As part of our healing ministry we are taking a leadership role in sustainable practices to ensure we are part of a positive solution..

Socially responsible investing

CHI uses its financial resources to advance our mission of promoting human dignity, social justice and healthy communities. Shareholder advocacy is a collaborative effort with other interested faith-based investors. Socially responsible investing activities include direct community investments, company dialogues, shareholder resolutions, and proxy voting.

Palliative care

We are committed to providing comprehensive palliative care to people with serious illness. Care begins at the onset of chronic illness and holistically treats the person and family-mind, body and spirit-from diagnosis to end-of-life. Our efforts include building awareness, providing education and advocating for appropriate public policy.

Charitable purpose

CHI seeks to respond to the needs of the communities we serve through comprehensive community benefit and financial assistance programs. We continually strive to ensure our charitable purpose is not merely well-preserved, but lived daily in a meaningful and impactful way.

Outreach and enrollment

In an effort to realize the priority of access and coverage for all, CHI actively pursues opportunities to assist the communities we serve with insurance enrollment. Find help on outreach and enrollment at the Enrolling in Health Insurance page.