Catholic Health Australia releases Shared Purpose Statement


Catholic Health Australia News Story
Martin Laverty.

After a period of consultation and preparation, Catholic Health Australia (CHA) has released a new document that articulates the shared goals and vision underpinning Catholic healthand aged care services.

CHA chief executive officer Martin Laverty said the decision to develop the new Shared Purpose Statement was made after association members suggested it would be useful to have such a document. CHA's new Stewardship Board chair, Rowena McNally, launched the statement at the beginning of the association's national conference in Perth this week.

"Obviously our 75 member hospitals and more than 550 aged care service providers have their own vision statements and mission statements, so this had to be something larger and something that spoke to all those services, with their shared values that have evolved differently depending on the charism of the founding congregation," Mr Laverty said.

"We see the Shared Purpose Statement as demonstrating what it is we share as today's manifestation of the healing ministry of Jesus that has been carried out in Australia for almost 200 years."

Mr Laverty said Blessed John Paul II has previously explained that the parable of the Good Samaritan provides the best inspiration for Catholic health and aged care services. It was that parable that formed the foundation of the Catholic Health Australia Shared Purpose Statement.

"The Good Samaritan parable is one that, like many Gospel stories, has just become part of society's shared knowledge. One doesn't need to be a Christian to know that the Samaritan was someone who saw a person in distress and knew that it was his duty to help," he explained.

"For us in Australia, that exhortation also comes from our first saint, Mary of the Cross MacKillop, who called on people to 'Never see a need without doing something about it'.

"Our Catholic health, aged and community care services do that each and every day, caring for the poor, the weak and the marginalised, just as Jesus did."

Mr Laverty said Catholic Health Australia members can often look and feel like any other hospital or aged care service. It is the wisdom contained in the Shared Purpose Statement that sets them apart.

"We often hear from people that things just feel 'different' when they are cared for by a Catholic aged care provider or in a Catholic hospital. The unmistakable spirit of service modelled by Christ first and foremost,andlaterby those who established our heath and aged care services,is that something 'different'."

The Shared Purpose Statement will be used by Catholic Health Australia in its communication with members, the Church, governments and the broader community to express the importance of Catholic health and aged care services within the Australian community. It will be a key formation resource for staff and board leaders of Catholic services.

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