The Illinois Catholic Health Association-created more than 25 years ago-is reborn.
The ICHA has 47 corporate members, representing more than 50 hospitals, at least 10 health systems and 70 long-term-care facilities, said Philip Karst, executive director at the Chicago-based group. Members include six bishops, six Catholic Charities organizations and 35 religious congregations.
Karst previously has worked as associate vice president of member services at the national Catholic Health Association in St. Louis and as president at 194-bed Saint Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center in Chicago.
Karst said his ICHA has no formal link to the CHA.
Some of the group's members include Provena Health, a seven-hospital system based in Frankfort, and the Hospital Sisters Health System, a 13-hospital system in Springfield.
The idea to revitalize the ICHA dates to the fall of 1995 when healthcare leaders met in suburban Chicago to discuss the future of Catholic healthcare. Karst said the ICHA had previously been inactive.
The ICHA plans to be active in public policy, collaboration among Catholic providers and leadership development, with a special focus on spirituality and ethics.