Although we appreciate the research and detail in your cover story on Ascension Health, it focuses heavily on the business side of our health system (Ascending in healthcare, May 14, p. 6). Less emphasis is given to what we consider our greatest strengththat we are a Catholic organization founded in faith and committed to a continuing, vibrant health ministry in the U.S. To that end, all our organizational decisions are based on one overriding considerationwhat is best to support our mission of serving all persons, with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable.
We are stewards of a ministry founded by our sponsoring religious congregations that is more than 400 years old. We will guide this ministry for only a short time before we pass it on to others. Our goal is to sustain and strengthen the ministry so it will, we hope, continue for another 400 years.
Stephen LeRescheVice president of communicationsAscension HealthSt. Louis