In the “Offering salvation” Cover Story (Feb. 21, p. 6), Holy Cross Hospital of Chicago was listed under a heading of “Losing their religion?” On the contrary, Holy Cross, like St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Mass., will continue to keep full Roman Catholic identity when it is acquired by Vanguard Health Systems. The Sisters of St. Casimir, Holy Cross Hospital sponsors, worked closely with the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George, recent president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Vanguard Health Systems to forge an agreement that would preserve the charitable mission of the hospital and adhere to the Catholic ethical and religious directives. This agreement builds a concrete charter to sustain the many components of Catholic identity, including the rights of the local bishop. As Holy Cross Hospital has long served an economically challenged area of Chicago’s Southwest Side and the number of sisters has decreased, this groundbreaking amalgam of commitment to quality outcomes, capital investment, charity care and honoring faith tradition became a high priority for the sisters, board of trustees, administration and community leaders in assessing new ownership. Following a thorough visit to Vanguard’s St. Vincent Hospital, the sisters were very satisfied that a similar creative enterprise has become a sustained reality. It was clear that Catholic and for-profit need not be antithetical. As the only hospital in a large area of Chicago, the communities served greatly need Holy Cross Hospital to thrive. With the support of Cardinal George and the partnership with Vanguard Health Systems, we look forward to continuing a proud legacy of high-quality care and to be a living example of our congregation’s Catholic mission.
Sister Immacula WendtGeneral superiorSisters of St. CasimirChicago