November E-Newsletter

AOR Monthly Newsletter
Dear Aquinas,

We hope you have had a restful Thanksgiving, and a chance to pause to practice some conscious gratitude, and we wish you a happy beginning of Advent!  As you wait in joyful hope for the coming of Christ, please enjoy our November E-Newsletter.

Using Mission Assessments to Enhance Formation Programs

Most Catholic Healthcare systems conduct periodic assessments of how well they are living their mission. These assessments may emphasize adherence to the systems’ values as indicated by a set of organizational metrics. They may also include an analysis of associate feedback compared to the aspirations put forward in the ministry’s mission statement. And, they may be conducted in-house or with the collaboration of an external agency. These assessments can provide a vital source of diagnostic information for Catholic Healthcare leadership teams and especially Mission leaders, regarding how to refine their formation programs.

One Catholic Healthcare system determined from its mission assessments that many of its patients did not experience the care they received as holistic. This caused the system to first define what “holistic care” means from a patients perspective and then to create an extensive training and formation program for care-givers addressing how to better integrate the physical, emotional, spiritual and social elements of care. Patient satisfaction scores were closely tracked to determine the impact of this formation program. The system was also able to correlate the level of their care-givers engagement in the mission of the organization with the patients’ perception of a caring attitude on the part of the care-givers.
A mission assessment within another system resulted in a hospital receiving feedback that its physicians were not in strong alignment with the ministry goals of the hospital. The hospital’s mission leader took this feedback onboard and collaborated with the Ashley-O’Rourke team to design a formational experience for its physicians. The formation included reflections on the nature of the healing ministry and the sense of purpose and commitment that the physicians experienced. Feedback from the participants was favorable and the ministry will be essential to the next cycle of assessment to determine if the experience is having a lasting organizational impact.
Degree and certificate programs facilitated by the Ashley-O’Rourke Center of the Aquinas Institute of Theology are designed to strengthen Healthcare Ministry leaders’ ability not only to assess how well their organizations are achieving their mission, but also to help form other leaders to that end. Theology of the healing ministry is presented in the context of organizational implementation as well as personal application, and facilitates the process of alignment between organizational values, employees’ behaviors, and patient experiences.
                                                                                                                                 Bill Brinkmann

Readers’ Corner: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

In his forward to Paul Kalanithi’s When Breathe Becomes Air, the author of Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese asserts that “I got to know Paul only after his death…I came to know him most intimately when he’d ceased to be.” With only one brief pre-death encounter (one initiated by Paul who was seeking advice about editors and publishing), Verghese invites the reader to come to know Paul Kalanithi as he has…through Kalanithi’s beautiful memoir recounting a doctor’s journey into mortality.   With tenderness and honesty Paul Kalanithi reveals himself to the reader as a gifted intellectual and ambitious medical researcher who grows to become a compassionate neurosurgeon; understanding that right relationship lies at the heart of any truly healing relationship. These insights are only deepened when the chairs are turned and the young neurosurgeon becomes an oncology patient. This memoir is a sensitive and brave account of a singular journey, one man’s attempt to speak about the meaning of life in the face of death; a poignant reminder that the art o f making meaning of “breathe becoming air” remains our shared journey.

Colleen Mary Mallon OP, Ph.D.

Building the Mission Leader Network!

We continue to be amazed and grateful for all the wonderful people with whom we work in Catholic health care, aka “YOU”.  And we are always grateful for your help in letting others know about our programs.  Please feel free to check out our newly updated websites:  

Did you know that you can also follow AOR on our new Blog, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn ?
Please follow or like us on any of our social media platforms, so that you can stay up to date with all the exciting changes at AOR and in Catholic health care, and invite your friends and colleagues to do the same!

Sr. Colleen Mallon, O.P., Ph.D.
Tom Bushlack, Ph.D.
Ashley O’Rourke Center for Health Ministry Leadership

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