The Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), the Catholic bishops of California, Providence St. Joseph Health and Dignity Health have entered into a groundbreaking national partnership to develop quality palliative care programs that support and accompany the chronically and terminally ill in both clinical and parish settings.
The Whole Person Care Initiative (WPCI) will work with Catholic health care professionals, clinicians, community partners, clergy, volunteers and other ministry leaders to expand or initiate programs and practices aimed at bringing the love, care, and support all of us need during our illnesses. The Initiative will promote conversations among families, clinicians and spiritual mentors aimed at helping people determine their hopes, desires and health care preferences, particularly when confronted by a terminal diagnosis.
The partnership will develop and demonstrate WPCI principles and practices in a “proof-of-concept” program in California with the intention of making the Initiative available to Church and Catholic health care leaders in other areas of the United States. Under the leadership of CHA, a National Advisory Council (NAC), composed of representatives from the California WPCI, bishops, Catholic health care systems, partner organizations such as the Supportive Care Coalition, and others, will focus on promoting and adapting the concepts elsewhere. The NAC will also provide strategic and technical advice as the Initiative is refined in California. It will then become the national repository of WPCI knowledge and best practices.