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Health Prog. 1997 Mar-Apr;78(2):24-7.

The mission imperative: our foundation and market advantage.

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  • 1Catholic Health Association, St. Louis, MO, USA.


Simply put, MISSION means being sent as Jesus was sent to be a presence of radical healing in the world on behalf of the kingdom of God. Our capacity to sustain Catholic healthcare as a ministry of the Church depends on our realization that all our activities must flow from the core of who we are, that is, from our spirituality. Thus MISSION requires certain attitudes and behaviors, including that we reach out to all persons in need, that we be immersed in the world, that we be prophetic, and that we express the kind of love that led Jesus to give his life. As ministry, we must provide witness as well as service because of the call to be MISSION in the world is also the call to build up the kingdom of God within. Several basic committees lie at the heart of who we are: supporting the dignity of all persons, caring for the poor and vulnerable, building up the common good, and practicing responsible stewardship. Changes within the environment and within the ministry itself present some potential perils but also great opportunities. For example, although managed care, when misused, is a flawed system, it is also has possibilities that are very consistent with ministry values and commitments, forcing us to look at the needs of communities, not just individuals. The requirements of MISSION should also be understood as ways to gain market advantage. Unless we have sufficient advantage in the markets where Catholic health ministry is present, our capacity to effectively transform the present reality on behalf of God's kingdom will be limited.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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