HRISTUS Health Gulf Coast is an organization of men and women with a dream that is inspired by the Congregations of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in Houston and San Antonio through the Congregations’ co-sponsorship of CHRISTUS Health. The Associates and volunteers of the CHRISTUS Health Gulf Coast region work for justice, serve the poor, and strive to live authentic faith-filled lives—to create a world in which all people live as sisters and brothers of one Lord.
Working for justice within the Gulf Coast region involves not only the pursuit of individual dreams, but laboring as companions in our Mission: “To Extendthe Healing Ministry of Jesus Christ.” To do this we have recognized the importance of partnerships. We believe the social fabric must be woven in partnerships with those who have a call to serve the community, and we champion collaboration among our community partners.
Our ability to carry out our Mission rests in the formation of linkages with others, including health care providers, community organizations, physician organizations, government agencies, employers and individuals. By forming partnerships, we can respond to the community’s needs in a manner that is cohesive and comprehensive, rather than fragmented or duplicative.
CHRISTUS Health Gulf Coast’s consistent respect for our core values, including the dignity of the human person, care for the poor, the common good and responsible stewardship are essential in our ministry of healing.
Through our community outreach initiatives, our Associates and volunteers are enriched by working among the economically poor and marginal of diverse races and cultures. They provide human service and promote social change within our region—a place of entrenched poverty and new wealth, a people both rural and urban.
Engagement in mission integration calls our Associates and volunteers to a personal change that is essential to, and a sign of, change in the world. Encouraging their own and others’ strengths and weaknesses, they experience joy and frustration, success and failure, disillusionment and hope. Yet, always holding fast to Christ’s promise: “I am with you always!” Matthew 28:20.
This year of service has challenged our Associates and volunteers to be more compassionate persons, always conscious to the poor and dedicated to the promotion of justice in the service of faith.
Fiscal year 2004 mission integration activities has been a year marked by many new initiatives often facilitated by an exceptional group of creative, talented, committed and energetic Associates and volunteers. Initiatives have included: mentoring our Associates and medical staff in relation to whom they are called to be responsive to in the context of our Mission, vision and core values; engaging in open dialogue with our Congressional representatives to address the urgent need for more Federally Qualified Health Centers in Houston and concerns regarding access to healthcare for the underserved; expansion of both facility and services at CHRISTUS Our Daily Bread to address the needs of the most vulnerable and forgotten—the homeless; and, drawing media focus and attention to federal and state policymakers relative to the plight of the 44 million uninsured in this country by hosting CHRISTUS-sponsored events to raise the public’s level of awareness.
As fiscal year 2004 draws to an end, we are reminded that God continually asks in every age and place, “Whom shall I send?” In effect, God asks how we will address the tragic fact that within our communities, more than 500,000 men, women and children experience hunger, inadequate income and lack of development. How will we keep our community safe and not to turn to violence to address disputes? How do we address the growing problems of addiction and mental illness? How will our society end continuing prejudice overcome hostility towards immigrants and refugees? How can we offer real choices and financial resources for obtaining quality education and decent housing? How can we help the growing number of families without affordable, accessible health care?
And, every year, CHRISTUS Heath Gulf Coast Associates, volunteers and our community partners generously answer, “Here I am, send me!” It is a miraculous work to behold!
Michael Sullivan, Ph.D. FACHE
Vice president, Mission
CHRISTUS Health Gulf Coast