Catholic Conference of Ohio
Friday, April 19, 2024

Health Affairs - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Mission Statement

We are the people of Catholic health care, a ministry of the church continuing Jesus' mission of love and healing today. As provider, employer, advocate, citizen — bringing together people of diverse faiths and backgrounds — our ministry is an enduring sign of health care rooted in our belief that every person is a treasure, every life a sacred gift, every human being a unity of body, mind, and spirit.

We work to bring alive the Gospel vision of justice and peace. We answer God's call to foster healing, act with compassion, and promote wellness for all persons and communities, with special attention to our neighbors who are poor, underserved, and most vulnerable. By our service, we strive to transform hurt into hope.

As the church's ministry of health care, we commit to:

  • Promote and Defend Human Dignity
  • Attend to the Whole Person
  • Care for Poor and Vulnerable Persons
  • Promote the Common Good
  • Act on Behalf of Justice
  • Steward Resources
  • Act in Communion with the Church



CCO Statement Regarding Ohio Catholic Hospitals and Miscarriage Care

Over thirty Catholic hospitals, providing care to millions of patients in Ohio, affirm their commitment to delivering comprehensive healthcare for women and preborn children during pregnancy complications. 

Contrary to common misconception, neither Catholic religious directives nor any state law restrict Catholic hospitals from responding to pregnancy complications. Catholic hospitals provide comprehensive miscarriage care, treatment for ectopic pregnancies, and perform other life-saving measures through medical procedures in life-threatening circumstances.

Catholic hospitals play a critical role in maintaining public health. Regardless of the passage or failure of Issue 1 in November, the care they provide during a miscarriage or other pregnancy complications will remain comprehensive and committed to the well-being of mothers and preborn children. This commitment is an expression of respect for the dignity of all human beings and is central to their mission to carry out Jesus’s ministry of love and healing in the world today. 

CCO Testifies on Bills to Enhance the Ability of Charitable Pharmacies to Provide Medication to Uninsured and Underinsured Ohioans and Promote Religious Freedom of Higher Ed Students

Last week, the Catholic Conference Ohio testified in support of two bills. HB 558 would enhance the ability of charitable pharmacies, hospitals, and nonprofit clinics to serve those needing expensive, life-saving medication. The CCO cited the tremendous work of St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacies in their efforts to help many low-income Ohioans and how this bill will allow them and other agencies the ability to receive and distribute expensive medication. HB 353 requires each state institution of higher education to adopt a policy providing students with religious accommodations. CCO's testimony emphasized that an essential duty of government is to protect the religious liberty of its citizens.   

Judge Temporarily Blocks Enforcement of 'Heartbeat' Law

Conference Statement in Response to Hamilton County Ruling

The Catholic Conference of Ohio is disappointed that on September 14, 2022, a Hamilton County Court blocked enforcement of the Heartbeat Law for 14 days. The law prohibits abortion when a child's heartbeat is detected. We remain hopeful that Ohio’s judiciary will restore the law and so assert that the Ohio Constitution cannot possibly ascertain the right to abort an unborn child. Catholic agencies throughout Ohio will continue to serve both mothers and pre-born children while the Conference advocates for laws that allow for the flourishing of all Ohioans, no matter their stage of development or circumstance.  

Department Cabinet Members

Department on Health Affairs Chairperson

John Starcher,Jr. : President and CEO of Mercy Health 

Department on Health Affairs "Kitchen Cabinet"

On January 14, 2010, presidents of member hospitals and chief executive officers of healthcare systems determined that the Catholic Conference of Ohio's Department on Health Affairs would sharpen its mission to focus on the hospitals as Catholic institutions.  They appointed a “kitchen cabinet” of system/hospital staff to meet regularly with staff of the Catholic Conference on matters of mutual concern.

Cabinet members include:

Jon Fishpaw (Convenor)
Vice President of Advocacy and Government Relations
Mercy Health Partners

Heather Stoll
Vice President, External Affairs
Sisters of Charity Health System


Cabinet Members (Continued)

Jason Koma
Director of External Affairs
Mount Carmel Health System

Scott McConnaha
Vice President, Mission Effectiveness
Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity
(Genesis HealthCare, Zanesville)

Brian Hickey
Executive Director, Catholic Conference of Ohio