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2009 Catholic Health Assembly to Focus on Hope in a Time of Hardship and Adapting for the Future in a Time of Health Reform

News Media Invited to Attend

NEW ORLEANS, June 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Catholic health ministry leaders will gather June 7-9 in New Orleans for the 2009 Catholic Health Assembly, "In Our Hands: Changing Ourselves, Our Communities, Our Nation."

The assembly, hosted by the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), is the largest annual gathering of Catholic health care leaders from across the nation. They come together to share their wisdom, celebrate heroes and prepare for the possibility that the ministry's decades-long commitment to bring about a just health care system could be realized through reform that assures access and coverage for everyone.

The assembly's roster of general session speakers includes:

Nancy Brinker, founder, Susan G. Komen for the Cure(R), World Health Organization (WHO) Goodwill Ambassador for Cancer Control, former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, former U.S. Chief of Protocol and one of TIME's "100 Most Influential People" in 2008. (Sunday, June 7, 1:30 p.m. CDT)

Daniel P. Sulmasy, OFM, MD, Ph.D., a Franciscan Friar, holds the Sisters of Charity Chair in Ethics at St. Vincent's Hospital, Manhattan, and serves as professor of medicine and director of the Bioethics Institute of New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY. (Sunday, June 7, 3:00 p.m. CDT)

Stan Brock, founder, Remote Area Medical(R) (RAM) Volunteer Corps, a non-profit, volunteer, airborne relief corps dedicated to providing free health care, dental care, eye care, veterinary services, and technical and educational assistance to people in remote areas of the United States and the world. (Monday, June 8, 9:00 a.m. CDT)

Bob Schieffer, Chief Washington Correspondent, CBS News, anchor and moderator of Face The Nation, CBS News' Sunday public affairs broadcast, and author of Bob Schieffer's America. (Monday, June 8, Noon CDT)

In addition, there will be an interactive general session to address the dilemmas faced in providing charity care, as well as Innovation Forum sessions providing insight on issues ranging from community benefit, palliative care, environmental responsibilities and senior care. Complete assembly program information is available online at

The assembly will contribute to the rebuilding of New Orleans. Through Catholic Charities' Operation Helping Hands, volunteers will participate in a rehabilitation project on Saturday, June 6. On Tuesday, June 9, some attendees will take a bus tour to view areas devastated by Katrina and the rebuilding projects underway.

CHA is reducing the environmental impact of the assembly. Efforts focus on: reduced paper waste, increased recycling opportunities, not serving bottled water and attendees will receive tote bags made from 100 percent postconsumer recycled materials (discarded water bottles and food containers).

The assembly headquarters hotel is the Sheraton New Orleans, 500 Canal St., New Orleans. Representatives of news organizations interested in attending are asked to contact Fred Caesar at (504) 681-5451 or (202) 256-2952 or

The Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), founded in 1915, supports the Catholic health ministry's pursuit of the strategic directions of mission, ethics, and advocacy. As the nation's largest group of not-for-profit sponsors, systems, and facilities, the ministry is committed to improving the health status of communities and creating quality and compassionate health care that works for everyone. For more information, visit the CHA website at .

SOURCE Catholic Health Association of the United States
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