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Catholic Health East and Seton Hall University Forge Unique Educational Partnership

Newtown Square, Pa., Thursday, November 18, 2010 – Catholic Health East (CHE), one of the nation’s largest Catholic health care systems, recently announced the selection of Seton Hall University and its Center for Catholic Studies as its partner in the development of a unique educational program that will focus on the development and cultivation of the health system’s next generation of Catholic health care leaders.

Known as the CHE Ministry Leadership Academy, this initiative will identify and develop a cadre of committed, well-formed lay leaders who can successfully carry CHE’s ministries into the future and facilitate smooth succession for senior management teams at the system and local levels.

“The future of Catholic Health East is dependent on the development of experienced, strong, mission-driven leaders who embrace our vision, values and culture,” said Judith M. Persichilli, president and chief executive officer, Catholic Health East. “We’re excited about the opportunity to partner with Seton Hall University in this collaborative effort to help prepare the future stewards of our health care ministry.”

Reverend Monsignor Richard M. Liddy, Seton Hall University professor of Catholic thought and culture and director of the University’s Center for Catholic Studies, remarked about the aims of the project, “Our aim is to link the original values of the religious sisters’ mission to the sick, the dying, the poor and the neglected with the realities of contemporary health care. We believe this can be achieved.”

The CHE Ministry Leadership Academy’s three key learning objectives focus on ministry leadership, operational leadership and transformational leadership. “The faculty will work with Leadership Academy participants to determine how to best integrate the core elements of ministry leadership into policies, structures and CHE’s culture so that Catholic identity explicitly informs the organization’s life and directs its daily operation,” said Anita Jensen, CHE’s vice president of leadership formation.

Ministry Leadership Academy participants will be grouped into cohorts of up to 15 individuals, with the first cohort meeting four times per year for a two-year period, beginning in 2011. A second cohort will be initiated in 2012, and a third in 2013. Classroom sessions, professional exposure and inter-organizational rotation opportunities will be incorporated into the curriculum. Faculty will include Seton Hall University faculty as well as members of the CHE senior management team and other subject matter experts. Successful completion of the program will result in participants being awarded a certificate in healthcare leadership from Seton Hall University.

“In combination with CHE’s current ministry formation offering—Excellence in Ministry—the CHE Ministry Leadership Academy represents the next step in the development of our system’s leadership capacity and capabilities,” said Persichilli. “This initiative offers participants the opportunity to explore their own call to health care ministry, while advancing their leadership skills consistent with CHE’s mission to be a model of person-centered care.”

Based in South Orange, New Jersey, the 156-year-old Seton Hall University is the oldest diocesan-sponsored Catholic university in the United States. Components of the University involved in the development of CHE’s Leadership Academy include the Center for Catholic Studies, Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Stillman School of Business, the School of Law and the School of Health and Medical Sciences.

“Our team combines experts in business and health care management with theology and Catholic social teaching. Our approach combines adult ways of learning with interdisciplinary expertise and the participants’ own professional experience. We look forward to building the partnership between Seton Hall and Catholic Health East to benefit the health leaders of tomorrow,” Monsignor Liddy noted.

About Catholic Health East

Catholic Health East (CHE) is a multi-institutional Catholic health system, which is co-sponsored by nine religious congregations and Hope Ministries, a Public Juridic Person within CHE. Based in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, the System provides the means to ensure the continuation of the Catholic identity and operational strength of the sponsors’ health ministries, which are located within 11 eastern states from Maine to Florida. The System includes 34 acute care hospitals, four long-term acute care hospitals, 25 freestanding and hospital-based long-term care facilities, 14 assisted-living facilities, four continuing care retirement communities, eight behavioral health and rehabilitation facilities, 37 home health/hospice agencies, and numerous ambulatory and community-based health services. Catholic Health East facilities employ approximately 54,000 full-time employees as partners in ministry.

About Seton Hall University

For over 150 years, Seton Hall University has been a catalyst for leadership, developing the whole student, mind, heart and spirit. Seton Hall combines the resources of a large university with the personal attention of a small liberal arts college. Its attractive suburban campus is only 14 miles by train, bus or car to New York City, with the wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities the city offers. Seton Hall is a Catholic university that embraces students of all races and religions, challenging each to better the world through integrity, compassion and a commitment to serving others. For more information, see