November 5, 2008

Statement to the New President-Elect of the United States By Lloyd H. Dean, President/CEO, Catholic Healthcare West

On behalf of Catholic Healthcare West, I congratulate President-elect Barack Obama and look forward to the new administration's focus on healthcare reform.

Repairing the nation's healthcare system must become a top priority, both for the overall well-being of the people and for our nation's economy. The current system is unsustainable. Right now, 46 million people in the country do not have healthcare insurance and are receiving their care in the most expensive and inefficient way -- by relying on hospital emergency rooms. This cost is a huge burden on all of society. We can and must do better.

Access to healthcare is a fundamental human right. To achieve meaningful health reform, we will continue to advocate with local, state, and federal governments for a system characterized by:

 --  Universal Access. Every person has the right to be treated with     dignity, including the right to high quality, compassionate healthcare. --  Stable Financing. A healthcare system that provides universal coverage     to all people must include a financing system that ensures reliable, long-     term access to care. --  Improved Quality. Quality must become the primary focus for measuring     the success of the healthcare system. --  Improved Accountability. Local, state and federal governments need to     take greater responsibility for ensuring healthcare is fully available,     adequately financed, and of the highest quality possible.      

We look forward to working with the new administration and the new Congress in solving this urgent problem.

About Catholic Healthcare West

Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), headquartered in San Francisco, CA, is a system of 41 hospitals and medical centers in California, Arizona and Nevada. Founded in 1986, it is the eighth largest hospital system in the nation and the largest not-for-profit hospital provider in California. CHW is committed to delivering compassionate, high-quality, affordable healthcare services with special attention to the poor and underserved. The CHW network of nearly 10,000 physicians and approximately 53,000 employees provides healthcare services to more than five million people annually. In 2008, CHW provided $967 million in charity care and unsponsored community benefit. For more information, please visit our website at

 Contact: Carmella Gutierrez (415) 438-5508  

SOURCE: Catholic Healthcare West