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Jun 14, 2013 | Carol E. Barnwell

Hospital Transfer Celebrated at Special Service of Thanksgiving

sleh transfer ceremony small
Bishop Doyle presenting proclamation to Kevin Lofton,
president and ceo of CHI and David Fine, ceo of SLEH

In a service of thanksgiving filled with symbolic gestures, inspirational music, the Diocese of Texas marked an historic moment in its life—transferring St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System to Catholic Health Initiatives.


The transfer (for more than $1 billion) has been the subject of local and national news over the past several months and while the service at Christ Church Cathedral June 12 didn’t receive the same coverage, it was a very meaningful for the staff of the hospital.


In his sermon, Bishop Andy Doyle traced the history of hospitals and the word’s connotation of hospitality. “A hospital is always less about the building and more about the people who work there,” he said to the more than 300 in attendance.


Bishop Doyle thanked staff, doctors, nurses, janitors, for helping to bring the vision of St. Luke’s to life as one of the premier health care facilities in the world.


Bishop [Clinton] Quin and Bishop John Hines set out to place “all the mountain-moving powers of faith and prayer and human skill in the service of individuals in need,” he quoted.


“Our hospital is filled with people of faith … and faith is the work of healing hands,” he said, noting the 60 years that St. Luke’s has offered “faithful, loving care.”


Calling this a “good moment,” Bishop Doyle challenged Kevin Lofton, president and CEO of CHI, to “take care of our people,” adding that the Diocese of Texas will now continue the mission to bring health care to those in need through the new foundation. 


Richelle Dixon, assistant vice president of clinic operations at SLEHS introduced representatives of the diocese, the SLEHS board, physicians, management, employees and patients, who each added a small fish at the base of a stained glass lamp—a gift to CHI--to signify everyone’s contribution to the legacy that has been St. Luke’s Health System.  


A combined choir from St. John the Divine and the Cathedral, conducted by Steve Newberry, SJD’s director of music ministries, filled the church with soaring anthems to mark the occasion. 


The Diocese received more than $1billion to establish Episcopal Health Foundation from the transfer of the hospital system to CHI. The Diocese will respond to healthcare needs within the Diocese’s 57 counties through the new foundation.