Establishing and maintaining institutional identity is a significant challenge for leaders in Catholic health care. In December 2005, the Sponsors Council of Ascension Health – the largest not-for-profit and Catholic health care system in the United States – requested the development of an assessment tool to assist with this task. The Catholic Identity Matrix (CIM) was created in response to this request.
The CIM helps a Catholic health system or hospital assess and enhance the degree to which it has integrated the six Catholic moral principles within its operating policies, processes and practices. The first implementation of the process took place at Ascension Health in 2006. The CIM was subsequently improved through a collaborative partnership between Ascension Health and the Veritas Institute of the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business (formerly known as the SAIP Institute). Additional support for the CIM’s ongoing improvement has been provided by the University of St. Thomas’ John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought and Gonzaga Ethics Institute, formerly at Gonzaga University.
The Veritas Institute is working with Caritas in the Archdiocese of Paderborn, Germany, to adapt the CIM for use in that country. Utilization of the CIM officially expanded outside of North America in June 2013, when the first pilot test of the tool in Germany was launched. A public review of the first three applications took place at a conference in Dortmund, Germany in October 2013. Four additional pilots will be conducted by the end of the calendar year. Visit the German CIM website