The CHAI National Health Convention and 80th Annual General Body Meeting (AGBM) was held on Sep 21-22, 2023, at Don Bosco Institute, Guwahati, Assam. This was the first Hybrid AGBM of CHAI, and was attended by 150 participants onsite, and about 200 online, from the 11 regional units of CHAI. The overall theme was “Leadership for Sustainable Healthcare”.
The event commenced with Holy Mass by Bishop Lumen Monteiro, the ecclesiastical advisor of CHAI, followed by CHAI flag hoisting and a brief inaugural session. The President of CHAI, Sr. Victoria Narichiti JMJ, extended a warm welcome to the participants. Fr. Cletus Sebastian SDB, Executive Director of DBI, gave an overview of the institution.
The thematic sessions were more of a ‘story telling’ by those who were closely associated with the CHAI directorate. It began with an introductory note by Fr. Mathew Abraham, C.Ss.R., the Director General of CHAI. This was followed by a session on ‘CHAI Impact Hub’ by Mr. John Santhosh, who shared about various sustainability initiatives of CHAI directorate. Mr. Srivathsan Aparajithan and Sr. Dr. Annie Sheela, CTC, shared about ‘collaboration for sustainability’. Mr. Allen Andrade, CA, talked about ‘Financial Sustainability’. Mr. Jean Toms facilitated a discussion on ‘CHAI Telehealth initiative’ highlighting the support provided for the health centres in rural and tribal areas. Mr. Srivathsan then joined Sr. Lizy Jose SAL, to share ‘Insights for Sustainability’ emphasizing the importance of making sense out of existing data. There were also sessions like ‘Long-term sustainability’ by Ms. Rosemary Thomas, ‘CHAI-Providence health collaboration’ by Mr. Murali Krishna, Providence India Country Head, and his team. Mr. Senthil Kumar, Executive Director CRS, shared about CHAI-CRS collaboration for organizational development – ‘Advancing Local Leadership in the Right way’ (ALLRight) Initiative. This session concluded with a formal launch of the ALLRight initiative. The thematic sessions concluded with a sharing on “Spirituality of Leadership” by Fr. Mathew Abraham.
Sister Doctors Forum of India (SDFI) and Catholic Nurses Guild of India (CNGI) were represented by Sr. Dr. Blanch Anchitha Rosario FdCC and Sr. Sarla Macwan FC, the presidents of the respective organizations. The event featured video messages from Cardinal Anthony Poola, the Archbishop of Hyderabad, Archbishop John Moolachira of Guwahati, Sr. Jane Wakahiu,Associate Vice President, Program Operations and Head of Catholic Sisters, Hilton Foundation, Dr. Ulrich Fuesser, Head of the Asia Department, Misereor, Dr. Vikram Mathews, the Director of CMC Vellore, Fr. Jesudos, the Director of St John’s Medical College, Bengaluru and Dr. Priya John, the General Secretary of Christian Medical Association of India (CMAI). They encouraged CHAI to continue its mission of providing compassionate, affordable and quality healthcare at the margins of the society, and reaffirmed their continuing collaboration.
The Mother Giovanna Award, a joint venture of CHAI and Holy Family Hospital, Mumbai, was presented to Sr. Dr. Regina Kotackal FC for her exemplary leadership in healthcare. The award was presented during a cultural evening where traditional dances from various states of North East was performed by young artists. The event concluded with the business session, discussing various statutory matters.
As a follow up the event, we are planning to share the detailed content of the thematic sessions, as a learning material for the benefit of all the 3500 plus members of CHAI, especially those who could not attend the event real time.
Rev. Dr. Mathew Abraham C.Ss.R, MD | Director General
Catholic Health Association of India