CHA Foundations Course


What makes Catholic health care different from other approaches to health care? That’s exactly what the Catholic Health Association (CHA) covers in a course they offer called “Foundations of Catholic Health Care Leadership.”

This course provides healthcare executives, board members, directors, managers, clinicians and other leaders in Catholic health care with a foundation in core theological and ethical principles that are at the heart of the Catholic health ministry.

This course is considered an essential primer for new and current leaders in Catholic health care, but CHA had struggled in the past with this course. Previous courses got low evaluations, and only a small percentage of the registrants did the homework from week to week.


CHA wanted to turn the Foundations course from a challenge into an opportunity. They wanted to make this course, which spans multiple weeks, interesting, interactive, and transformational. They wanted at least a majority of the registrants to do the homework each week, which had been a struggle in the past, to deepen their learning.

Sister Mary intro 1


CHA turned to BeSpeake by Matrix Group to breathe life into this important course. CHA had previously had success with virtual events in the BeSpeake platform when they held their annual conference (Assembly), Community Benefit 101, and Mission Leaders Conference in BeSpeake in 2021.

CHA decided to use the BeSpeake year-round education portal that Matrix Group developed, customized and then integrated with CHA’s membership database, Aptify. Each week, registrants participated in 2 ½ hours of lecture and discussion, and then got assigned homework in between.

Weeks in advance, the BeSpeake team met with the virtual learning team at CHA to map out the presentations and the user experience. The Foundations course had to be visually appealing, encourage discussion and active learning, and cement the learning from week to week. The 2022 CHA Foundations course had these elements:

  • Attendees used their Aptify (CHA’s membership database) username and password to access the course from week to week. This prevented confusion about how to access the platform.
  • The courses took place every Thursday afternoon, for 2 ½ hours. During that time, there were lectures and two breakout sessions. The lectures were produced in a broadcast studio with a tight “run of show” script that included slides, pre-recorded videos, guest speakers, and lots of visual transitions.
  • Every attendee was assigned to a group. Each group met twice during the 2 ½ hours on Thursday. Each group had a trained facilitator who guided the discussion and encouraged everyone to participate.
  • On Tuesdays, a couple of days before each session, CHA posted a Reflection Question of the Week to encourage attendees to comment on what they had learned and to share what their organizations were doing.
  • At the end of each session, attendees were given a survey. Attendees commented on the quality of the content, the discussions and the technology.
  • In between sessions, attendees were assigned homework through the CHA Learning Management System (LMS).

This year’s CHA Foundations course was an unqualified success!


of registered attendees logged in and participated each week.


review score on a 4-point scale for each session.


increase in homework completion


This year’s CHA Foundations course was an unqualified success!

  • 95% of registered attendees logged in and participated each week.
  • The breakout discussions were lively and meaningful. Assigning attendees to the same group week in and week out meant that the groups didn’t waste time introducing themselves from week to week. Funny enough, in the comments, nearly every group proclaimed their discussion group to be the best!
  • CHA received between a 3.8 and 3.9 score on a 4-point scale for each session.
  • Comments during the sessions were relevant and informative. It was clear that the attendees were highly engaged.
  • The responses to each week’s Reflection Question of the Week were insightful and moving.
  • Attendees did the homework! In years past, roughly 25% of the attendees would do their homework ahead of the weekly meetings. This year, 60%+ did their homework, which solidified learning.
  • CHA even got attendees to send photos of themselves while participating in the online Foundations course. These photos were displayed during the 5 minutes of pre roll before each session. Attendees loved the photos!
  • Finally, when CHA asked attendees to reflect on what they had learned during the Foundations course, they wrote comments and sent in videos.