The following article features the Catholic Foundation’s 2023 Spirit of Innovation Recipient, UTG At Work. To learn more about the Catholic Foundation’s granting funds and impact, please click here.

_____________

Author: Gabriella Patti
Republished with permission from Detroit Catholic

Dr. Kevin Grady tells local professionals Catholic upbringing directly impacts his vision, values as a health care leader

DETROIT — Dr. Kevin Grady’s Catholic faith informs every decision he makes as both a medical professional and as regional president and CEO of Ascension Michigan.

The hospital executive and doctor spoke Jan. 24 to a handful of local professionals during the second healthcare leadership roundtable hosted by a new apostolate, UTG at Work, whose mission is to help Catholic working professionals bring their faith into the workplace.

The roundtable, sponsored by the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, was preceded by Mass at St. Aloysius Parish in downtown Detroit, followed by the luncheon talk and discussion led by Dr. Grady at the next-door Westin Book Cadillac hotel.

Launched in 2023, UTG at Work (“UTG” is short for “Unleash the Gospel”) was created to help “women and men understand their identity as missionary disciples, equip them to discover their unique mission from God and support them as they joyfully deliver faith and witness to Christ and the Gospel in the workplace,” according to its mission statement. The apostolate is led by Deacon Michael Houghton, former director of missionary strategic planning for the Archdiocese of Detroit, and Mary Martin, a former coach and team leader in the department.

At the request of Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, who supports the apostolate, Deacon Houghton and Martin said the first few events are focused on leaders in the healthcare industry. However, the talks are open to anyone.

The roundtable, sponsored by the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, was preceded by Mass at St. Aloysius Parish in downtown Detroit, followed by the luncheon talk and discussion led by Dr. Grady at the next-door Westin Book Cadillac hotel.
The roundtable, sponsored by the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, was preceded by Mass at St. Aloysius Parish in downtown Detroit, followed by the luncheon talk and discussion led by Dr. Grady at the next-door Westin Book Cadillac hotel.

The roundtable, sponsored by the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, was preceded by Mass at St. Aloysius Parish in downtown Detroit, followed by the luncheon talk and discussion led by Dr. Grady at the next-door Westin Book Cadillac hotel.

A Catholic outlook makes a real difference in the world of health care, Dr. Grady told those in attendance. The difference can be seen not just among the staff, but also with patients.

“(At Ascension), we offer faith-based health care rooted in the loving ministry of Jesus,” Dr. Grady said. “We commit ourselves to helping all people, with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable. We are advocates for a compassionate and just society. The common thread of why associates stay at Ascension St. Johns is not the salary. It’s not the food. It is the commitment to faith-based Catholic health care delivered to everyone, especially those in need.”

At the request of Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, who supports the apostolate, Deacon Houghton and Martin (pictured above) said the first few events are focused on leaders in the health care industry. However, the talks are open to anyone.
At the request of Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, who supports the apostolate, Deacon Houghton and Martin (pictured above) said the first few events are focused on leaders in the health care industry. However, the talks are open to anyone.

There are major disparities in health care, Dr. Grady said, and to make sure care is delivered justly, health professionals need to consider how to make health care equitable, rather than equal. For example, he said, medical conditions may impact different communities in different ways, which should inform a healthcare professional’s approach to treatment.

UTG at Work is led by Deacon Michael Houghton (pictured), former director of missionary strategic planning for the Archdiocese of Detroit, and Mary Martin, a former coach and team leader in the department.

At the request of Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, who supports the apostolate, Deacon Houghton and Martin (pictured left) said the first few events are focused on leaders in the healthcare industry. However, the talks are open to anyone.

Amidst a healthcare crisis in which physicians are currently in short supply, Dr. Grady said a personal goal is to help guide new doctors and nurses as they transition into the field. He has served on the Wayne State University Medical School Admissions board for 10 years, a position he first occupied after realizing that the current class had only two individuals of color.

“That is not (representative of) the community that they serve,” Dr. Grady said. “I wanted to be on the medical school admissions committee. Over those 10 years, we changed the medical school class at Wayne so it looks like the community it serves. What we’ll now have are physicians who are trained here who stay here.”

“(One) question (I ask) is, ‘If the golden rule is treating people the way you would like to be treated, what is the platinum rule?’” Dr. Grady said. “For the first time in nine years, someone answered that correctly in about six seconds. He said, ‘Oh, it’s simple: Treat people the way they would want to be treated.’”

“My job is to be part of changing how we deliver health care: we deliver it to everyone,” Dr. Grady said. “We do it for the right patient, at the right time, at the right place, at the right price, with a smile. So is that directly from my Catholic upbringing? Darn right, it is. Because if I do it that way, I can maintain my mission, my vision, and my values.”

Learn more about the  Catholic Foundation’s granting funds and a full list of the 2023 grantees by clicking here

GIVE NOW TO THE UTG AT WORK DESIGNATED FUND

Create your own Granting Fund:
Contact the Catholic Foundation to learn more: Info@CatholicFoundationMichigan.org