Dignity Health

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Dignity Health
FormerlyCatholic Healthcare West (1986–2012)
Company typeNonprofit organization
Founded1986; 38 years ago (1986)
HeadquartersChina Basin Landing, ,
Number of locations
39 acute care hospitals
250 ancillary care sites
Area served
Arizona, California, and Nevada
Key people
Lloyd H. Dean, President/CEO
Daniel J. Morissette, CFO
ServicesHospital management
RevenueIncrease$10,522,568,000 USD (2012)
Increase$59,112,000 USD (2012)
Increase$132,549,000 USD (2012)
OwnerCommonSpirit Health
Number of employees
Footnotes / references
2012 Audited Financial Statement
About Dignity Health
China Basin, the headquarters of Dignity Health

Dignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West) is a California-based not-for-profit public-benefit corporation that operated hospitals and ancillary care facilities in three states. Dignity Health was the fifth-largest hospital system in the nation and the largest not-for-profit hospital provider in California.[1]

Formerly a Catholic institution, the organization went independent in 2012 and adopted its new name. In February 2019, Dignity Health merged with Catholic Health Initiatives, becoming CommonSpirit Health.[2]

Dignity Health still operates today as a separate entity.

Its headquarters are located in the China Basin Landing building in San Francisco.[3]


Catholic Healthcare West was founded in 1986, when the Sisters of Mercy Burlingame Regional Community and the Sisters of Mercy Auburn Regional Community merged their health care ministries into one organization.[4][5]

In 2010, Dignity Health, Blue Shield of California, and Hill Physicians Medical Group formed an Accountable Care Organization that covers 41,000 individuals in the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS).[6]

From the time of its founding until 2012, the company was an official ministry of the Catholic Church.[7][8] In 2012, the company's corporate governance structure changed, moving it out of the Catholic Church's purview and resulting in a name change to Dignity Health.[7][8][9]

Adeptus Health partnered with Dignity Health to establish the Dignity Health Arizona General Hospital in Laveen, Arizona.[10]

In 2018, Dignity Health and CHI received approval from the Catholic Church, through the Vatican, to merge.[11] The merger was completed, on February 1, 2019, under a new name, CommonSpirit Health,[12] forming the second-largest nonprofit hospital chain in the United States.[13]

Dignity Health was the official health care provider of the San Francisco Giants.[14]


The Board of Directors[15] was responsible for approving major decisions affecting Dignity Health’s health care business, such as long-range strategic plans, the allocation of capital, joint ventures, and major acquisitions and sales. Dignity Health's Board of Directors are:

Sponsorship council[edit]

Although Dignity Health is not a Catholic institution, the organization owned and operated 24 Catholic hospitals. While overall fiscal responsibility for these hospitals rests with the Board of Directors, certain reserve rights are still held by the religious orders that founded them. The Sponsorship Council[16] comprised sisters from each of the six Catholic religious communities that first opened each of the Catholic hospitals owned by Dignity Health. Each community selected one woman to act as one of the six members of the Sponsorship Council. The six Catholic religious communities were represented by:[citation needed]


On December 21, 2010, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix declared that a Catholic Healthcare West hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, could no longer call itself a Catholic institution after a procedure was performed in 2009 to end a pregnancy to save a woman’s life.[17] In a public statement, Bishop Olmsted said the procedure was in contrast to a direct abortion,[18] which is in direct violation of The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.[19]

In a statement, St. Joseph’s President Linda Hunt said the hospital would comply with Olmsted’s decision, but she defended the actions of the hospital staff, stating, "If we are presented with a situation in which a pregnancy threatens a woman’s life, our first priority is to save both patients. If that is not possible, we will always save the life we can save, and that is what we did in this case. Morally, ethically, and legally, we simply cannot stand by and let someone die whose life we might be able to save."[20] The story made national headlines.[21]

Sister Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association of the United States, defended St. Joseph’s decision to terminate the pregnancy. "They had been confronted with a heartbreaking situation," she said in a formal statement. "They carefully evaluated the patient’s situation and correctly applied the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services to it, saving the only life that was possible to save."[22]

In 2012, trustees of Ashland Community Hospital in Ashland, Oregon, invited Dignity Health to acquire it for debt. Community members raised concerns about the possible takeover, pointing to restrictions in Dignity's Statement of Common Values[23] that might mean that the hospital would no longer offer abortion services, or euthanasia services under Oregon's 1997 Death With Dignity Act.[24] Asked by Ashland mayor John Stromberg if the Statement of Common Values could be modified, Dignity Vice-President for Ethics and Justice Education Carol Bayley told community members, "As far as loosening it, don't hold out hope. We have our feet in Catholic mud, there is no denying it."[24] Facing increasing community opposition, Dignity Health ceased negotiations without explanation on October 30, 2012.[25]

Dignity Health was included by California Attorney General Kamala Harris on the antitrust investigation, launched in September 2012, into whether growing consolidation in the state's hospitals and physician groups was driving up the health care costs.[26]

As of summer 2018, Dignity Health did not provide many services considered routine by non-religious providers, including some emergency procedures. Dignity Health has cited the "Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services" as its guideline in approving or refusing medical procedures.[27][28] That document is prepared by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which is not a medical organization. A particular controversy results from Dignity Health's non-Catholic marketing style, and unclear representations of which facilities are and are not considered Catholic.[29]


Dignity Health operates 40 hospitals—24 Catholic and 15 non-Catholic:[30]

Hospital City State Founded Acquired Acquired from
Barrow Neurological Institute Phoenix Arizona 1961 1986 Mercy Health System
Chandler Regional Medical Center Chandler Arizona 1961 1999[31]
Mercy Gilbert Medical Center Gilbert Arizona 2006 2006
St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center Phoenix Arizona 1895 1986 Mercy Health System
St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center Glendale Arizona 2014 2014[32]
Yavapai Regional Medical Center Prescott Arizona 2020[33]
Arroyo Grande Community Hospital Arroyo Grande California 1962 2004[34] Universal Health Services
Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Bakersfield California 1956 1996
California Hospital Medical Center Los Angeles California 1887 1998 UniHealth
Community Hospital of San Bernardino San Bernardino California 1910 1998
Dominican Hospital Santa Cruz California 1941 1988 Adrian Dominican Sisters
French Hospital Medical Center San Luis Obispo California 1946 2004[34] Universal Health Services
Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center Glendale California 1926 1998 UniHealth
Marian Regional Medical Center Santa Maria California 1940 1997 Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity
Mark Twain St. Joseph's Hospital San Andreas California 1951 1996 Dominican Sisters of San Rafael
Mercy General Hospital Sacramento California 1897 1986 Mercy Healthcare
Mercy Hospital of Folsom Folsom California 1962 1986 Mercy Healthcare
Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield, Southwest Campus Bakersfield California 1992 1992
Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield, Truxtun Campus Bakersfield California 1910 1986 Mercy Health System
Mercy Medical Center Merced Merced California 1923 1996 Racine Dominican Sisters
Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta Mt. Shasta California 1986 Mercy Healthcare
Mercy Medical Center Redding Redding California 1986 Mercy Healthcare
Mercy San Juan Medical Center Carmichael California 1967 1986 Mercy Healthcare
Methodist Hospital of Sacramento Sacramento California 1973 1992
Northridge Hospital Medical Center Los Angeles California 1955 1998 UniHealth
Saint Francis Memorial Hospital San Francisco California 1906 1993
Sequoia Hospital Redwood City California 1950 1996 Sequoia Healthcare District
Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Grass Valley California 1958 1996
St. Bernardine Medical Center San Bernardino California 1931 1996[35] Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word
St. Elizabeth Community Hospital Red Bluff California 1906 1995 Sisters of Mercy, Omaha Regional Community
St. John's Hospital Camarillo Camarillo California 1974 1994
St. John's Regional Medical Center Oxnard California 1912 1986 Mercy Health System
St. Joseph's Behavioral Health Center Stockton California 1988 1996 Dominican Sisters of San Rafael
St. Joseph's Medical Center Stockton California 1899 1996 Dominican Sisters of San Rafael
St. Mary Medical Center Long Beach California 1923 1996[35] Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word
St. Mary's Medical Center San Francisco California 1857 1986 Mercy Health System
Woodland Healthcare Woodland California 1905 1996
St. Rose Dominican Hospital – Rose de Lima Campus Henderson Nevada 1947 1988 Adrian Dominican Sisters
St. Rose Dominican Hospital – San Martín Campus Spring Valley Nevada 2006 2006
St. Rose Dominican Hospital – Siena Campus Henderson Nevada 2000 2000


  1. ^ "About Dignity Health" (PDF).
  2. ^ Chandler, Michele. "Merger of Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives is approved". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2020-02-02.
  3. ^ "Contact Us" Dignity Health. Retrieved on August 2, 2018. "Dignity Health 185 Berry Street, Suite 300 San Francisco, CA 94107"
  4. ^ "Dignity Health History".
  5. ^ "Dignity Health merging with Colorado's Catholic Health Initiatives". Daily Democrat. 2017-12-08. Retrieved 2020-08-07.
  6. ^ "Accountable Care Organization Featuring Shared Global Risk Stimulates Development of Initiatives To Improve Care, Reduces Inpatient Use and Costs". Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 2013-05-08. Retrieved 2013-05-09.
  7. ^ a b Gamble, Molly (23 January 2012). "Catholic Healthcare West is Now Dignity Health". Beckers Hospital Review. Retrieved 2020-08-07.
  8. ^ a b "Catholic Healthcare West becomes Dignity Health". SFGate. 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2020-08-07.
  9. ^ "Dignity Governance Press Release" (PDF).
  10. ^ Dignity Health, Adeptus Health announce joint venture. Shannon Barnet. October 23, 2014. Becker's. December 8, 2015.
  11. ^ "CHI-Dignity merger cleared by Vatican". Modern Healthcare. 2018-10-16. Retrieved 2020-08-07.
  12. ^ HealthLeaders. "Dignity Health, CHI Finalize $29B CommonSpirit Health Megamerger". Health Leaders. Retrieved 2020-08-07.
  13. ^ "The steep challenge facing Chicago's newest health care giant" by Stephanie Goldberg; Chicago Business; May 3, 2019; accessed December 29, 2019.
  14. ^ Raven, Jonathan (2020-01-22). "Medi-Cal patients left high and dry by Dignity Health | Another View". Daily Democrat. Retrieved 2020-08-07.
  15. ^ "Dignity Health Board of Directors" (PDF).
  16. ^ "Dignity Health Sponsors" (PDF).
  17. ^ "Phoenix diocese strips St. Joseph's Hospital of Catholic status". archive.azcentral.com.
  18. ^ "Statements from the Diocese of Phoenix and St. Joseph's". archive.azcentral.com.
  19. ^ "Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, November 2009" (PDF).
  20. ^ "Ariz. hospital loses Catholic status over abortion case - USATODAY.com". usatoday30.usatoday.com.
  21. ^ "Hospital Stripped of Catholic Status After Abortion". ABC News.
  22. ^ Mann, Benjamin; Writer, Staff. "Catholic Health Association defies Phoenix bishop over abortion case". Catholic News Agency.
  23. ^ "Dignity Health Statement of Common Values" (PDF). Dignity Health. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  24. ^ a b "Abortion, physician-assisted suicide dominate forum". Ashland Daily Tidings. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  25. ^ "Dignity Health ends deal with Ashland Community Hospital". Ashland Daily Tidings. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  26. ^ Mathews, Anna Wilde (September 18, 2012). "Dignity Health included in AG's inquiry". Ashland Daily Tidings (Reprinted from Wall Street Journal). Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  27. ^ Hiltzik, Michael (2016-01-11). "Here's another case of a Catholic hospital interfering with patient care". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2018-08-12.
  28. ^ "Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services" (PDF). usccb.org. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. 2009. Retrieved 2018-08-12.
  29. ^ Hafner, Katie (2018-08-10). "As Catholic Hospitals Expand, So Do Limits on Some Procedures". New York Times. Retrieved 2018-08-12.
  30. ^ "Dignity Health Hospital List".
  31. ^ Chandler Regional, Catholic Healthcare merge complete
  32. ^ "St. Joseph's Westgate Medical Center - Arizona Hospitals - Dignity Health". www.dignityhealth.org.
  33. ^ Ellison, Ayla (2020-11-05). "2 Arizona hospitals join Dignity Health". www.beckershospitalreview.com. Retrieved 2023-07-30.
  34. ^ a b "Two Hospitals Sold to Healthcare Company". 1 April 2004 – via LA Times.
  35. ^ a b "Catholic Chain to Buy 2 Southland Hospitals". 22 February 1996 – via LA Times.

External links[edit]