Dignity Health is a California-based not-for-profit public-benefit corporation that operates hospitals and ancillary care facilities in 3 states. As such, it is exempt from federal and state income taxes. Dignity Health is the fifth largest hospital system in the nation and the largest not-for-profit hospital provider in California. Dignity Health was founded in 1986 by the Sisters of Mercy under the name Catholic Healthcare West.
From the time of its founding, and until 2012, the company was an official ministry of the Roman Catholic Church. In 2012, the company’s corporate governance structure changed, moving it out of the Catholic Church and resulting in a name change to Dignity Health.
Dignity Health is the official health care provider of the San Francisco Giants. It provides services to minor and major league players and has a clinic at AT&T Park that offers urgent care and physical therapy services to fans and the surrounding community.
Its headquarters are located in Suite 300 in the China Basin Landing building in San Francisco.
CHW 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.
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). During its first 2 years, this program reduced inpatient use and health care costs significantly coffee thermos stainless steel.
The Board of Directors are 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:
Although Dignity Health is not a Catholic institution, the organization owns and operates 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 comprises sisters from each of the six Catholic religious communities that first opened each of the Catholic hospitals owned by Dignity Health. Each community selects one woman to act as one of the six members of the Sponsorship Council. The six Catholic religious communities are currently represented by:
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 2009 procedure that ended a pregnancy to save a woman’s life. In a public statement, Bishop Olmsted called the procedure a direct abortion, which is in direct violation of The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. 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.” The story made national headlines. 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.”
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 that might mean that the hospital would no longer offer abortion services, or euthanasia services under the Oregon Death with Dignity law. 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 custom glass bottles, don’t hold out hope. We have our feet in Catholic mud, there is no denying it.” Facing increasing community opposition, Dignity Health ceased negotiations without explanation on October 30, 2012.
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.
Dignity Health owns or operates 40 hospitals—24 Catholic and 15 non-Catholic:
Ahwatukee 480.728.4000 | 4545 East Chandler Blvd. (SW corner of 46th Street and Chandler Blvd.)
Gilbert 480.728.4100 | 1501 North Gilbert Road (On Gilbert Road south of Baseline Road)
Queen Creek 480.728.6000 | 7205 South Power Road (On Power Road south of Pecos Road)
Maricopa 520.233.2468 Monday – Friday 12pm to 9pm | 20750 N. John Wayne Parkway Maricopa, AZ 85139 (located in the Shops at Maricopa Fiesta)