Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health combine to bring compassionate, high-quality care to communities across 21 states
Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) have come together as CommonSpirit Health, creating a new nonprofit Catholic health system focused on advancing health for all people and serving communities in 21 states.
The $29 billion system operates more than 700 care sites and 142 hospitals, as well as research programs, virtual care services, home health programs, and living communities. CommonSpirit Health also supports a range of community health programs to create healthier communities and address the root causes of poor health such as access to quality care and health equity, affordable housing, safe neighborhoods, and a healthy environment.
The new organization is built on the legacy of 17 congregations of women religious who founded health ministries to serve people most in need. Today, it is supported by approximately 150,000 employees and 25,000 physicians and advanced practice clinicians. Catholic Health Initiatives CEO Kevin E. Lofton and Dignity Health President and CEO Lloyd H. Dean will both serve as CEOs in the Office of the CEO for the new health system.
“Our new organization will bring the expertise of a national health system to neighborhoods across the country,” said Lofton. “Whether it’s a neurological institute in Arizona, a 25-bed critical access facility in North Dakota, a mobile lung cancer screening program in Tennessee, or a ‘hospital at home’ in Nebraska, CommonSpirit Health will expand the best approaches from across our new organization. Our whole will be much greater than the sum of our parts.”
“We didn’t combine our ministries to get bigger, we came together to provide better care for more people,” said Dean. “We created CommonSpirit Health because in order to solve national health challenges, we need the breadth, scope, and resources to make a nationwide impact. We believe that no one should ever have to choose between being healthy and putting food on the table.”
CommonSpirit Health will focus on achieving success in five key areas:
- Expanding clinical expertise across the system in primary, acute, and specialty care, and focusing on care for patients with chronic and complex conditions;
- Accelerating the shift toward providing services outside of hospitals to homes, the community, and online;
- Investing in technologies that make care more convenient and personal;
- Addressing the underlying causes of poor health and advocating for policies that improve health outcomes for the most vulnerable members of our communities; and
- Retaining and recruiting a highly-skilled and dedicated work force where people embrace service to others and experience a personal and professional fulfillment in their work.
Despite policies that have extended health coverage to more people, 27 million Americans remain uninsured, and life expectancy dropped in 2018 for the second time in three years. CommonSpirit Health will be particularly focused on addressing the social causes of poor health, which studies show have a much greater impact on health than acute medical needs.
“Too many people still can’t access quality health care in their communities,” said Dean. “America’s health care system needs big changes, and we have a big goal of improving the health of millions of people in this country. CommonSpirit Health will be a champion for the common good and extend access to good health for everyone, especially those who are most in need.”
“Getting health care should be more personal, convenient, and affordable,” said Lofton. “CommonSpirit Health will focus on treating the whole person, particularly the social causes of poor health that lead to needless suffering, unnecessary hospital visits, and premature deaths. Our goal is to be the leader in every type of care, whether you need brain surgery, urgent care for the flu, or help managing your diabetes.”
CHI and Dignity Health previously announced that the new ministry will retain the names of local facilities and services in the communities where they are located.
Additional information is available at commonspirit.org.
About CommonSpirit Health
CommonSpirit Health is a nonprofit, Catholic health system dedicated to advancing health for all people. It was created in February 2019 through the alignment of Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health. CommonSpirit Health is committed to creating healthier communities, delivering exceptional patient care, and ensuring every person has access to quality health care. With its national office in Chicago and a team of approximately 150,000 employees and 25,000 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, CommonSpirit Health operates 142 hospitals and more than 700 care sites across 21 states. In FY 2018, Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health had combined revenues of $29.2 billion and provided $4.2 billion in charity care, community benefit, and unreimbursed government programs.
Learn more at commonspirit.org.
A New Health System to Serve the Common Good
As a mission-driven health system, CommonSpirit Health is committed to building healthier communities, advocating for the poor and disenfranchised, and innovating how and where healing can happen—both inside our hospitals and out in the community. CommonSpirit Health was formed by two of the nation’s most respected nonprofit ministries, Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) and Dignity Health. Founded by women religious, both health systems have a long, proud legacy of serving all people in need, especially those who’ve been made vulnerable by poverty, age, and other hardships. CommonSpirit Health is continuing these legacies by actively advocating for positive social change.
Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health combined provided $4.2 billion in charity care, community benefit, and unreimbursed government programs in FY2018. CommonSpirit Health supports a broad range of community-based health programs to treat the social needs that impact health and well-being, including: affordable housing, homelessness, violence prevention, human trafficking, and a healthy environment.
Our combined strengths allow us to improve access to outpatient and virtual care settings, offering care closer to home. We will also continue to invest in clinical programs to keep aging populations and people suffering from chronic illnesses healthier. CommonSpirit Health’s size also allows us to expand our ability to invest in digital technologies and innovations that can create a more personalized and efficient care experience regardless of location.
Consistent with the heritage of our two legacy organizations, the new ministry will be Catholic. We have a long history of partnering with providers of all faiths and backgrounds, and that will continue. A number of facilities in our system have not been Catholic in the past, and their status will not change. All of our facilities will continue to operate in alignment with CommonSpirit Health’s mission and values. Our hospitals and clinics will continue to operate under their current names in the communities we serve.
The new health system is led by the Office of the CEO. Lloyd H. Dean, Dignity Health’s CEO, and Kevin E. Lofton, CHI’s CEO, will each continue to serve as CEOs under the Office of the CEO, with independent responsibilities and decision-making authority. Together, Mr. Dean and Mr. Lofton will work side by side with executive leadership to plan a successful integration and future of CommonSpirit Health.
The new executive leadership team was announced on December 4, 2018.
The new Board of Stewardship Trustees was announced on October 16, 2018. CommonSpirit Health’s national office is in Chicago. The city was selected because of its central location, convenient access to all parts of the country where our ministries are located, and good infrastructure to support a national organization.
Our press center, FAQ, and leadership bios are on our website commonspirit.org.