Health & Medicine

Dignity Hospitals will switch to CommonSpirit after merger

Diane Bell-Gardiner, a registered nurse at Mercy Medical Center, who lost her home in the Carr Fire, works at her job in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Redding, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018. Bell-Gardiner is one of dozens of staff members, including doctors, nurses and others at Dignity Health Mercy Medical Center in Redding without homes who are coming to work to keep the hospital running. (AP Photo/Michael Burke)
Diane Bell-Gardiner, a registered nurse at Mercy Medical Center, who lost her home in the Carr Fire, works at her job in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Redding, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018. Bell-Gardiner is one of dozens of staff members, including doctors, nurses and others at Dignity Health Mercy Medical Center in Redding without homes who are coming to work to keep the hospital running. (AP Photo/Michael Burke) AP

Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives will become CommonSpirit Health after the companies merge, leaders of both conglomerates jointly announced last week.

By combining, the health care giants will form a new $28.4 billion entity.

Lloyd H. Dean, Dignity’s president and chief executive officer, said, “It was important that our name could provide a connection between all people: our employees, physicians, patients, families, and neighbors alike. CommonSpirit does just that.”

San Francisco-based Dignity announced its intention to merge with CHI, based in Englewood, Colo., on Dec. 7, 2017. Both companies are nonprofit institutions and have an affiliation with the Catholic church. The Vatican, through its archbishops in Denver and San Francisco, approved the merger.

Some residents and registered nurses from Dignity hospitals, most of whom were members of the California Nurses Association, opposed the merger in public hearings conducted by the California Attorney General’s Office around the state, but nonprofit leaders, Dignity doctors and staff, and other residents spoke in support of it.

Dignity Health runs a network of 10,000 physicians, more than 60,000 employees, 41 acute care hospitals and 400-plus care centers in multiple states. In the Sacramento region, that includes Carmichael’s Mercy San Juan, Mercy Folsom, Nevada County’s Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, Sacramento’s Mercy General and Methodist hospitals, as well as Woodland Memorial.

CHI operates in 18 states and owns 100 hospitals, including two academic health centers. The two companies do not have hospitals in the same markets.

In October, the companies announced a governing board that will take over following completion of the merger. The board includes six of each company’s existing board members, the current CEOS and an additional member to be determined after the merger is completed.

Company leaders said they considered more than 1,200 potential names before settling on CommonSpirit.

Company officials say they expect to receive regulatory approvals before the year ends. CommonSpirit will be based in Chicago.

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