Non-profit

Dignity Health

Type:

Non-profit healthcare company

ESG Activism

Dignity Health is a non-profit healthcare company that owns hospitals and other healthcare services in 22 states with a strong focus in California. It is the fifth-largest healthcare provider in the country and the largest provider in California.

Dignity Health is associated with the Catholic Church, having been founded by the Sisters of Mercy religious order. It has been targeted by social-liberal activists over its opposition to providing gender reassignment surgeries, abortions, and sterilization services.

In 2019, Dignity Health finalized a merger with Catholic Health Initiatives to form CommonSpirit Health. [1] Due to the hospital chains’ associations with the Catholic Church, the merger required the approval of Vatican officials and the Archdioceses of Denver and San Francisco. [2]

History

Dignity Health descends from the Sisters of Mercy hospital in Dublin, Ireland founded by Catherine McAuley in 1831. The hospital pledged to serve the entire population, including those who were poorly educated and lived in poverty. [3]

In 1854, eight Sisters of Mercy moved to San Francisco. They founded St. Mary’s Hospital, which remains the city’s oldest, continuously operated hospital. Eventually, additional hospitals were founded all over California by the Sisters of Mercy. [4]

In 1986, two congregations of Sisters of Mercy merged their 10 hospitals together and founded Catholic Healthcare West. In 2012, Catholic Healthcare West renamed itself Dignity Health. [5]

Structure

Dignity Health has over 400 care sites over 22 states. It is the largest single healthcare provider in California. It has 39 hospitals with 24 of them being Catholic-affiliated with the rest not-Catholic-affiliated. [6]

Leadership

Lloyd H. Dean is the CEO of the organization. Kevin E. Lofton serves as co-CEO. [7]

Daniel Morissette serves as the chief financial officer. Bruce Swartz serves as senior vice president. Elizabeth Shih serves as the chief administrative officer. Marvin O’Quinn serves as president and chief operating officer. [8]

Targeting by Left-Wing Activists

In keeping with its Catholic heritage, Dignity Health does not perform abortions at any of its facilities. The organization also restricts contraceptives, sterilizations, and in vitro fertilization at its facilities. It also restricts what kind of reproductive services are offered to transgender patients. Its proscriptions against those procedures has generated lawsuits and protests from social liberal activists. [9]

In 2016, Evan Minton had scheduled a hysterectomy at a Dignity Health hospital in Sacramento, but it was canceled the day before. The surgery was scheduled as a part of Minton’s surgery to transition to a man. [10]

The ACLU of Northern California represented Minton in a lawsuit against Dignity Health. A court ruled on behalf of Dignity Health and the case is on appeal. Dignity Health had not lost a discrimination case as of 2019 and Minton received gender reassignment surgery at another Dignity Health hospital. [11]

It did not stop over 1,500 doctors and other medical staff from demanding that the University of California San Francisco cancel its partnership with Dignity Health. The staffers, along with the ACLU of Northern California, criticized Dignity Health’s opposition to abortion and sterilization. The protests led to UCSF canceling the expansion of its partnership with Dignity Health. [12]

In November 2019, Dignity Health was forced to cancel a naming deal with Broadway Sacramento. It was done after gay and lesbian activists threatened a boycott of Broadway Sacramento if it went forward with the naming deal. [13]

References

  1. LaPointe, Jacqueline. “CHI, Dignity Finalize Hospital Merger, Introduce CommonSpirit.” RevCycleIntelligence, February 5, 2019. https://revcycleintelligence.com/news/chi-dignity-finalize-hospital-merger-introduce-commonspirit. ^
  2. Bannow, Tara, and Harris Meyer. “CHI-Dignity Merger Cleared by Vatican.” Modern Healthcare, October 16, 2018. https://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20181016/NEWS/181019911/chi-dignity-merger-cleared-by-vatican. ^
  3.    “History, Mission, Vision And Values”. 2019. Dignity Health. Accessed December 16. https://www.dignityhealth.org/about-us/our-organization/mission-vision-and-values. ^
  4.   “History, Mission, Vision And Values”. 2019. Dignity Health. Accessed December 16. https://www.dignityhealth.org/about-us/our-organization/mission-vision-and-values. ^
  5. “History, Mission, Vision And Values”. 2019. Dignity Health. Accessed December 16. https://www.dignityhealth.org/about-us/our-organization/mission-vision-and-values. ^
  6. “History, Mission, Vision And Values”. 2019. Dignity Health. Accessed December 16. https://www.dignityhealth.org/about-us/our-organization/mission-vision-and-values. ^
  7. “Governance And Leadership”. 2019. Dignity Health. Accessed December 16. https://www.dignityhealth.org/about-us/our-organization/governance-and-leadership. ^
  8. “Governance And Leadership”. 2019. Dignity Health. Accessed December 16. https://www.dignityhealth.org/about-us/our-organization/governance-and-leadership. ^
  9. Asimov, Nanette. 2019. “Doctors Demand UCSF Break Ties With Catholic Hospitals Over Abortion, Trans Care”. San Francisco Chronicle. https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Doctors-demand-UCSF-break-ties-with-Catholic-13745992.php. ^
  10. Asimov, Nanette. 2019. “Doctors Demand UCSF Break Ties With Catholic Hospitals Over Abortion, Trans Care”. San Francisco Chronicle. https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Doctors-demand-UCSF-break-ties-with-Catholic-13745992.php.    ^
  11. Asimov, Nanette. 2019. “Doctors Demand UCSF Break Ties With Catholic Hospitals Over Abortion, Trans Care”. San Francisco Chronicle. https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Doctors-demand-UCSF-break-ties-with-Catholic-13745992.php. ^
  12. Asimov, Nanette. 2019. “Doctors Demand UCSF Break Ties With Catholic Hospitals Over Abortion, Trans Care”. San Francisco Chronicle. https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Doctors-demand-UCSF-break-ties-with-Catholic-13745992.php. ^
  13.             Anderson, Cathie. 2019. “Dignity Health Calls Off Naming Deal With Broadway Sacramento After LGBTQ Boycott Threat”. Sacramento Bee. https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/health-and-medicine/article237203048.html. ^
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