Dominican Hospital operator announces merger

SANTA CRUZ — Dignity Health, which operates Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, announced Friday that it has merged with Catholic Health Initiatives to form CommonSpirit Health.

CommonSpirit Health’s national office will be located in Chicago, overseeing a $29 billion system with approximately 150,000 employees and 25,000 physicians and advanced practice clinicians. The nonprofit Catholic health system will operate 142 hospitals and more than 700 care sites across 21 states.

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,” Lofton stated in a press release. “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,” Dean stated. “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.”

Dignity Health and CHI previously announced that the new ministry will retain the names of local facilities and services in the communities where they are located.

In a letter to vendors, Keith Callahan, senior vice president of supply and service resource management at Dignity Health, said the merger will not immediately result in any changes to the system’s operations.

“But, changes can be expected as we come together and we expect to fully integrate over the next two to three years,” he wrote.

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