Catholic Healthcare West announced today that it is changing its name and governance structure.
The San Francisco-based health care system, which owns three Central Coast hospitals — Arroyo Grande Community Hospital, French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo and Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria — is now called Dignity Health.
Under the new governance structure, Dignity Health is a not-for-profit organization, but it is no longer an official ministry of the Catholic Church. With 40 hospitals across California, Arizona and Nevada, Dignity Health is the fifth-largest health care organization in the nation.
The system’s 25 Catholic hospitals will continue to be Catholic, directly sponsored by their founding congregations. Dignity Health’s 15 non-Catholic hospitals will continue to operate as non-Catholic.
Along the Central Coast, Arroyo Grande and French are non-Catholic hospitals. Marian is Catholic, sponsored by the Order of the Sisters of Saint Francis.
According to a news release, the changes in name and governance structure will have no impact on the operations, policies or mission of Dignity Health’s Central Coast hospitals.
The changes follow several years of discussions between the system’s sponsoring congregations, board of directors and management team about the future of health care, according to the news release. Dignity Health is focused on integrated care and reducing costs, and the system anticipates partnering with both Catholic and non-Catholic hospitals to achieve those goals.
Lloyd Dean, Dignity Health’s president and CEO, said in the release that the changes will help the system work with other hospitals and health care organizations more efficiently.
“Changing our name to Dignity Health reflects our commitment to excellent care for all in need and to being a national leader in quality care,” Dean said. “The new structure supports our long-term plan to grow and coordinate care, while reinforcing our mission of service to the communities we are so privileged to serve.”
The system’s three Central Coast hospitals are made up of a team of 2,400 employees and 790 physicians.