Our History: Rooted in Kindness

Dignity Health began as a single hospital founded on the belief that all people deserve medical care, regardless of their background, ethnicity, or circumstances.

The Sisters of Mercy, originally founded by Catherine McAuley in Dublin, Ireland in 1831, vowed to serve people who suffer from poverty, sickness, and lack of education. In 1854, eight Sisters arrived in San Francisco, California and immediately began caring for residents of a city struck by cholera, then typhoid and influenza. They founded St. Mary's Hospital, now the oldest continuously operating hospital in the city.

Eventually, one facility became many, expanding to serve a rapidly growing population. Together, this family of care facilities strengthened its commitment to keeping the human person at the forefront of modern medicine.

In 1986, two congregations of the Sisters of Mercy joined their ten hospitals together, forming Catholic Healthcare West. In 2012, we changed our name to Dignity Health to better describe what we stand for. Dignity is something everyone is born with. To us, "Dignity" means showing respect for all people by providing excellent care and helping them lead healthy, meaningful lives.

Today, Dignity Health is the fifth largest health system in the nation with 39 hospitals across three states–22 of which are Catholic-based facilities. The mission and values we were founded upon remain the same. Through teamwork and innovation, faith and compassion, advocacy and action, we endeavor every day to keep our patients happy, healthy, and whole. Hello humankindness.

Our Mission

We are committed to furthering the healing ministry of Jesus. We dedicate our resources to:

  • Delivering compassionate, high-quality, affordable health services;
  • Serving and advocating for our sisters and brothers who are poor and disenfranchised;
  • Partnering with others in the community to improve the quality of life.

Our Vision

A vibrant, national health care system known for service, chosen for clinical excellence, standing in partnership with patients, employees, and physicians to improve the health of all communities served.

Our Values

Dignity Health is committed to providing high-quality, affordable health care to the communities we serve. Above all else we value:

  • Dignity - Respecting the inherent value and worth of each person.
  • Collaboration - Working together with people who support common values and vision to achieve shared goals.
  • Justice - Advocating for social change and acting in ways that promote respect for all persons and demonstrate compassion for our sisters and brothers who are powerless.
  • Stewardship - Cultivating the resources entrusted to us to promote healing and wholeness.
  • Excellence - Exceeding expectations through teamwork and innovation.

Download Statement of Common Values

Who We Are

Dignity Health comprises more than 60,000 highly skilled caregivers and staff, all devoted to delivering the highest quality of care with kindness and respect. Our reach is expanding. Yet our values remain grounded in faith and dignity.


Choose a career that gives back. As a member of our team, you have the opportunity to champion the change we'd like to see by joining in our mission. Hello humankindness.

A Community of Compassion

Part of humankindness is being right where you need us. Every minute of every day, we provide quality, compassionate health care at 39 hospitals and more than 400 care centers across California, Arizona, and Nevada.