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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 while strengthening 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 one of the largest health systems in the nation with 400 care sites across a 22-state network, including 39 hospitals -- 24 of which are Catholic and 15 are other-than-Catholic. 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

As CommonSpirit Health, we make the healing presence of God known in our world by improving the health of the people we serve, especially those who are vulnerable, while we advance social justice for all.

See our Mission Report and Standards.


Our Vision

A healthier future for all, inspired by faith, driven by innovation and powered by our humanity.

    Our Values

      Compassion

    • Care with listening, empathy and love.
    • Accompany and comfort those in need of healing.
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      Inclusion

    • Celebrate each person’s gifts and voice.
    • Respect the dignity of all.
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      Integrity

    • Inspire trust through honesty.
    • Demonstrate courage in the face of inequity.
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      Excellence

    • Serve with fullest passion, creativity and stewardship.
    • Exceed expectations of others and ourselves.
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      Collaboration

    • Commit to the power of working together.
    • Build and nurture meaningful relationships.

    Download Statement of Common Values

    Corporate Responsibility

    As a part of CommonSpirit Health, it is the personal responsibility of every person associated with Dignity Health to live our values, adhere to exceptional standards of conduct and behave ethically.

    Learn More

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    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.

    Careers

    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.