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.