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 system 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.
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.
A healthier future for all—inspired by faith, driven by innovation, and powered by our humanity.
- Care with listening, empathy, and love.
- Accompany and comfort those in need of healing.
- Celebrate each person’s gifts and voice.
- Respect the dignity of all.
- Inspire trust through honesty.
- Demonstrate courage in the face of inequity.
- Serve with fullest passion, creativity, and stewardship.
- Exceed expectations of others and ourselves.
- Commit to the power of working together.
- Build and nurture meaningful relationships.
St. Mary's Medical Center is a part of CommonSpirit Health, a national health care ministry that shares the above mission, vision, and values.