For decades, Dignity Health and the University of California have partnered to deliver high-quality medical care throughout the state. Built upon a shared history of compassionate, skillful care, our partnership has taken on health inequity, making access to quality health care possible for thousands of Californians in underserved communities. The partnership provides a “safety net” that protects the health and well-being of millions of diverse Californians. And today -- in response to the Covid-19 pandemic -- our partnership has enabled the launch of key programs for care delivery and community vaccine distribution.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, UCSF and Saint Francis Memorial Hospital, in partnership with the San Francisco Department of Public Health, worked quickly to open the city’s first dedicated unit for COVID-19 patients. When a vaccine became available, Dignity Health partnered with UCSF and UC Davis to offer large-scale vaccine events in San Francisco and Sacramento, focused on reaching thousands of vulnerable community members.
Pediatric Trauma Care:
In Los Angeles, UCLA specialists provide the only locally available pediatric trauma services in the San Fernando Valley at Northridge Hospital. Launched in 2010, this Level II Pediatric Trauma Center provides immediate care to infants, children and adolescents with life-threatening traumatic injuries. In 2019 alone, the program treated 700 patients.
We expect and require that all clinicians practicing at our facilities, provide services in accordance with their professional judgment and the needs and wishes of their patients.
We are dedicated to serving the LGBTQ Community.
Dignity Health provides equitable, knowledgeable and welcoming care for LGBTQ patients and their families. They have too often faced discrimination in health care, and Dignity Health is committed to nondiscrimination in the care we offer all Californians:
Partnerships like ours are essential to improving and expanding access to quality healthcare services, especially for underserved communities and for those at the margins of society. They advance health equity by improving access to affordable health care services. They enable care coordination that frees up capacity at specialized treatment centers for the sickest and most at-risk patients. They share expertise and put critically needed health services within reach for thousands of California patients every year. They are at the core of California’s public health care safety net. That is why partnerships like ours are extremely common all across the country.
Formed over 20 years ago, the Dignity Health- UC partnership is at the core of California’s healthcare “safety net” for millions of residents, particularly those who are vulnerable and underserved. The partnership provides the only care of its kind locally in many communities, and coordination between UC and Dignity Health leads to increased access to health care across the state.
Very much so -- our partnership is playing a pivotal role in battling the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly for those most vulnerable to it:
In many cases, Dignity Health offers certain services that UC Health currently does not provide, including acute rehabilitation, acute adolescent psychiatry, and burn care. Additionally, many UC Health facilities are nearing capacity. UC regularly transfers patients to Dignity Health hospitals – and Dignity Health transfers patients to UC – with the confidence they will receive high-quality, evidence-based care.
For decades, Dignity Health and UC Health have worked together to provide specialty medical care, physician training and vital health programs to communities across the state. Many thousands of patients across California access these collaborations – which often provide the only locally available care of its kind. In addition to our recent collaborations around the Covid-19 pandemic (please see above) other examples include:
“Health inequities” are differences in the health status – and in access to health services - among different population groups, arising from race, ethnicity, income and other socio-economic factors. The Covid-19 pandemic has made very clear how much more vulnerable to infection, illness and death, those impacted by such inequities are, compared to the population overall. The Dignity Health-UC partnership is grounded in shared social values which make addressing health inequities a top priority. That is why the partnership is so active in communities that would lose local access to critically needed services without it. And, as the #1 and #2 providers of Medi-Cal services in the State, respectively, Dignity Health and UC simply must collaborate – to leverage each other’s strengths, fill in coverage gaps, and address chronic capacity issues – in order to address the health inequities prevalent within this low-income patient population.
This vital element of the partnership addresses both California’s acute physician shortage; and the need for the medical workforce to be as diverse as the patients it serves. Our partnership brings together the best of academic medicine and community-based care. As the largest hospital system in the State, Dignity Health hospitals can provide training for thousands of UC medical students and residents, while instilling a will to care with compassion for the vulnerable and underserved.
No. Dignity Health expects all clinicians practicing at its facilities to provide services in accordance with their professional judgment and the needs and wishes of their patients at all times. Dignity Health also expects every clinician to inform patients of all their health care options; and to transfer a patient to another provider if a certain service is not offered. In the decades we have been working together to provide services, we are not aware of any instance in which a patient did not receive the care they needed, or where a clinician was constrained in providing care. Nonetheless, over the past year, Dignity Health and UC have worked to amend all physician contracts to expressly address these issues and formally allay any such concerns.
Dignity Health hospitals are committed to providing equitable, knowledgeable and welcoming care for LGBTQ patients and their families. They have too often faced discrimination in health care, and Dignity Health does not tolerate discrimination of any kind.
Our Catholic-sponsored hospitals agree to uphold Catholic values. This includes not providing a small number of services at those facilities, including elective (non-emergent) abortion, elective (non-emergent) procedures for the primary purpose of sterilization such as tubal ligations, hysterectomies (when no pathology is present), vasectomies and in-vitro fertilization (the latter two services are not typically performed in hospitals regardless of religious affiliation). That said: our hospitals do not limit the availability of medically necessary pregnancy care or rape victims’ access to emergency contraception. Relative to pregnancy complications, emergency care is always provided, even if it results in the foreseen, but unintended, death of a fetus. Any doctor practicing at a Dignity Health location is always expected to prescribe all appropriate medications, including contraceptive medications.
Like many other health systems across the country, Dignity Health’s history is rooted in the Catholic faith. In 1854, eight Sisters arrived in San Francisco and immediately began caring for residents of a city struck by cholera, then typhoid and influenza. They founded St. Mary's Medical Center, the longest continuously operating hospital in the city. That commitment to caring for all people, especially those who are poor and vulnerable, continues today.
Because it is our mission to care for the most vulnerable in our communities, Catholic hospitals are more likely to offer less profitable services that other health systems might avoid, such as maternal care, mental health, and trauma care. Catholic hospitals also typically provide more care for at-risk and low-income patients. In fact, Dignity Health cares for more Medi-Cal patients than any other hospital system in California.
Catholic hospitals agree to uphold Catholic values and in doing so adhere to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. This includes not providing a small number of services at their facilities, including elective (non-emergent) abortion, elective (non-emergent) procedures for the primary purpose of sterilization such as tubal ligations, hysterectomies (when no pathology is present), vasectomies and in-vitro fertilization (the latter two services are not typically performed in hospitals regardless of religious affiliation). As with many hospitals, our Catholic hospitals do not offer the more complex bottom surgeries for gender reassignment, which result in sterilization. Emergency care is always provided.