Today, December 12, is Dignity Health’s Founders Day. On this occasion, I want to take a moment to thank you, our Board and Sponsors, for your leadership and guidance and for your wonderful work in carrying forward our organization’s heritage of care and service. As health care continues to evolve, it’s comforting to know that our mission, vision, and values have been sustained over three decades. It was thirty years ago today, on December 12, 1986, that two congregations of the Sisters of Mercy joined their 10 hospitals together to better serve their patients and communities and formed what today has become Dignity Health. The following year, our organization’s first Board of Directors published its position paper, “Commitment to Care of the Poor in Times of Financial Crisis.” The ideas and aims in that paper and in the organization’s founding documents continue to be the bedrock of our mission and work today.
Over the next 11 years, our other Sponsoring Orders, the Adrian Dominican Sisters, the Dominican Sisters of Kenosha Wisconsin, the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word of Houston, the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity, and the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart, joined your hospitals to this organization.
At the same time, our community hospitals brought their care and vision to this organization through our Statement of Common Values. Thanks to the continuing work of our Boards and Sponsors, the decades that followed have brought us growth, new facilities and partnerships, a community benefit program seeking to improve the quality of life and the quality of health for those we serve, and a powerful advocacy program for the least fortunate among us, for a just and compassionate health care system, for at risk populations around the world, and for the planet itself. Today, you lead and sponsor one of the largest health systems in the nation with 39 hospitals in California, Arizona, and Nevada and a national network of urgent and occupational care, imaging centers, home health, and primary clinics providing care to the communities we serve and carrying forward the cause of humankindness in the world.
I hope that all of us, as leaders of this organization, can take a moment today to pause and reflect on the journey that brought us here and on the dedication and courage of those who founded Dignity Health three decades ago.
Their mission, vision, and values live on in you, our Board and Sponsors, and in the care and kindness we bring to our patients, families, and communities every day. With gratitude, Lloyd H. Dean, CEO.