A Legacy of Care for Every Californian
For nearly 170 years, Dignity Health has been on a mission of healing for all Californians. As one of the state’s largest healthcare providers today, we continue to boldly deliver care to people of all backgrounds, in every part of the state. From Los Angeles to San Francisco, Stockton to Merced and Redding to Bakersfield, we’re focused on healing communities of color, the poor, the underserved and the unjustly treated. This website exists to share those patients’ stories along with our impassioned work to champion the lives of every Californian.
Dignity Health cares for every Californian who needs healing: without exception, without hesitation. That’s because we believe everyone is born with dignity—Black and White, Latinx and Asian, gay and straight, trans and cis, old and young, dreamers and doers, artists and entrepreneurs—and everyone has the right to be healthy.
The care we provide every Californian through Dignity Health’s hospitals, care sites and partnerships forms the backbone of California’s safety-net health system—and the very heart of our foundational mission. We began healing Californians in 1854, when eight Sisters of Mercy responded to the pandemics of the day—cholera, typhoid and influenza—by caring for those without means. Three years later, they founded St. Mary’s Hospital, the oldest continuously operating hospital in San Francisco.
Today we are one of the largest providers in the state, delivering care to more Medicaid recipients than any other provider. Every year, hundreds of thousands of patients—including communities of color, LGBTQ+ and those with limited access to care—get timely access to services they critically need. With 31 hospitals across California, Dignity Health is the only provider to have facilities in every region of the state. The clinical and non-clinical partnerships that Dignity Health leads, including those with the University of California, cities and counties up and down the state, and nonprofits like the United Way, extend our care even further. Dignity Health is not for profit and operates both Catholic and other-than-Catholic hospitals.
Dignity Health knows California’s spirit and Californians’ values. We safeguard them and we celebrate them. Most importantly, we live them. We never want to stop caring for every Californian. We invite our critics to speak to our patients—like the ones whose stories you’ll find here at this website. They don’t want us to stop caring for them either.
Caring for AIDS Patients When Few Others Would
In the midst of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, Dignity Health’s Saint Francis Memorial Hospital established HIV Care to serve for those fighting AIDS—and for their lives—in the San Francisco community. That same year, we founded the St. Mary Medical Center’s CARE Center in Long Beach to care for HIV/AIDS patients in the greater Los Angeles area. And in 2019, we launched the Saint Francis Memorial Hospital Gender Institute with the “Discussions on Gender Affirmation: Surgery and Beyond” medical conference, San Francisco’s first conference focused on transgender health. Throughout our history, Dignity Health has led the way in compassionate, high-quality, affordable health services for LGBTQ+ patients and their families, and we continue to work tirelessly to assess needs and identify gaps in care for this community.
Dignity For All Means Immigrants Too
Dignity Health believes it is our moral obligation to find solutions to human suffering—such as the fear of deportation, the threat of broken families and the insufficient healthcare access that many undocumented immigrants live with. Since the 1990s, we’ve healed immigrants regardless of their insurance status, and we’ve connected them to shelter, food, education, job training and legal assistance. Throughout, we’ve called on elected officials to create paths of legal residency or citizenship for immigrants and to make our country’s immigration and border protection policies more compassionate.
Dignity Health Embraces the Affordable Care Act
At Dignity Health, we have been advocating for meaningful healthcare reform since our founding. So when the Affordable Care Act—the nation’s most ambitious healthcare reform legislation in over 50 years—was proposed and debated in Congress, we embraced it wholeheartedly. Since its passing, we have worked to ensure our patients learn about their eligibility for subsidized care through the exchanges or for Medicaid and which plans will give them access to our facilities and physicians. Our enrollment website includes links to tools and resources to educate patients and help them sign up for healthcare coverage.
Improving the Health of People by Improving the Health of Our Planet
Dignity Health believes our duty to the health of our patients includes being good stewards of our environment and responding responsibly to threats posed by climate change. As a result, since 2010 we’ve cut our overall energy usage by __ percent and our greenhouse gas emissions by __ percent, and today renewable energy constitutes ___ percent of our overall energy usage. In the past five years, we’ve decreased our water usage by __ percent, and in the last two we’ve cut our plastic lid and straw consumption by half. Furthermore, we’ve removed coal from our investment portfolio; advocated for the successful passage of landmark climate, energy and water legislation; and are the first hospital system in the U.S. to commit to voluntarily reporting and reducing our greenhouse emissions by joining the Climate Registry.
The Fight for Social Justice: If Not Us, Who? If Not Now, When?
The day George Floyd was murdered while being arrested by police, Dignity Health CEO Lloyd Dean sent a memo to all staff that made clear our organization’s stance on social injustice: “[H]aving seen the impacts of systemic racism in healthcare for decades, these recent events sharpen our resolve to demand justice, truth and dignity for all … Eyes can no longer be closed. Heads cannot be turned. Attention not diverted. Blame not shifted. Silence is no longer acceptable.” Throughout our history, we’ve stood with the vulnerable and the oppressed. Today, combatting injustice and disparities, we set up the nation’s first pandemic surge hospital, offer vaccination clinics in untapped areas and have committed $20 million over the next three years to the care of those experiencing homelessness. We make a bold social impact by caring for all who are in need, and we’re absolutely committed to a more just and equitable society.