Dignity Health to merge with Catholic Health Initiatives, move headquarters to Chicago

Kevin Lofton CEO of Catholic Health Initiatives

Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health announced Thursday that they will merge to create the largest nonprofit health care system in the nation, operating facilities in 28 states.

The combination, expected to be completed in the second half of 2018, will create a health system with 139 hospitals and 700 care centers in 28 states, and employ 159,000 workers.

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The organizations will not overlap geographically across hospital service areas, Dignity said.

"It's our pleasure to share with you that Catholic Health initiatives and Dignity Health have signed a definitive agreement to combine our ministries and build a new Catholic health system", CHI CEO Kevin Lofton said in a video posted to Facebook. "Our new organization will have the talent, depth, breadth, and passion to improve the health of every person and community we serve".

"Together, we will have a stronger operational and financial foundation to transform our organizations and support the people and communities we serve", Dignity Health CEO Lloyd Dean said in a video posted to Facebook. The goal is to increase their investments in digital technologies like tele-medicine programs, stroke robots, Google Glass and expand access to outpatient and virtual care settings.

"The new system will be guided by our shared mission that emphasizes social justice for all people and will work to ensure that those values are part of the local and national health care environment", Dignity said.

Merger mania in the healthcare space continues to stay active in December, a trend that's dominated the entire year.

Catholic Health Initiatives' headquarters are based in Englewood, Colorado, and Dignity Health is based out of San Francisco.

The merger which is still subject to federal, state and church approval, is expected to go through in the second half of 2018.

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