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Why CHI-Dignity Settled on CommonSpirit Health as Their Married Name

Analysis  |  By Steven Porter  
   November 16, 2018

The name represents the union of two Catholic-affiliated nonprofits with a shared mission and service to diverse populations, the organizations announced.

The post-merger entity being formed by Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) and Dignity Health will be called CommonSpirit Health, the two nonprofits announced Thursday.

The name—which was chosen from among more than 1,200 possible names—was picked because it represents a shared sense of missional service and because it resonates with the diverse populations being served, the organizations said.

"It was important that our name could provide a connection between all people: our employees, physicians, patients, families, and neighbors alike. CommonSpirit does just that," Dignity Health President and CEO Lloyd H. Dean said in a statement.

The name was also vetted with an eye on legal implications and symbolic connections to faith-based healthcare.

"We appreciate how the manifestation of the Spirit is woven into so many messages—God's gift of compassion, the calling to heal others, and serving the common good. Each comes together and is reflected in just one powerful word, CommonSpirit," CHI CEO Kevin E. Lofton said in the statement.

Related: Vatican Won't Block CHI–Dignity Health Deal

Related: Is Healthcare M&A Different This Time?

There were many reasons why CHI, based in Englewood, Colorado, and Dignity Health, based in San Francisco, California, settled on the name. In addition to their shared mission, backed by Catholic social teaching, they chose the name with a sense of history, as "an expression of gratitude for the courage of the women religious who established their health ministries in the face of significant obstacles to meet the most pressing health needs of people and communities."

The two nonprofits said they will develop a shared visual identity that follows their previously announced "house of brands" strategy, which will keep the names of local facilities intact.

The deal, which was announced last December and will create one of the largest systems in the nation, is expected to close by the end of the year.

Steven Porter is an associate content manager and Strategy editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.


The two organizations will adopt a visual identity built around their new name: CommonSpirit Health.

Local facilities will retain their names as part of a 'house of brands' strategy.

The merger, which the Vatican has indicated it won't block, is expected to close by year's end.

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