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Dignity Health announces merger with Catholic Health Initiatives

Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives are combing to form a new health system on the Central Coast. With the merger, there are a lot of questions about programs, services, and employment.

Dignity Health is coming together with Catholic Health Initiatives to strengthen our ability to meet the health and social needs of our communities for many years to come. There will be no reduction in any service currently provided at any Catholic or other-than-Catholic hospital as a result of our alignment, which is made clear in the Attorney General’s independent Health Impact Report. That includes women’s health services. Any service that is offered today will be offered tomorrow to all members of our community.

This statement from Dignity Health comes after The Women’s March SLO put out a community “Call to Action” against the merger due to concerns about public access to essential health care services.

“I have serious concerns that the proposed merger of Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) could result in half of the hospitals in San Luis Obispo County being allowed to restrict essential medical services to women and the LGBT community,” said Dr. Denise Taylor with the Women’s March.

“If Dignity Health is allowed to merge with CHI then I would recommend to my 100+ transgender patients, my 150+ patients living with HIV/AIDS, and all the people who care about them that they avoid the hospitals owned by Dignity Health since I would have concerns about the availability and quality of the health care provided to them,” said Taylor.

Megan Maloney, Senior Director of Marketing and Communication with Dignity Health, says that services to women’s health will not be changed or reduced at any Dignity Health facility as a result of this alignment.

The Attorney General will be holding public meetings to address all questions and concerns as required by law.

The public meeting for St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, and St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo is scheduled for September 20, at 1 p.m. at the Oxnard College Performing Arts Building Conference Center in Oxnard. (4000 South Rose)

The public meeting for French Hospital and Arroyo Grande Hospital is scheduled for September 21 at 10 a.m. in the Assembly Room at the Ludwick Community Center (864 Santa Rosa Street, SLO).

The public meeting for Marian Regional Medical Center is scheduled for September 21 at 3 p.m. at the Veterans’ Memorial Community Center in Santa Maria (313 West Tunnell St.)

The Attorney General hired an independent company to evaluate the alignment. The report states that there will be no impact on services after the merge. You can read that report here.

Dignity has also released a quick fact sheet addressing concerns about patients, employees, and operations. Click here to read that fact sheet.

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