San Francisco

California Approves Merger of Church-Affiliated Hospitals

"This is about getting people who are severely ill the help they desperately need," Breed said in a statement. "There is a small subset of our homeless population that are clearly, visibly suffering on our streets"

California has approved the merger of two nonprofit hospitals affiliated with the Catholic church.

The state Department of Justice announced Wednesday that Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives will become a new company called CommonSpirit Health.

It will operate nearly 140 hospitals in 16 states — including 30 in California.

The Justice Department, which supervises charitable organizations, says operating conditions include programs to help homeless people and other vulnerable populations.

The new firm will allocate $20 million over six years to establish coordination with local charities and city and county social services.

San Francisco-based Dignity announced its intention to merge with Colorado's CHI nearly a year ago. The Vatican, through its archbishops in Denver and San Francisco, approved the merger.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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