The parent company of Mercy Gilbert Medical Center and Chandler Regional Medical Center has a new name and new governing structure, both reflecting changes to its relationship with the Catholic church.
Dignity Health is the new name for Catholic Healthcare West, which operates more than 25 Catholic hospitals - including Mercy Gilbert and Phoenix's St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center - and 15 non-Catholic hospitals; Chandler Regional is among the company's non-Catholic facilities.
According to a press release, "Dignity Health is a not-for-profit organization, rooted in the Catholic tradition, but is not an official ministry of the Catholic Church. The new structure and name enable the organization to grow nationally, while preserving the identity and integrity of both its Catholic and non-Catholic hospitals."
Mercy Gilbert Medical Center is located at 3555 S. Val Vista Drive; Chandler Regional Medical Center is located at 475 S. Dobson Road.
The structural and branding change comes a little more than a year after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix stripped St. Joseph's of its official affiliation with the church because of a surgery that ended a woman's pregnancy to save her life.
Bishop Thomas Olmsted called the 2009 procedure an abortion and said St. Joseph's violated ethical and religious directives of the national Conference of Catholic Bishops.
"In the decision to abort, the equal dignity of mother and her baby were not both upheld," Olmsted said in late 2010. "The mother had a disease that needed to be treated. But instead of treating the disease, St. Joseph's medical staff and ethics committee decided that the healthy, 11-week-old baby should be directly killed."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.