Partnering with St. Joseph Health to serve the American West

When the Sisters of Providence braved uncertain terrain to reach Fort Vancouver 159 years ago, they created an enduring legacy that, today, serves millions of people across the Western United States. Now, as we navigate a different landscape – the changing health care environment – we draw upon that same pioneering spirit to plan for the next century of health care in the American West.

sisters on horses

Our roots in the West date back nearly 160 years when the Sisters of Providence were called to bring health care and other social services to a rugged frontier.

Partnering with other organizations is one of the critical ways we will serve more people in the future. Our philosophy is to join with partners that align with our Mission and values and share our commitment to the poor and vulnerable. Rather than spreading ourselves thin by trying to serve other parts of the country, we are committed to staying within a Western footprint and joining with organizations that can help us “go deep” in every community we serve, so that we can strengthen the continuum of care and improve health in meaningful way.

Our letter of intent with Irvine, Calif.-based St. Joseph Health

There is one organization in particular that, if we were to work together more formally, would allow us to have a tremendous positive impact on the health of our communities. St. Joseph Health is a kindred spirit. Similar to our story, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange were called to meet the needs of Northern California 103 years ago and eventually grew to also serve the Orange County region of Southern California, as well as communities in West Texas and Eastern New Mexico.

Today, I am pleased to announce that Providence and St. Joseph Health are signing a letter of intent to create a new, single organization. Over the next several months, our health systems will explore the details of what a new organization and structure would look like, with the goal of coming together in 2016.


In my latest video, I talk with Sister Juliana Casey, president of our sponsors, about how a partnership with St. Joseph Health will help us serve more people in need in the Western United States. (Running time 5:06)

Common missions and complementary strengths

Providence and St. Joseph have worked closely over the years and have always felt a strong connection. We share common missions and similar heritages. We complement one another in terms of our service areas – our communities don’t overlap but together form a contiguous path that ties together seven states. In addition, we both maintain a strong tradition of Catholic health care while also sharing a philosophy of inclusion and diversity. Both systems include non-Catholic health care organizations with their own rich heritages and a shared commitment to the underserved.

This announcement comes at the letter of intent stage of these discussions, which means we are early in the process and do not have specific answers to many questions. The details of how a new organization would be structured will be worked out over the next several months as we share and analyze information across our teams and operations.

Planning for the next 100 years

We will keep you informed as more details develop. In the meantime, we are excited about potentially partnering with a like-minded and like-hearted organization. Together, we have an opportunity to leave an incredible gift for the next generation, just as the Sisters did when they came to the West more than a century ago.

1 Comment
  1. Rod,
    This is exciting news for our organization. Looking forward to learning more details soon!