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In The News

St. Joseph Health, Providence Health & Services join, invest $100M in mental health

St. Joseph Health, which operates hospitals and clinics in Sonoma and Napa counties, and Providence Health & Services have completed the deal to create Providence St. Joseph Health.

After signing a letter of intent last July, the two organizations on July 6 said they formed a new not-for-profit health and social services system with dozens of hospitals, hundreds of physician offices and more than 100,000 employees, called caregivers, across seven states.

Orange County-based St. Joseph Health’s network includes Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and Annadel Medical Group in Santa Rosa, Petaluma Valley Hospital, and Queen of the Valley Medical Center and an affiliated physician group in Napa.

The new organization on its first day said it would be a catalyst for improving mental health care in the United States. Providence St. Joseph Health created the Institute for Mental Health and Wellness, supported by an initial $100 million investment to be come up with innovative mental health solutions.

“A cornerstone of our missions is addressing significant social, community and health needs of our most vulnerable populations,” said Rod Hochman, M.D., president and CEO of Providence St. Joseph Health. “One of the most challenging health issues facing our communities today is access to effective mental health services. Together, we will convene diverse partners and will be a catalyst for change for the many who struggle with mental health stigmatization, diagnosis and treatment.”

The fund will support research and startup operations for mental health awareness, diagnosis and treatment. Fund distributions will be made through a formalized grant process and be available internally to Providence St. Joseph Health entities as well as other organizations within the communities it serves.

An expert advisory panel will be convened to create a blueprint for improving mental health care in U.S. communities. Maureen Bisognano, recently retired president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, will serve as the chair of the panel, working with Hochman. Members of the panel will provide strategic guidance on the distribution of funds.

“Improving mental health care takes leadership on all levels, as well as a major commitment of resources,” Bisognano said. “I am looking forward to leading a national conversation around mental health and am excited about what we can achieve together.”

As a part of the efforts, Providence St. Joseph Health and the advisory panel will collaborate with national and local organizations with expertise and long histories of addressing mental health.

“This is an important step in the right direction as we work to address the many gaps in our nation’s mental health system,” said Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health. “I am confident we will make meaningful strides, bringing new hope to the many individuals and families who are affected by mental health challenges.”

St. Joseph Health and Providence both maintain a tradition of Catholic health care.

St. Joseph Health is a nonprofit, integrated health care delivery system that includes 16 hospitals, physician organizations, home health agencies, hospice, outpatient services and community outreach services.

Providence’s services include 34 hospitals, 475 physician clinics, senior services, supportive housing and a number of other health and educational services. The health system and its affiliates employ more than 76,000 people.

This will be Providence’s largest combination, after forming an alliance with Swedish Health Services in 2012.

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