CommonSpirit Health™ Takes a Stand
CommonSpirit Health was created by the alignment of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) and Dignity Health in early 2019. As a single ministry, CommonSpirit is committed to building healthier communities, advocating for those who are poor and vulnerable, and innovating how and where healing can happen—both inside its hospitals and out in the community. CommonSpirit prioritized the alignment of two model programs: CHI’s Violence Prevention Initiative and Dignity Health’s Human Trafficking Response Program.
CHI heightened its commitment to building healthier communities in 2008 by launching a comprehensive national campaign to eradicate the epidemic of violence – this campaign was called “United Against Violence”. As the first violence prevention effort of its kind ever sponsored by a nonprofit health system, the initiative seeks to prevent violence using a multi-faceted strategy that includes public policy advocacy, shareholder advocacy, broad education and awareness initiatives, and community-based primary violence prevention programs. Understanding that no form of violence has a solitary solution, CHI employs a spectrum of actions to fully address the crisis of violence in all of its forms, including human trafficking. This program recognizes that it is the responsibility of health care systems to extend health care beyond patient care settings and to serve the needs of the broader community.
Meanwhile, Dignity Health, in partnership with Dignity Health Foundation, launched a program in 2014 to assist in the identification of trafficked persons in health care settings and provision of appropriate intervention support and services to affected patients. Through this program, the Human Trafficking Response Program, Dignity Health provides education to staff, physicians, volunteers, and contract employees about human trafficking and trauma-informed care, and implements policies and procedures to guide staff on how to provide trauma-informed victim assistance to persons experiencing any form of violence, including human trafficking.
Together, these initiatives form CommonSpirit’s Violence and Human Trafficking Prevention and Response (VHTPR) Program, a new model for health care systems to comprehensively address multiple issues of violence. This aligned program will continue CHI’s national campaign titled “United Against Violence”. Prevention and intervention strategies, working together simultaneously, can eventually eradicate the scourge of violence that plagues society. CommonSpirit is poised to lead the way. Executive Sponsors are Kathleen Sanford, Chief Nursing Officer, and Colleen Scanlon, Chief Advocacy Officer.