After more than two years of talks, Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health finally confirmed their intention to merge companies. In their joint-CEO positions, Kevin Lofton and Lloyd Dean will head up the newly branded not-for-profit CommonSpirit Health.
Now that it’s formal, the Chicago-based business represents one of the largest not-for-profit health systems in the country, including: 142 hospitals; 150,000 employees; nearly $30 billion in revenue; and 700 care facilities spanning 21 states. “One of the things we bring to the table as an organization is the large footprint, but not so much from a size standpoint, more from the diversity of our ministries,” Lofton said.
Two areas of executive focus will include extending healthcare beyond the hospital and addressing the underlying causes of poor health. “We will have an opportunity to grow and partner to bring in additional expertise to develop a more efficient and cost-effective system,” Lofton said. CommonSpirit plans to prioritize the expansion of their telehealth capabilities for better reach in rural communities. Lofton also shared the company’s plan to grow their homecare division to help those who wish to stay healthy at home.
Kevin Lofton has over four decades in the health field underscored by his dedication to social justice and accessible healthcare. His early experiences growing up in New York city, as an emergency department administrator in Florida; and as a caretaker for his mother after she became ill helped create Lofton’s commitment to healthy communities – especially those undeserved or vulnerable.
The senior healthcare leader has worked as the CEO of the Catholic Health Initiative (CHI) since 2003. Under his guidance, Catholic Health Initiative grew through a number of acquisitions and affiliations, including the 2013 purchase of St Luke’s Episcopal Health System in Houston.
Lofton’s vision for CHI is one that moves America’s health care system from a focus on ‘sick care’. “Well care is my definition for holistic and integrative health – for wholeness,” Lofton told the CHI board of stewardship trustees in August 2003. “It is the prevention of illness; the preservation and restoration of health; and the compassion to provide hope when healing is not possible. It is the optimal state of mind, body and the spirit; it is also the intricate connection of all three. Well care is everything and everyone that affects the health of a community.”
Prior to his work with CHI, Lofton acted as CEO of two university hospitals and Chief Operating Officer of another. Since 2007, he has served as Chairman of the Board of the American Hospital Association (AHA) and as an Independent Director of Gilead Sciences, Inc. and Director of Gilead Palo Alto, Inc.