In what could set a significant precedent, Catholic Healthcare West, "one of the nation's largest hospital systems and operator of four Bay Area hospitals, is ending its governing board's affiliation with the Catholic Church and changing its name to help the system expand," the San Jose Mercury News reports.
The system's change to a nondenominational board will create "a tremendous opportunity that will help accelerate our growth," Lloyd Dean, the president and CEO of Catholic Healthcare West, told the Mercury News.
The article also reports that "secular hospitals added to the system will be required to adhere to the 'Statement of Common Values' that apply to Catholic Healthcare West's secular hospitals."
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Although the article doesn't note this, the move will also allow the hospital to provide its employees with all of the provisions included in the Affordable Healthcare Act, including access to contraception, without involvement from the hierarchy.