A 2006 photo of Franciscan St. Elizabeth hospital in Lafayette, Indiana. This is one of a number of hospital that will be dropping the saint names. Photo/Huw Williams, Wikimedia Commons

Saint names dropped from 12 Midwest U.S. hospitals

By  Lauren Markoe, Religion News Service
  • September 8, 2016

The names of saints will no longer grace a dozen Midwestern hospitals in the United States.

Franciscan Alliance, the health care system that oversees the Illinois and Indiana hospitals, has determined that dropping the saint names will strengthen the brand identity of the system as a whole, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.

“Unsainted” hospitals include those that had incorporated the names of St. James, St. Anthony, St. Elizabeth, St. Margaret and St. Francis.

“Franciscan St. James Health — Chicago Heights” in Illinois, for example, will become “Franciscan Health Chicago Heights.”

In its press release, the organization noted that the parent company will remain “Franciscan Alliance,” while its hopsitals will take on “Franciscan Health” as part of their names to underscore their collective capabilities and create an uniform identity. 

Franciscan Alliance board chair Sister Jane Marie Klein told The Associated Press that the name changes are in keeping with the mission of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, which founded the hospital system.

But some are loath to lose the saint names. “How does denying your Catholic identity create a stronger identity?” wrote one person who commented on the business journal article.

Franciscan Alliance serves more than 1.3 million patients in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan annually.

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