Sample Admission Essay on Dignity Health

Dignity Health is a non-profit organization based in California that extends its services to three states inside the US offering hospital services and availing ancillary care facilities. Founded in 1986 under the Catholic Church’s flagship, Dignity Health has grown to be the biggest non-profit hospital provider in California and the fifth largest hospital system in the United States. When it was first founded, Dignity Health was referred to as Catholic Health West because it was founded by the Sisters of Mercy, of the Catholic(Dignity Health, History, 2017). However, since 2012 organization altered its corporate governance structure shifting its dependency from the Catholic Church thus changing the name to Dignity Health. In addition to providing healthcare services to the needy, the company also avails its services to minor and major league, and it is the San Francisco Giants’ official healthcare provider(Dignity Health, History, 2017). Since changing its corporate governance, Dignity Health has also changed its leadership structure and style; this paper will present an in-depth analysis of Dignity Health.

Like any other organization, Dignity Health has a top executive team that is concerned with the daily functioning of the organization; the following is the senior management team,

  • Lloyd H. Dean

The CEO/President of the organization is Lloyd H. Dean. Dean is responsible for the strategy and direction of all Dignity Health’s outlets, business development, the overall management of the organization which includes the strategic direction and orchestrating the company’s market position. Dean has over 20 years’ experience in leadership and heath care operations.(Dignity Health, Governance, and Leadership, 2017)

  • Charles O. Francis

The CSO(chief strategy officer) and a senior executive vice-president, Francis is responsible for the organization’s public policy initiatives, market position, and the strategic direction. Francis has vast experience in business development, consulting and healthcare strategy.

  • Rick Grossman

The general counsel and also an executive VP of Dignity Health, Grossman is tasked with assisting and representing the organization in any legal matters while he is also responsible for strategic growth, physical integration and diversifying the organization’s health services. (Dignity Health, Governance, and Leadership, 2017)

  • Liz Keith

Keith holds the post of an executive VP in charge of mission integration and sponsorship in the organization. Her responsibilities include ensuring Dignity Health’s mission and values are fully integrated into the body and directing initiatives concerning religious sponsors.

  • Daniel Morissette

The CFO(chief financial officer) and a senior executive VP of the organization, Morissette is responsible for Dignity Health’s financial affairs coupled with other corporate activities. He oversees the company $15 billion health care system. Morissette has over 25 years of experience in international business development, consulting and healthcare.(Dignity Health, Governance, and Leadership, 2017)

  • Marvin O’Quinn

As the COO(chief operating officer) and an executive vice-president at Dignity Health, O’Quinn is responsible for the organization’s service area’s operations. Also, he is responsible for ambulatory operations and integrated process management.

  • Darryl Robinson

As the chief human resources officer for Dignity Health, Robinson is responsible for all matters concerning human resource. Such concerns include creating the human resource strategy for the organization and overseeing labor relations, compensation and benefits, and leadership development. He also oversees the inception of human resource programs that advocate for the values, mission and vision of the health enterprise.(Dignity Health, Governance, and Leadership, 2017)

  • Elizabeth Shih

As chief administrative officer and an executive VP for the organization, Shih aids the CEO in matters of operations concerning supports leadership and governance relations due to her extended experience in operations and system integration.

  • Robert Wiebe

The chief medical officer of the organization, Dr. Wiebe heads the organization’s clinical and patient care efforts. Some of these efforts include patient safety, patient satisfaction, physical leadership development, quality of service and home health services. (Dignity Health, Governance, and Leadership, 2017)

  • Deanna Wise

Wise is the chief information officer and an executive VP at Dignity Health. As the chief information officer, she is tasked with all matters concerning the organization’s IT operations mainly implementing the new HER software standard the company is developing. She connects the technological side with the medical side

Dignity Health Leadership style

Clearly stating your vision and the actions needed to fulfill that vision are the foundations of being a great and effective leader. An effective leader will place his focus primarily on the activities that will contribute significantly to the fulfillment of his or her vision. Being a leader is a matter of winning, succeeding in what you are aiming, and this is the approach taken by Lloyd H. Dean, the CEO of Dignity.(Chas Roades & Eric Larsen, 2013)

Since his appointment as the CEO, Dean has completely restructured the leadership style of Dignity Health into a more “Collaborative’ yet decisive” leadership style. Dignity Health or Catholic Health West as it was then called was divided before his arrival with the different facilities operating almost independently without a unified vision or any sign of working as a single health care system. The organization was laden with many executives with each hospital having a separate fiduciary board with governance rights and an abundance of reserve powers(Johnson, 2014). However, Dean changed all this by introducing a more vertical, centralized leadership style. In line with Dean’s vision of growth and innovation for Dignity Health, Dean reorganized the systems command structure by implementing a more centralized leadership structure which in effect was meant to stream the organization’s decision-making process(Kaplan, 2013). Dean restructured the organization’s ten regional departments into four divisions that each had a president who reported directly to the CEO. Through this action, Dean was able to save the organization $70 million in yearly costs and reducing to four the 150 executive positions that were there previously. (Johnson, 2014)

In addition to overhauling the leadership structure at the executive level, Dean also introduced new aspects of leadership at the lower levels. Through simple ideas like communication, listening, and improving motivation, he has transformed the functioning of Dignity Health. His leadership style has been described as energetic and confident with his constant engagement with employees even on the lower levels and remaining positive(CheggStudy, 2014). He has altered the leadership to stay customer oriented. By expanding throughout the different states in the US, Dean has enabled the organization to grow while remaining focused on the customers through avenues like improved communication. Also, he has introduced the policy of outreach and engagement, especially with his now famous “Just Thinking Memos” where he communicates with all the staff about any issue he has observed or any matter that needs to be adjusted(Munro, 2015). Another factor that has been recognized in Dean’s leadership style is balance and tact. Dean has been able to balance between religion and secularity considering he was appointed to the organization when it was still under Catholic Church’s control. Also, despite shifting from the Catholic Church, he has ensured the organization has maintained its identity by continuing the charity work it was doing before.

In conclusion, leadership is an important element of any organization. The success of the leadership style change at Dignity Health proves the point. Dignity Health’s leadership style is now more structured centrally but also more collaborative and consequently more beneficial to every stakeholder in the organization.

NB: Questions to ask member of the organization

  1. What is the difference between the previous leadership style/structure (pre-Dean) and the current leadership style/structure (post-Dean)? How is the organization benefiting?
  2. What do you think of the “Just Thinking Memos” and have they had an effect on the organization? How?
  • How is Dean personally as a leader? What traits does he possess?
  1. How have the other employees responded to his leadership style?


Chas Roades & Eric Larsen. (2013, June 21). Lessons from the C-suite: Lloyd Dean, CEO of Dignity Health. Retrieved from Advisory Board:

CheggStudy. (2014). Question: Leadership Style and Substance at Dignity Health C…. Retrieved from Chegg Study:

Dignity Health. (2017). Governance and Leadership. Retrieved from Dignity Health:

Dignity Health. (2017). History. Retrieved from Dignity Health:

Johnson, S. R. (2014, April 12). Unifying a disorganized system. Retrieved from Modern Healthcare:

Kaplan, D. A. (2013, January 9). Lloyd Dean: The medicine man of Dignity Health. Retrieved from Fortune:

Munro, D. (2015, May 7). 6 Questions For Lloyd Dean ‒ President And CEO Of Dignity Health. Retrieved from Forbes: