A dozen US Midwestern hospitals have decided to drop the saints from their names, reports the Religion News Service.
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.”
The hospital system — “Franciscan Alliance” — will also change its name to “Franciscan Health.”
Franciscan Alliance board chair, Sr Jane Marie Klein, told AP 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 reluctant 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.
Photo: Franciscan St James Health - Chicago Heights