Providence St. Joseph Health, the system newly formed through the merger of Providence Health & Services in Renton, Wash., and St. Joseph Health System in Irvine, Calif., has established a national program to improve awareness, diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.
The 50-hospital system is investing $100 million to find new ways to treat behavioral conditions. Its program, the Institute for Mental Health and Wellness, will spearhead research and services. It includes an advisory panel chaired by Maureen Bisognano, former president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
A foundation will allocate grants to organizations innovating treatment and services.
The new Renton-based health system formally began operations Wednesday. Providence Health & Services and St. Joseph Health System announced plans to merge last July.
Providence was one of the largest not-for-profit systems in the U.S. with 27 hospitals across Alaska, California, Montana, Oregon and Washington. St. Joseph operated 16 hospitals across California and Texas.
The newly formed system and its partners employ 100,000 providers in seven Western states.