Based in Phoenix, Ariz., Banner Health is one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country. Our nonprofit mission is in keeping with the legacies of our predecessor companies, Lutheran Health Systems and Samaritan Health System. The two organizations became Banner Health on Sept. 1, 1999. Lutheran Health System had a long-standing history dating from 1938 as a respected health care provider in rural communities located in Western and Midwestern states. Samaritan Health System was formed in 1911 and was renowned for its clinical excellence provided in communities in California and Arizona, primarily in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
We have more than 35,000 employees systemwide. Banner Health is the second largest private employer in Arizona, and one of the largest in northern Colorado.
As a nonprofit health care organization, Banner Health exists to support our charitable mission of providing health care services to the communities we serve, rather than to generate profits. That means every dollar we earn is reinvested into new hospital beds, new or expanding patient care services, new technologies, maintaining existing equipment and facilities and paying employees' salaries.
As a large multi-state health care system, Banner is constantly trying to maintain an appropriate balance between standardization and customization. Finding this balance is critical to many facets of our operations. Standardizing patient care to reflect best practices across the company and industry must be balanced with accommodating the needs of individual patients and their families. Leveraging the value of a large organization by standardizing policies, payroll practices, and the ways in which we work with employees is weighed against the recognition that the resources and expectations in each facility and community may vary widely from our small rural facilities in Wyoming and Nebraska to our large urban facilities in the Phoenix-metropolitan area.
Just as our facilities and the communities we serve have varying needs, so do the employees who make up our workforce and allow us to deliver on our mission of excellent patient care. We believe our "Journey" employer commitment reflects the unique opportunities available to Banner employees. Journey is our philosophy about creating a great workplace.
Banner Health strives to make a difference in the communities we serve by being a powerful advocate to create and maintain strong, healthy neighborhoods. We are not only engaged in our communities, but we also encourage the involvement of our employees in various health-related events and activities in our communities.
Many of Banner's employees are trained health care professionals, and as such are encouraged to, and have the desire to give back to their communities by participating in various health-related events, including immunization clinics, offering sports physicals, health and safety fairs and providing presentations to local schools and civic organizations.
Banner Health measures the quality of patient care in key areas such as treating heart attack patients, heart failure care, mortality rates, pneumonia care, surgical care and preventing infections. We compare ourselves to similar hospital systems, then identify and develop best practices. As a result, Banner Health hospitals have been nationally recognized for cardiac care, treatment of kidney disease, urology and gynecology. Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center has achieved Magnet status, a prestigious designation to recognize health care organizations for nursing excellence. Of approximately 6,000 hospitals nationwide, only 250 have earned Magnet recognition to date.