CommonSpirit Health Foundation Spotlight

CommonSpirit Health Foundation’s Humankindness Gala Honors a Lifetime of Social Justice and Health Equity

CHICAGO, Ill (May 13, 2022) – CommonSpirit Health’s Board of Stewardship Trustees in collaboration with CommonSpirit Health Foundation has announced the formation of the Lloyd H. Dean Institute for Humankindness and Health Justice. The announcement of the new institute, established to celebrate CommonSpirit CEO Lloyd H. Dean’s retirement, honor his legacy and continue his work in the field of equity and justice, was a centerpiece of the Humankindness Gala held at San Francisco’s city hall on May 12. 

The foundation welcomed more than 350 gala attendees to celebrate kindness, resilience and the important work being undertaken in the field of health justice. The gala, back after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, raised millions of dollars to support the foundation’s national efforts.

“CommonSpirit Health Foundation was established in November of 2020 – during a global pandemic – one of the most challenging public health emergencies in our nation’s history,” said Janet Reilly, foundation board member, founder of Clinic by the Bay and co-owner of the Nob Hill Gazette and the San Francisco Examiner. “The pandemic illustrated to the nation why issues of equity and justice matter. It has shown us that we are only as safe as those most vulnerable among us are cared for and protected. We have a shared responsibility to each other, our country and to the world to do what is right … what is just … to help. The continued work of the foundation will sit at this exact intersection of equity and justice to improve the health of our nation.”

Chaired by foundation board members Reilly, Kristi Yamaguchi and Michael Covarrubias, the Humankindness Gala welcomed attendees into an immersive experience that included celebrated speakers, live performances and dramatic projections that transformed city hall’s grand rotunda into a unique and magical environment. At home, others were able to participate in the Tribute to Humankindness, an hour-long virtual extension of the Humankindness Gala.

In helping to open the event, San Francisco Mayor London Breed proclaimed the week of May 8-14, 2022 as “Humankindness Week” in the city and county of San Francisco. This recognition celebrates the profound contributions of CommonSpirit to the San Francisco community and further honors Dean’s upcoming retirement and personal commitment to the health of San Franciscans. Vice President Kamala Harris sent her congratulations and appreciation in a letter delivered directly to Dean at the event.

Later in the evening, Jed York, Chairman of the CommonSpirit Health Foundation Board of Directors and CEO of the San Francisco 49ers led a moving celebration of Dean. Peers, family members and colleagues including Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, California Governor Gavin Newsom and Salvatore Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco appeared by video to honor Dean’s commitment and service. At the conclusion of these remarks, York, on behalf of the foundation board of directors, presented Dean with the Humankindness Lifetime Achievement Award.

In announcing the establishment of the Lloyd H. Dean Institute for Humankindness and Health Justice, Tessie Guillermo, Chairperson of CommonSpirit’s Board of Stewardship Trustees, commented to Dean that it would “forever tie [his] legacy alongside that of [CommonSpirit’s] founding congregations in creating a better and more just world for all.” 

The institute will support research on the effects of human kindness in health care on patient and community outcomes. It will expand vital programs for those most vulnerable and ensure that CommonSpirit’s work is done through a lens of health justice. It will be supported by an ambitious $50 million funding goal from the foundation over the next five years with $1 million in seed funding already committed by the Board of Stewardship Trustees.

About CommonSpirit Health
CommonSpirit Health is a nonprofit, Catholic health system dedicated to advancing health for all people. It was created in February 2019 by Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health. CommonSpirit is committed to creating healthier communities, delivering exceptional patient care and ensuring every person has access to quality health care. With its national office in Chicago and a team of approximately 150,000 employees and 25,000 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, CommonSpirit Health operates 140 hospitals and more than 1,000 care sites across 21 states. Learn more at

About CommonSpirit Health Foundation
CommonSpirit Health Foundation is making the promise of health equity and health justice a reality across the country — through funding pioneering programs that ensure greater access, creating community partnerships and advocating for the underserved and most vulnerable. The foundation inspires investments and donations from individuals, private foundations, corporate foundations and other entities — to support programs and initiatives that enable all people to be healthy and safe. Learn more at