Following the announcement of Ascension Providence’s brand unification, I want to share the excitement of our physicians, nurses, other caregivers, associates and leaders to incorporate the name of Ascension — one of the nation’s leading nonprofit health systems — into our brand identity. Providence has been part of Ascension since its founding in 1999, and this transition now identifies our health system with resources including 2,500 sites of care and 36,000 healthcare providers in 21 states and Washington, D.C.

Our brand unification empowers Ascension Providence to connect every aspect of care and innovation across our sites of care and tap into the knowledge and resources of thousands of medical professionals across the country — ultimately improving the care we deliver to residents of Waco and surrounding communities. Ascension Providence continues to advance its legacy of more than 114 years in the community, with a mission to provide compassionate, personalized care for all, supported and strengthened by our national network.

We know the individuals we serve have many options for their health and wellness needs, and we want to make sure we continue offering access to a connected, integrated group of medical professionals who can best meet people’s health needs at the right place and time with clear, convenient access points under a unified identity. The innovations built by Ascension Providence and other Ascension ministries will be collaborative and enable our patients and families to seamlessly connect with their providers.

As always, those we serve are at the heart of all we do and integrating our brand identity with Ascension will only benefit those we serve. Individuals who trust us with their care will continue to see the doctor they know and trust — that will not change. We expect the overall experience and care delivery to be enhanced as Ascension Providence physicians are connected to other experts and specialists across the country.

You may ask — how will this brand integration help our patients access the high-quality, affordable care they need? Being part of a national organization allows us to access additional resources to bring new technologies and procedures to Waco residents. Recent examples include minimally invasive heart procedures and robotic surgery options. The development of new specialty programs and expansion of existing services allow our patients to remain in Waco for more specialized care close to home.

We are reimagining our clinical efforts to see our access points through the eyes of those we serve. As we evolve in response to the dynamic needs of consumers in an increasingly digital age, we are building mobile-friendly physician scheduling tools, virtual care options, world-class web design and online urgent-care appointments.

Additionally, we are continually working to better listen to and understand how our consumers operate in the digital space. We’re measuring our patient communication and care delivery initiatives through a quantitative, data-driven approach to thoroughly understand the needs of our consumers, so we can better serve both them and our healthcare providers. This research across Ascension’s locations will help us reach our consumers directly with the information they want and need to improve their personal health.

This time of transformation presents Ascension Providence with an exciting opportunity to build upon our existing strengths by adding the reputation and resources of a national healthcare leader that has already been closely aligned with our health system for 20 years. We look forward to sustaining and enhancing the existing relationships between our patients and their providers, and presenting consumers with clear, unified access points for personalized care that consider the whole picture of your health.

Philip Patterson is president of Ascension Providence, part of Ascension, the nation’s largest non-profit health system and the world’s largest Catholic health system, operating 2,500 sites in 21 states and the District of Columbia.