MISHAWAKA, Ind. (AP) -

A large Catholic health system is dropping saint names from its hospitals to create a more unified identity.


Franciscan Alliance treats more than 1.3 million patients in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. It's changing its name to Franciscan Health. The Indiana-based organization announced Tuesday it will rename 12 of its 14 hospitals.


The decision means Franciscan St. Francis Health in Indianapolis will become Franciscan Health Indianapolis. Franciscan St. James Health in Chicago Heights, Illinois, will become Franciscan Health Chicago Heights. Other hospitals also will drop saint names.


Franciscan Alliance board chair Sister Jane Marie Klein says the changes underscore the system's combined strength and still reflect the heritage of the founding Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration.


Changes to signs and printed material will happen gradually to keep costs down.