Ascension Health has ascended to the pinnacle of not-for-profit health care. As the largest Catholic hospital system in the US, and thus one of the top providers of charity care in the nation, the organization's health care network consists of some 80 general hospitals, along with a dozen long-term care, acute care, rehabilitation, and psychiatric hospitals (combined, more than 17,500 beds). Ascension Health also operates nursing homes, community clinics, and other health care providers. Its network of medical facilities spans 20 states and the District of Columbia. Ascension Health was created in 1999 from a union of the Daughters of Charity National Health System and the Sisters of St. Joseph Health System.