Sisterhood is powerful in health care. Sponsored by two congregations of nuns -- the Sisters of Providence and the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary -- Providence Health & Services (through Providence Health System) operates nearly 30 hospitals and dozens of other health facilities in five states in the western US. Its hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics are located in Alaska, California, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. All together, the system has more than 5,500 acute care beds and some 2,000 long-term care beds. The organization also provides health insurance to hundreds of thousands of people through Providence Health Plans and offers subsidized housing for the low-income elderly and disabled.