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 more than 30 hospitals and 400 clinics 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 through Providence Health Plans and offers subsidized housing for the low-income elderly and disabled. Providence plans to merge with St. Joseph Health System.