Salinas, CA, April 20, 2018- Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS) is celebrating 65 years
of service to the community. This afternoon nurses, physicians, other
clinical staff, administrators and former patients gathered outside the
main entrance of the hospital to mark the milestone anniversary with a
celebratory event and group photo. It was on April 20, 1953 that Salinas
Valley Memorial Hospital first opened its doors.
“In the last 65 years Salinas Valley Memorial has grown from a small
district hospital to an integrated Healthcare System,” says Pete
Delgado, President/CEO of Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. “The
founding community members of this hospital had a vision for health care
services in this region and we continue to build on their promise and
The planning for Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital started in the early
1940’s when the Salinas Community Hospital Association was formed.
Bruce Church, a successful local business man and philanthropist called
on other influential citizens to lead a major fundraising campaign to
build the hospital. The grassroots campaign raised nearly three-hundred
thousand dollars and Church donated the land where the hospital was built.
Days prior to the grand opening of SVMH in 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower
sent a letter of congratulations to Bruce Church. In it he wrote, the
“People of Salinas Valley have every right to be proud of this admirable
example of local self-reliance and initiative,” commenting on the
fact that no state of federal funds were used.
Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital opened to the public in 1953 as a 138
bed hospital staffed with 100 employees and 45 physicians. Sixty-five
years later, SVMH employs more than 1,800 people and has more than 360
physicians specializing in nearly 60 specialties. The system has grown
to serve the needs of the surrounding communities. Every year, on average,
Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital has:
- More than 10,000 admissions
- More than 56,000 ER visits
- More than 5,600 surgeries
- Approximately 1,800 babies born
“It is truly remarkable how far this hospital has come,” says
Chris Orman, President, Board of Directors, SVMHS. “It’s the
strong leadership, fiscal responsibility, strategic planning and exceptional
medical care that have fueled the phenomenal growth the Healthcare System
In addition to the numerous national awards and recognitions for quality
care, last month the Monterey County Business Council honored Salinas
Valley Memorial Healthcare System with its Economic Vitality Award for
Wellness and Lifestyle.