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 legacy.”

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 has experienced.”

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.