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Pete’s Perspective: Seven Decades of Service to the Community

Pete’s Perspective:  Seven Decades of Service to the Community

Media Contact: Karina Rusk

April 20 marks the seventieth anniversary of Salinas Valley Health’s service to the community! The opening of our doors on that spring day in 1953 brought a new class of service to the people of Monterey County, making top-notch care available close to home.

The building was constructed with the highest standards and first-rate medical equipment. Yet then and now, it has been the people who make the difference – the physicians, nurses, clinical and non-clinical staff who are passionate about what they do and work daily to help our community rise in good health.

Perseverance, adaptability and commitment to community have been essential to success throughout our history. Planning for the hospital began in 1941 when local businessman Bruce Church began efforts to raise funds for the building. He donated the land on which the hospital was built and more than 175 civic leaders – many in the agriculture industry – responded with overwhelming support, raising $300,000 for construction.

World War II and other setbacks delayed progress, yet the forward-thinking mindset of those early leaders made the dream of bringing a modern hospital to Salinas a reality. With the passage of a bond, establishment of a tax district and continued fundraising, the vision took shape. President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent a telegram on opening day recognizing the new $3.3 million hospital as an “admirable example of local self-reliance and initiative.”

Strong governance along with a laser focus on outstanding patient experiences are hallmarks in our legacy of leadership. Over the decades we’ve evolved, innovated and expanded our care and partnerships in the community. Growing from a small district hospital to a top-performing integrated healthcare system reaching generations of lives, we have delivered high-caliber service for 70 years. While we now have a new name, our standards of excellence remain the same.

Salinas Valley Health honors the vision of its early leaders in serving as a medical center of distinction. It pays tribute to their perseverance by expanding access to quality medical services. We routinely receive high marks for exceptional patient outcomes and are nationally recognized for social responsibility.

As we celebrate 70 years, we celebrate a team of more than 2,000 whose remarkable commitment to excellent care and a healthy community both defines us and drives us forward. More than just a hospital you visit for emergencies, Salinas Valley Health has become an everyday resource for better health.

We are excited about what is yet to come, and we thank you for the trust you have placed in us for the past seven decades. It is our firm belief that community well-being is the foundation of individual well-being and we are honored to be here for you as we begin the next chapter in our bright future.

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