Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital
The Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital is a public district hospital in Salinas, California. With 269 hospital beds and 2,132 employees, the hospital has tried to improve the health of the Salinas Valley by using the latest healthcare technology. In this commitment the hospital has partnered with local organizations and some of the world's leading medical and scientific institutions, such as NASA.
Around 1941, the newly formed Salinas Community Hospital Association began planning and fundraising for a hospital. Bruce Church, a successful local businessman, donated the land for the hospital and the Salinas Community Hospital Association raised nearly $300,000. The fundraising was stopped with World War II, but began again in 1947. Also in 1947, the California State Legislature passed the Healthcare District Act, which authorizes communities to establish Special Districts to build hospitals and other healthcare facilities to meet local needs. A local, publicly elected Board of Directors governs these Special Districts. Bruce Church was elected President of the Board of Directors for the SVMH.
On March 29, 1953, the day of dedication, Bruce Church received a letter of congratulations from President Dwight D. Eisenhower, which commented on how no state or federal funds were used to build the hospital.
The Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital opened on April 20, 1953 with 138 beds and 145 employees and physicians. The hospital offered operating rooms, a physical therapy unit, pathology and radiology labs, and a pediatric unit with a nursery and for new fathers, a “pacing room”.
Since the late 1980s, the Salinas Valley Memorial has added programs and facilities for the growing community. Some Highlights include:
- L.M. Tynan Emergency Center and Paramedic Base Station
- Joyce Wyman Outpatient Surgery Center
- Orradre New Life Center for Single Room Maternity Care
- Comprehensive Cancer Center
- Diagnostic Imaging Center
- Norman P. Andresen, MD Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
- Signing of a Space Act Agreement with NASA and establishment of the Virtual Collaborative Clinic
Partnerships and affiliations
On September 9, 1998, the Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital and the NASA Ames BioVIS (Biological Visualization, Imaging and Simulation) Technology Center signed a Space Act Agreement. This partnership gives the Hospital 3-D imaging capability for diagnostic analysis. These analyses can be transmitted by low orbiting satellites to any location on the earth. During June 1999, the Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital became one of medical facilities that hold the title, along with Stanford and Cleveland Research Clinic, “virtual hospital.” On July 21, 2004, the SVMHS and NASA signed a new Space Act Agreement, which enables them to work together on 3-dimensional, digital fusion-imaging projects.
Stanford affiliation with NICU
Since the Neonatal Intensive Unit opened in late 2001, it has worked with Stanford University's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. The Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital and Stanford University are linked through an audio/video network, so they can transmit information about each baby if needed. The hospital has a Level III nursery which provides care for the most critical babies, including those who are premature.