In Honor of the Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare Systemby Representative Sam Farr
Posted on 2013-03-15
in the house of representatives
Friday, March 15, 2013
Mr. FARR. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the Salinas
Valley Memorial Healthcare System on its sixtieth anniversary of caring
for the health needs of Monterey County. Community leaders began
fundraising for a new hospital in 1941. World War II postponed those
efforts. They resumed in 1947, after the State of California passed an
act allowing taxation districts to be established in local communities
for the building of hospitals. All funding for the hospital was local;
no state or federal funds were used in the project.
The hospital was named Salinas Valley Memorial to honor the memory of ``the men and women of the armed forces who made the supreme sacrifice for their community and their nation.'' It opened on April 20, 1953 with 138 beds, 100 employees and 45 physicians. President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent a letter of congratulations in which he wrote, the ``People of Salinas have every right to be proud of this admirable example of local self-reliance and initiative.'' Roy Diaz, who survived the Bataan Death March, was in attendance at the dedication; he still lives in the area and will help Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System celebrate its anniversary.
The hospital was state-of-the-art when it opened. Still, the advancements in technology over the next twenty-five years were greater than the founders could have imagined. Partnerships with universities and other healthcare organizations like Visiting Nurses and Doctors On Duty allow Salinas Valley Memorial to expand and deliver world-class health care into communities across the Central Coast. It is currently licensed for 269 acute care beds. Today there are more than 1,600 employees with more than 250 physicians on staff.
The hospital has won numerous awards for its cardiac care center from such organizations as the American Heart Association and Blue Cross/Blue Shield. In 2011, it was honored as being one of only 110 U.S. hospitals given the international designation of baby-friendly by the World Health Organization and UNICEF.
Mr. Speaker, I know the whole House joins me in congratulating Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System on its anniversary, and wish them many more years of quality service to the public.