ENCINITAS (CNS) - A yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas got under way Friday.
Caregivers, former patients and community leaders gathered at the hospital to share memories, give thanks and unveil a historical photo display of the facility. Scripps also presented a commendation to one of the hospital's founders, Dr. Dwight Cook.
"In 1963, our founding physicians broke ground on this hospital to meet the health care needs of North County, because they had the vision to see this region as a vibrant, growing area," said Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health. "This hospital is rooted in the spirit of providing superior care to our patients, which is a legacy that continues to this day."
The medical center opened as the 60-bed Encinitas Convalescent Hospital, but has since grown to become a full-service hospital offering surgical procedures, 24-hour emergency care and treatments for stroke, heart, cancer and orthopedic patients.
According to Scripps Health, the facility receives more than 80,000 patient visits annually. Its staff delivers about 1,600 babies and handles 4,600 surgical procedures per year.
The photo display can be viewed by the public inside the hospital. The public is also invited to contribute to a time capsule, with details on how to contribute to be released later.
According to Scripps Health, the seeds of the hospital were planted in 1960, when Cook and Dr. Charles Clark established a medical practice on Santa Fe Drive and discovered a need for wider health care services. Groundbreaking was held for the hospital in 1963, and it opened in 1964.
The facility was renamed San Dieguito Hospital following an expansion in 1975, and it was sold to Scripps three years later.
"I'm pleasantly surprised and quite grateful to see how the hospital has developed over the years to provide a wider range of services," said Dr. Ronald Summers, who joined with Cook and Clark to develop the facility. "Our main goal in the first place was to serve the health care needs of the community, and Scripps has done a tremendous job of taking what we started and helping it grow."
Scripps Encinitas recently built a new parking garage and is working on an expanded emergency department, which is expected to open next year.