Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas turns 50 - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas turns 50

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas turned 50 years old Wednesday, having grown from a small convalescent operation to a full-service hospital that cares for more than 80,000 patients a year.

Encinitas Convalescent Hospital opened April 9, 1964, to provide long-term care for patients recovering from illness or surgery.

The facility became Encinitas Hospital, specializing in internal medicine, two years later when founding physicians Drs. Dwight Cook, Charles Clark and Ronald Summers converted some of the beds to use for acute care.

By 1975, the hospital had moved and opened a 94-bed building with an emergency department and intensive care unit. Scripps Health acquired the Encinitas three years later.

"We've been proud to evolve over the years to meet the growing health care needs of North County residents," said Carl Etter, senior corporate vice president of Scripps Health and chief executive of Scripps Encinitas. "We're North County's first certified stroke center, we have a world-class rehabilitation program, he have over 40,000 ER visits annually and we deliver nearly 2,000 babies a year."

An almost 62,000-square-foot, two-story Critical Care Building is scheduled to be put into use this summer.

Scripps Health said the building will house a 27-bed emergency department on the first floor, which will more than double the size of the hospital's emergency room. The second floor will include 36 beds for patients recovering from surgery or acute illnesses.

Scripps said the anniversary will be celebrated at an April 26 gala, when the nonprofit health care organization hopes to raise more funds for the expansion project. So far, Scripps Health has taken in $39 million of the $58 million it needs.

The expansion also is being paid for through loans and operating revenue.

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