Sharp Grossmont Hospital CEO: “64 years: Here’s to many more”

From the Desk of Sharp Grossmont Hospital CEO, Scott Evans

64 years: Here’s to many more
July 26, 2019

On Wednesday, July 24, attendees at our Leadership Forum celebrated Sharp Grossmont’s 64th anniversary with a look back (and cake). While some of us like to ignore our own annual days, this is a birthday to celebrate and realize just how far we’ve come.

The dedication of the Grossmont Hospital on that day in 1955 (photo to the right) was followed by the official “opening of the doors” on August 15.

And a fun story happened that morning. The well-planned and highly anticipated 7:00 am opening was pre-empted by the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph Callas and their doctor, George Brown Jr. of El Cajon. Turned out their soon-to-be-born son, Randy, was a tad impatient for the opening and entered the world that morning at 6:26 am.

That year, we had 150 employees and 110 beds, compared to the 524 beds we offer today. In just one month, the hospital was running at capacity. The decades to follow would lay the foundation for Sharp Grossmont’s transformation to a full-service healthcare facility. A few things to recall:

* The hospital received national news coverage in 1956 when doctors became the first in the United States to separate conjoined twins.
* In the 1960s, an additional wing with 140 beds was built and the Grossmont Center mall opened, followed by increased development in the surrounding communities and neighborhoods.
* The 1970s brought San Diego’s first CT brain scanner to SGH, and a scene of constant construction at the hospital such as the building of a new wing and rehabilitation center.
* Grossmont Hospital Foundation, our fundraising arm, was born in the 1980s, with a mission to help fund patient care services, hospice, major capital projects and other needs.
* That same decade our Women’s Health Center was opened – the first of its kind in San Diego.

The 1990s ushered in big changes when the District Board approved a hospital management agreement with Sharp HealthCare, and both the David and Donna Long Center for Cancer Treatment (San Diego’s first free-standing cancer center) and Senior Resource Center opened their doors. In 2006, bond measure Prop G passed, a $247 million measure that made possible the financing of a number of large capital infrastructure construction projects at SGH.

Barry Jantz, CEO of the Grossmont Healthcare District, says the East County citizens who voted for Prop G by an overwhelming 77% have seen the hospital keep its word to them.

“Looking back at the last decade, what stands out to me is the result of the commitment we’ve made to East County’s taxpayers,” says Jantz. “Significant facility improvements have been underway at Sharp Grossmont Hospital that not only produce cost-savings for them, but also ensure the hospital’s capacity to provide the highest quality patient care services for many years to come.”

We’re excited to see what the future holds for our ever-evolving community hospital. Happy Birthday Sharp Grossmont, and here’s to many more.

Yours in Service,

Scott Evans, PharmD, MHA
Chief Executive Officer