About El Camino Hospital

About El Camino Hospital

At El Camino Hospital, everything we do is based on the deep belief that improved technology leads to improved patient care. We’re quick to master the latest medical advancements, but compassion still rules. We remain sensitive to your comfort, health and happiness.

When you choose El Camino Hospital for your care, you can count on:

Our Legacy: In the Beginning

In the mid-1950s, when orchards and fields in the Los Altos and Mountain View area were quickly turning into suburbs and commercial enclaves, a group of physicians and concerned citizens banded together to establish a much-needed community hospital. The few existing local hospitals were at capacity; hospitals to the north and south were badly overcrowded. The best and fairest way, they decided, was to form a hospital district and levy a tax so the cost would be shared among the population of the entire area. Voters approved the formation of the district in 1956 by a 12-to-1 margin. The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors appointed a five-member board. Its first decision was the selection of a 20-acre orchard on Grant Road in Mountain View as the site for the new hospital. The name "El Camino Hospital" was also chosen. In 1957, voters approved a $7.3 million bond issue, again by a large margin, to finance the building and operation of the hospital.

Construction of the four-story hospital began in 1958. Overseeing the building was the hospital's first administrator R. Edwin Hawkins, who went on to lead the hospital for 25 years. "The building of El Camino Hospital was the biggest thing in town," the late Mr. Hawkins said in a 1999 interview. "People were willing to do anything to support the hospital. There was real electricity in the air."

Proof of this was the formation in 1958 of the El Camino Hospital Auxiliary with 1,000 members. This was three years before the hospital opened. The first medical staff, 21 members strong, was established in 1960. By 1961, all necessary preparations had been made and the hospital admitted its first patients on September 1, 1961.

Growth and Progress

With the population in the area expanding, the hospital soon outgrew its original building, adding a fifth and sixth floor to the main building just a few years after opening. The hospital wouldn’t adopt the slogan “The Hospital of Silicon Valley until the late 1990s, but its identity with the valley’s innovative spirit and technology expertise started as early as 1971. In partnership with Lockheed, El Camino Hospital implemented the world's first computer-aided medical information system, drawing visitors from all over the world.

Continuing a steady pace of growth over the next decades, the hospital added an array of community need-based services, including an outpatient surgery center, family birthing center, emergency, radiology and intensive care facilities, a psychiatric unit, and senior resource center. During the hospital’s third decade in the community, the El Camino Hospital Foundation was established to raise charitable contributions in support of the hospital.

Expanding to Serve More Communities

In 2008, the hospital acquired the assets of the former Community Hospital of Los Gatos. The former owners closed the hospital in April 2009, but within 90 days, a fully renovated and staffed El Camino Hospital Los Gatos reopened that July. Located at 815 Pollard Road in Los Gatos, the 143-bed hospital continues to offer full service, acute care to residents of Los Gatos and surrounding communities, just as it had been doing since it first opened in 1962.

Since reopening, more than $19 million has been spent at the Los Gatos campus on seismic improvements as well as equipment and technology upgrades that include an electronic records system. Another $12 million was recently allocated to remodel and renovate patient care units.

A New Hospital Building in Mountain View

In 2006, after the second groundbreaking event in El Camino Hospital’s history, construction began on the Mountain View campus on the new seismically compliant main hospital building. Three years later, after a festive ribbon cutting and community day with more than 8,000 people taking tours of the new facilities, the new state-of-the-art hospital in Mountain View opened on November 15, 2009.

Read more year-by-year details about the history of El Camino Hospital, going back all the way to 1957.