El Camino Health first opened its doors to patients on Sept. 1, 1961, as a much-needed community hospital.

History of El Camino Health

In the mid-1950s, as the orchards and fields of Los Altos and Mountain View were making way for suburbs and strip malls, the few existing local hospitals were struggling with capacity issues.

A group of doctors and concerned citizens decided the fairest way to address the burgeoning problem would be to form a hospital district and levy a tax so the cost could be shared by the people living in the surrounding areas.

Voters approved the idea in 1956, and the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors appointed a five-member board to lead the project. The board's first order of business was to choose a 20-acre orchard on Grant Road in Mountain View as the site for the future hospital — and the name "El Camino Hospital."

In 1957, voters approved a $7.3 million bond issue to finance the four-story hospital's building and operation. Construction began in 1958, overseen by R. Edwin Hawkins, who went on to lead El Camino Hospital for 25 years.

Setting a Standard of Care for the Community

Just a few years after it opened, El Camino Hospital outgrew its original space and added a fifth and sixth floor. In 1971, in partnership with Lockheed, the hospital implemented the world's first computer-aided medical information system, which soon helped it draw visitors from all over the world.

Over the next few decades, El Camino Hospital added community need-based services, including an outpatient surgery center, family birthing center, emergency department, radiology and intensive care facilities, a psychiatric unit and a senior resource center.

In the 1980s, the El Camino Hospital Foundation (now known as El Camino Health Foundation) was established to help raise money to support the hospital.

El Camino Hospital continued to grow over the years. In 2006, construction started on a new seismically compliant main hospital building on the Mountain View campus. On Nov. 15, 2009, the new, state-of-the-art hospital opened. During that same time, El Camino Hospital acquired the assets of the former Community Hospital of Los Gatos. After fully renovating and staffing the 143-bed facility, El Camino Hospital reopened the Pollard Road hospital as Los Gatos Hospital in July 2009.

Building a Reputation for World-Class Care

Today, El Camino Hospital — now El Camino Health — continues to expand its community footprint.

Since 2019, we’ve added 18 urgent, primary and specialty care clinics throughout Santa Clara County. The clinics, staffed by more than 100 providers, are operated by Silicon Valley Medical Development, LLC, under the El Camino Health Medical Network umbrella. Professional services at the clinics are provided by affiliate medical groups El Camino Medical Associates (ECMA) and San Jose Medical Group (SJMG).

While El Camino Health continues to expand its offerings to the neighborhoods it serves as a community-based healthcare system, it’s also established a national reputation for itself as a network of world-class doctors and specialists who are constantly pushing the boundaries through evidence-based best practices and data-driven innovations.

By combining exceptional results with the warmth and compassion of a community-based hospital, El Camino Health is well-poised to meet the future and keep helping you live your best life.