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On Sept. 14, 2016, Dignity Health Dominican Hospital celebrates a milestone — 75 years of service to the Santa Cruz County community. It has been a memorable journey of commitment and community partnerships, and a privilege to provide our region with a level of cutting-edge health care normally found only in larger metropolitan areas.
It has been our steadfast mission to serve all who come through the doors, regardless of ability to pay. And we have done all of this because we’re more than just a hospital; we’re a part of this community.
When the Adrian Dominican Sisters arrived in 1941, Santa Cruz was still largely a fishing community that also enjoyed a summertime tourist trade. The hospital grew with the community to stay a step ahead of its health-care needs. Today, Dominican is sophisticated, creative and diverse, like our community. We have the infrastructure and personnel to provide advanced health care. And, many of Dominican’s past patients have become our partners, pledging donations that have helped turn a great hospital into an even greater one.
When it comes to numbers, 75 is significant. Here are a few more: seven Sisters on staff; 223 beds; 96,360 patients served in the past year, half through our Emergency Department; 375 newborns cared for in our Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the past year; $14 million in charity care annually; and $40 million in broad community benefits annually.
Dominican’s history is defined by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Five of these women — only one a nurse — traveled to Santa Cruz from Michigan in 1941 to reopen a failed hospital on West Cliff Drive. Today, Adrian Dominicans still serve in leadership, clinical, and support roles, and other Sisters are valued members of the hospital’s board.
On the threshold of this anniversary, we join the hospital’s staff physicians, clinicians, support staff, Sisters and volunteers in expressing enormous gratitude for the decades of heartfelt, unbroken support from our community. Thank you for the opportunity to continue to serve you — now, and for the next 75 years.
Authors: Nanette Mickiewicz, MD, is Dignity Health Dominican Hospital president and CEO. Sister Janet Capone, OP, is Dignity Health Dominican Hospital Community Board chair.