The idea for a hospital in Redwood City originated in 1938. A group of nine women led by Mrs. Henry Beeger made an appeal to the City Council for a community hospital to serve the residents of southern San Mateo County.
Rather than relying on private donations, large corporations or federal funds, the voters of Redwood City, Belmont, San Carlos, Menlo Park, Portola Valley, Woodside and Atherton elected to form a "hospital district" in 1946, under newly enacted state laws. They also passed a pair of bond issues that financed the project at a cost of $2.1 million. Thus began the development of Redwood City's Sequoia Hospital - the first district hospital in California and the prototype from which 65 others would follow.
Construction soon began on the corner of Alameda de las Pulgas and Whipple Avenue.
Sequoia Is Born
Sequoia Hospital was officially dedicated on Oct. 15, 1950. Ten days later, the first patient was admitted to the 106-bed hospital — California’s newest and most modern. Within the first year, full capacity was reached, and, in 1954, a new 102-bed wing was dedicated to care for the influx of patients.
By 1960, another new 140-bed wing was completed and the Intensive Care Unit and Physical Therapy department opened. During the 60s, the Pulmonary Therapy department and Coronary Care Unit were established, and long-term skilled nursing care began. In 1968, Sequoia became one of the first hospitals in the state to open a psychiatric unit.
Doctors performed the hospital’s first coronary artery bypass surgeries in 1977, and the Cardiac Rehabilitation department opened. The first percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty was performed in 1980, making Sequoia a known leader in innovative cardiac care.
The Health & Wellness Center opened in 1993. It offered education, health screenings, maternity and family programs, and wellness programs to the community.
In September 1996, Sequoia Healthcare District residents voted to affiliate Sequoia Hospital with Dignity Health, the largest not-for-profit hospital provider in California. Governance of the hospital itself would be accomplished through a 10-person Board of Directors, including five members appointed by the Sequoia Healthcare District and five members appointed by Dignity Health.
In 2000, Sequoia celebrated 50 years of caring for the community.
In the early part of the new century, Sequoia Hospital began plans to build a new $240 million state-of-the-art medical campus on its current site in Redwood City. In 2007, an agreement between Sequoia Healthcare District and Dignity Health financed the hospital’s rebuild, as Dignity Health assumed ownership. Groundbreaking took place Nov. 15, 2007, with phase one of construction, the new parking garage. Dignity Health ownership became effective Jan. 1, 2008.
In 2008, The Joint Commission certified Sequoia’s Stroke Care program and the hospital’s first robotic surgery was performed using the newly acquired da Vinci Surgical System. In 2009, the Cardiac Arrhythmia Program completed 1,000 atrial fibrillation (A-Fib) ablation procedures, making it the highest total volume A-Fib ablation institution on the West Coast.
In 2009, the new parking garage opened and rebuilding continued toward phase two of construction – the new pavilion, which opened in 2014.
Our commitment to the health and well-being of the community endures. We look forward to a future fulfilling our mission of providing compassionate, quality, and cost-effective health care to residents of the mid-Peninsula and beyond. Read about our recent awards.