Health care services were limited in Calaveras County, and residents traveled outside their communities for acute care, until Mark Twain Hospital opened in 1951.
We Opened in 1951
The hospital opened on August 26, 1951, and since then Mark Twain Medical Center has provided the highest quality health care for all those needing medical care in Calaveras County. While limited medical services have been available since the Gold Rush of the 1850's, people locally needing medical care in an acute care hospital were forced to travel outside of their communities, outside of Calaveras County.
Outstanding Community Support
With the passage of the Health Care District Law in 1945, it became possible for the formation of a Hospital District in Calaveras County. This was actually accomplished when the Mark Twain Hospital District was formed by the voters at a special election on August 27, 1946.
The first Board of Directors of the newly formed Mark Twain Hospital District was appointed by the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors on October 7, 1946.
At the first joint meeting of the Board of Directors and the County Board of Supervisors on February 20, 1947, the size of the hospital was determined to be 89 beds, 30 for general acutely ill patients and 59 for long term patients.
A bond issue in the amount of $350,000 was submitted to the voters of the District by the directors on June 1, 1948. The vote in favor of the bond issue was 3116 "yes", 449 "no". The State of California and the Federal Government approved financial participation in the total cost of the hospital, slightly in excess of one-half of the estimated cost of $600,000.
On August 26, 1951 the hospital was dedicated to public use by Dr. Malcolm Merrill, Acting Director of the State Department of Public Health and James D. Dean, State Director of Finance. On September 9, 1951 the first patient was admitted.
Growth and Development
As a community grows, so must the hospital that cares for it.
In August 1964 a new 22-bed addition for medical patients was added to the acute care side of the hospital.
The Extended Care Facility was closed in December 1969, concurrent with the opening of the Mark Twain Convalescent Hospital, a private enterprise, located on the grounds of the District.
A three bed ICU/CCU staffed by specially trained critical care nurses was opened in 1972.
In 1979 the old one room emergency unit was expanded to a modern Emergency Department with four rooms, state-of-the-art equipment and staffed by specially trained Mobile Intensive Care Nurses.
From 1988 to 1994 the hospital established urgent care and rural health clinics throughout the county. Specialty outpatient and diagnostic services have been added to meet community needs.
In 1990, Mark Twain Hospital District formed a partnership with St. Joseph's Regional Health System in Stockton creating Mark Twain St. Joseph's Healthcare Corporation. Dignity Health now oversees the management and operations of the hospital and its related services.
In September 1997, the present replacement hospital was opened. The 25-bed critical access facility includes expanded operating rooms, diagnostic services, and an emergency department with five treatment rooms and one trauma room. All-new technology was added as well as a chapel donated through the effort of local clergy.