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History


A hospital built for the community by the community.

In the early 1950's, the people of Bakersfield and Kern County found themselves in desperate need of a new hospital.  A fundraising campaign was formed by civic leaders and healthcare professionals to raise money to build a true community hospital -- one owned and governed by the people.  This drive led to the opening of the original 112-bed Greater Bakersfield Memorial Hospital in 1956.

Thanks to the continuing support of many donors, volunteers and local leaders, Memorial Hospital has continued to grow and meet the needs of this community. Numerous construction projects completed throughout the years have made Memorial the largest regional medical center in the Southern Valley. The facility now includes 426 general acute beds, 48 licensed critical care beds, 13 state-of-the-art surgical suites, and a full-service Emergency Department with an Accredited Chest Pain Center and Nationally Certified Stroke Center. In addition, we offer a beautiful Family Care and Birthing Center, the Lauren Small Children's Center including the area's only Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Family Care Center, a Level II NICU, the Sarvanand Heart and Brain Center with Kern County's first Bi-Plane Interventional Suite, the Center for Wound Care and Hyperbarics, and many more services.

In 1995, Memorial decided that to ensure it could keep pace with area growth and continue to offer the most medically advanced services, it would be advantageous to affiliate with a large healthcare system; a system that shared the hospital's non-profit, mission-driven philosophy.  After months of looking at possible partners, Memorial chose Dignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West), the largest faith-based hospital system in California. This affiliation was complete in 1996.  It is important to note, however, that Bakersfield Memorial Hospital is affiliated with Dignity Health, not owned by Dignity Health. Memorial continues to be owned by the community, and governed by a board of directors composed of community leaders.