History of Scripps Health

A legacy of quality health care in San Diego

San Diego’s premier health care provider, Scripps Health is a community-based health care system with a proud legacy of providing excellent care for the people of San Diego.

With four acute-care hospitals on five campuses, a network of clinics, home health and 3,000 affiliated physicians, Scripps continues to raise the bar for quality care.


Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla joined Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego as a verified Level 1 trauma center, the highest designation awarded by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) to indicate the highest range of injury care available to patients. Scripps now has two of the three Level 1 adult trauma centers in San Diego County.

Scripps opened the Woltman Family College Building at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego to offer cancer support for patients and families. The historic nearly 100-year-old structure was originally used to train nurses.

Scripps Clinic cardiologists became the first in San Diego County to replace a tricuspid heart valve in a patient using a minimally invasive procedure that threads the device into the heart through a small incision in the groin.

Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla became the first medical center in San Diego County to offer the newest available bariatric surgical procedure, known as single anastomosis duodenal-ileal surgery or SADI, giving another option to morbidly obese patients.

Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute celebrated its clinic's 40th anniversary. Since 1982, Scripps Whittier has led the way in research that has helped to revolutionize the treatment and care of patients with diabetes.


Scripps Health began using a novel balloon implant for rotator cuff tears. Scripps Clinic was among the first in the region to offer this minimally invasive approach as an alternative to complex shoulder surgery.

Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute marked 40 years of innovation. Since its creation in 1981, the clinic has led the way in diabetes research, treatment, education and outreach.

Prebys Cancer Center opened on the campus of Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego. The new comprehensive cancer care facility serves patients from central and south San Diego County, as part of Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Scripps opened a new comprehensive rehabilitation services center in Encinitas, offering a full range of physical, occupational and speech therapy on an outpatient basis.

Scripps Coastal Medical Center San Marcos opened its doors, offering North County residents another option for care, ranging from primary care and same-day care to imaging and laboratory services.

Scripps Green was the first in region to use a novel lung biopsy technology. The innovative imaging technology uses artificial intelligence to aid in lung cancer diagnosis.


Scripps Medical Center Jefferson opens in Oceanside, giving the region’s leading health system its largest North County outpatient health center.

Scripps rapidly expands its telehealth video consultation services as part of its continuing efforts to provide high-quality care in a safe and convenient way.

The building formerly known as Anderson Outpatient Pavilion on the Scripps Clinic Torrey Pines site is renamed the Geisel Pavilion, in honor of Audrey and Theodor Geisel.


Scripps breaks ground on Prebys Cancer Center on the campus of Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego. The $59 million, state-of-the-art cancer center is designed to serve patients throughout central and south San Diego County.

Scripps announces a new inpatient behavioral health facility in partnership with Acadia Healthcare Company that will provide treatment for three times as many patients as its existing behavioral health unit at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego.

Scripps becomes the first health system in San Diego County to launch a specialty care transport program for adults that is focused on the continuum of care of some of the sickest patients.


Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center officially opens after 25 months of thorough preparation. The clinically integrated cancer care program in San Diego is a partnership between Scripps and Houston-based MD Anderson Cancer Center, a global leader in cancer care and research.

Scripps announces a major expansion of its walk-in, convenient care division, Scripps HealthExpress, with the opening of 12 additional sites across San Diego County.

Seaside Spine Medical Associates, a North County-based practice focused on surgical and nonsurgical treatments for back pain and spinal conditions, joins the Division of Orthopedic Surgery at Scripps Clinic.


Scripps opens the Women’s Heart Center, offering expert cardiology care for women by women. Led by four female cardiologists, the center is located at the John R. Anderson V Medical Pavilion on the Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla campus.

Scripps cuts the ribbon on the Woltman Family Diabetes Care and Prevention Center in Chula Vista, which houses education and research efforts focusing on Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes patients and others at risk of developing the disease.


Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District becomes an affiliate of Scripps Health Network. This agreement marks the first time a hospital has joined the Scripps network, and the first expansion of the network outside of San Diego County.

Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla was named among the top 100 hospitals in the nation by the international business research firm Truven Health Analytics.


Scripps opens the $456 million Prebys Cardiovascular Institute in San Diego. The new hospital includes 108 private acute-care rooms and 59 intensive-care rooms, as well as two state-of-the-art hybrid surgical suites and as many as six catheter labs for interventional cardiology, diagnostic testing and digital imaging.

Scripps Mercy Hospital marks the 125th anniversary of serving the health care needs San Diego residents.

Scripps Health is awarded a $7.6 million grant from California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. The funds will be used for stem cell research to develop treatments for osteoarthritis.


Scripps opens the Musculoskeletal Center at Scripps Clinic Torrey Pines. The facility offers high quality orthopedic care in one convenient location.


The National Institute of Health Awards the Scripps Translational Science Institute a $29 million grant for research in genomics and wireless health discoveries.

Scripps Health purchases the former San Diego Hospice hospital and eight-acre property in Hillcrest.

Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas marks 50th anniversary of serving the health care needs of Northern San Diego County.

The Scripps Diabetes Center opens in Chula Vista.

Scripps Memorial Hospital is among the first in the United States to receive the prestigious Comprehensive Stroke Center Designation from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.


Scripps opens the Conrad Prebys Emergency and Trauma Center on Scripps Mercy Hospital’s San Diego campus. The new facility doubled the size of the previous emergency department.


Scripps unveils 25-year master plan to create comprehensive regional medical campus in La Jolla. Valued at more than $2 billion, the new complex will include a new hospital, research labs and physician offices

Scripps Green Hospital is named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of health care.


Leichtag Family Foundation Donates $10 Million to Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas, the largest gift in the hospital’s history.


Scripps is named to FORTUNE magazine’s 11th annual list of America’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” ranking 56. This is the first time a San Diego health care provider is included in the list.

Scripps opens Scripps Clinical Research to support researchers, improve communication and help create new partnerships with drug and device companies. The center helps ensure that patients receive the most current, effective care available.


Scripps Mercy Hospital acquires da Vinci, an advanced robotic surgery system that can make many surgeries less invasive — reducing blood loss, postoperative pain and scarring and the risk of infection. The acquisition launches the Scripps Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery Program.

The Outpatient Imaging Pavilion at Scripps La Jolla opens, which houses the latest PET, CT and MRI imaging technology.


Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder announces the creation of the Scripps Cardiovascular Institute as part of the $360 million first phase replacement of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. The institute will include the cardiac programs of Scripps Clinic/Scripps Green Hospital and Scripps La Jolla.

Scripps announces a new Translational Science Institute and Genomic Medicine program to support basic research and clinical programs focusing on defining the genes that underlie susceptibility to disease, and take these findings into drug discovery programs and, ultimately, into clinical trials.


Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla becomes the first hospital in San Diego to receive Magnet Designation for excellence in patient care, from the American Nurses Association.


Scripps Memorial Hospital Chula Vista consolidates operating licenses with Scripps Mercy Hospital becoming Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista. Together with the Scripps Mercy facility in Hillcrest, the hospital provides care to San Diego’s Metro and South Bay communities.

Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine adds the Dickinson & Gooding Center for Early Detection.

Scripps opens the Ambulatory Surgery Pavilion at Scripps Mercy Hospital, the Scripps Chula Vista Cardiac Catheterization Lab and Scripps Carmel Valley.


Scripps opens Mercy Gardens to house AIDS/HIV patients on the campus of

Scripps Mercy Hospital.

Scripps opens the City Heights Wellness Center to enhance the health of residents in the neighborhood.


The Scripps Polster Breast Care Center, San Diego’s first comprehensive breast center, opens on the campus of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.

Mercy Clinic relocates to a newly renovated facility on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Washington Street in Hillcrest.


Scripps Health, Scripps Clinic and The Scripps Research Institute join forces to create the Scripps Cancer Center, integrating basic research, clinical research, cancer care and community outreach.

Scripps establishes the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine providing complementary therapies to traditional medical care.

Construction is completed for Scripps Memorial Hospital Chula Vista’s Emergency Room, ICU and lobby expansion and upgrade.


Scripps Center for Women’s Health, which includes 12 state-of-the-art birthing suites, opens at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.


Mercy Hospital joins Scripps, adding 520 beds, eight health care centers, more than 2,400 employees and 943 physicians to the Scripps network.


Scripps Green Hospital starts San Diego’s first successful liver transplant program.


The Mercy Hospital Family Birth Unit opens. The Heart, Lung and Vascular Center opens at Scripps Green Hospital.


Green Cancer Center and the Musculoskeletal Center open at Scripps Clinic.


Bay General Hospital Medical Center becomes Scripps Memorial Hospital Chula Vista. Scripps creates Home Health Care Services.


Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla becomes part of the county’s new trauma care system. The Cardiovascular Institute and Mericos Eye Institute are established on the Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla campus.


Scripps Clinic opens the Anderson Outpatient Pavilion. The Scripps Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program, a chemical dependency recovery facility, opens on the Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla campus.


The Whittier Institute for Diabetes and Endocrinology opens on the Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla campus.


The Scripps Well Being Center, later renamed Mende Well Being, the first storefront health education center of its kind in the United States, opens at University Town Center in La Jolla. Well Being Centers are later expanded to Encinitas and Chula Vista.


Scripps Clinic opens satellite clinics across San Diego County.


San Dieguito Hospital becomes Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas.


Scripps Clinic moves to its current site on Torrey Pines Mesa.


The Cancer Center, later renamed Stevens Cancer Center, is established at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.


Scripps Memorial Hospital adds the seven-story Copley Tower and Kelsey Surgical Pavilion.


Mercy dedicates a new 11-story hospital on Fifth Avenue.


The new 240-bed Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla opens on Genesee Avenue.


Guadalupe Clinic moves to Mercy Hospital and is rededicated as Mercy Clinic.


Scripps Metabolic Clinic is renamed Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation.


The American Medical Association approves Mercy Hospital’s new Graduate Medical Education program.


The Guadalupe Clinic, a one-room clinic for the underserved, opens in Barrio Logan. Mercy physicians and nurses donate their services.


Ellen Browning Scripps establishes the 44-bed Scripps Hospital and Scripps Metabolic Clinic on Prospect Street in La Jolla. St. Joseph’s Hospital moves to its current location on Fifth and Washington and is renamed Mercy Hospital.


Sisters of Mercy, led by Sister Mary Michael Cummings, open a five-bed dispensary, St. Joseph’s, on Sixth Avenue and Market Street in downtown San Diego. The hospital moves to Eighth and University Avenues in Hillcrest the following year.