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 Health affirmed health equity as a key part of its mission, vision and values to address disparities in clinical quality, outcomes and experience, regardless of patients’ diverse backgrounds which include, but are not limited to, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, age and socioeconomic status.


Scripps broke ground on construction of the $263 million acute care Lusardi Tower and Lusardi Pulmonary Institute that will expand the Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas campus. The three-story, 224,000-square-foot facility will offer a broad range of patient care services and facilities.

Scripps Health was awarded a $2.7 million research grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to investigate the use of pluripotent stem cells to develop lab-grown tendon tissue for repairing rotator cuff injuries.

Scripps began piloting an artificial intelligence (AI) tool aimed at streamlining physician-patient communications. The tool enables clinicians to focus more on patient care and less on administrative tasks, which potentially reduces burnout. 

Scripps Health CEO Chris Van Gorder initiated a countywide hospital violence task force to address a growing problem facing health care workers. The task force of leaders representing hospitals and health systems, law enforcement and the San Diego district attorney’s office, now meets quarterly to review violence incidents against health care staff and to discuss potential solutions, preventive measures and improved response. More than 70% of workplace violence injuries in the US occur in health care or related fields, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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 opened in Oceanside, giving the region’s leading health system its largest North County outpatient health center.

Scripps rapidly expanded 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 was renamed the Geisel Pavilion, in honor of Audrey and Theodor Geisel.


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

Scripps announced 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 opened 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 cut 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 became an affiliate of Scripps Health Network. This agreement marked 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 opened 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 marked the 125th anniversary of serving the health care needs San Diego residents.

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


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

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

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

The Scripps Diabetes Center opened in Chula Vista.

Scripps Memorial Hospital was 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 opened 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 unveiled a 25-year master plan to create a 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 was 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.


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


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

Scripps opened 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 acquired 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 launched the Scripps Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery Program.

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


Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder announced 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 announced 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 became 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 consolidated operating licenses with Scripps Mercy Hospital to become 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 added the Dickinson & Gooding Center for Early Detection.

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


Scripps opened Mercy Gardens to house AIDS/HIV patients on the campus of Scripps Mercy Hospital.

Scripps opened 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, opened on the campus of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.

Mercy Clinic relocated 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 joined forces to create the Scripps Cancer Center, integrating basic research, clinical research, cancer care and community outreach.

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

Construction 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, opened at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.


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


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


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


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


Bay General Hospital Medical Center became Scripps Memorial Hospital Chula Vista. Scripps created Home Health Care Services.


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


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


The Whittier Institute for Diabetes and Endocrinology opened 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, opened at University Town Center in La Jolla. Well Being Centers later expanded to Encinitas and Chula Vista.


Scripps Clinic opened satellite clinics across San Diego County.


San Dieguito Hospital became Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas.


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


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


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


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


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


Guadalupe Clinic moved to Mercy Hospital and was rededicated as Mercy Clinic.


Scripps Metabolic Clinic was renamed Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation.


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


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


Ellen Browning Scripps established the 44-bed Scripps Hospital and Scripps Metabolic Clinic on Prospect Street in La Jolla, opening to patients on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 1924. St. Joseph’s Hospital moved to its current location on Fifth and Washington and was renamed Mercy Hospital.


Sisters of Mercy, led by Sister Mary Michael Cummings, opened a five-bed dispensary, St. Joseph’s, on Sixth Avenue and Market Street in downtown San Diego. It opened to patients on Wednesday, July 9, 1890. The hospital moved to Eighth and University Avenues in Hillcrest the following year.