By Staff Reports
(Apple Valley)– Dedicated in November 1956, St. Mary Medical Center has been a hub of community health in Apple Valley for nearly 65 years. Thanks in part to numerous community and corporate donors who rallied to build and retain the local hospital, it has grown from its origins as a 29-bed acute care and maternity facility to a 213-bed premier medical center.
Unfortunately, California earthquake laws that require hospitals to make costly building upgrades by 2030 may leave Apple Valley without a hospital or emergency room. On Thursday, Providence Southern California announced its partnership with Kaiser Permanente to move its operations to a new hospital it will build in Victorville instead of retrofitting the current building.
“This news is extremely disappointing,” said Mayor Curt Emick. “The Town is asking Providence to recognize the commitment of the people who pursued the original fundraising to bring St. Mary Medical Center to fruition, and the fundraising of so many supporters over the years, to keep the hospital open or replace it with one in Apple Valley.”
The hospital’s departure will leave the community significantly further from any emergency room and critical care services. While the hospital’s press statement indicates they are interested in finding a re-use of the facility, the Town would support and assist, to the extent possible, any course of action that results in the building of a local replacement that meets the new earthquake standards.