How We Began: Santa Cruz Medical Clinic
The collaborative spirit that inspired the creation of Palo Alto Medical Clinic and Camino Medical Group also lay at the heart of Santa Cruz Medical Clinic (SCMC). Founded in 1953 to serve what was then a small coastal community, the group soon found itself caring for a broader patient community when the University of California, Santa Cruz was established in 1965 and a younger community of students moved in. By then, SCMC had grown to 12 physicians, and it would double in size again by 1975.
When SCMC became a Sutter Health and Palo Alto Medical Foundation affiliate in 1995, it had grown to include specialty offices for pediatrics, family medicine, surgery, urology, urgent care, and obstetrics and gynecology, as well as an off-site facility just for physical therapy.
At the time of its affiliation with Sutter Health, SCMC also created the non-profit Santa Cruz Medical Foundation (SCMF) to manage its operations. This allowed SCMC to work with Sutter to create a free-standing licensed, accredited hospital facility built specifically to offer state-of-the-art perinatal and medical and surgical services. The Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center of Santa Cruz – a joint project of Sutter Health and SCMF –- opened to patients in March 1996.
Being a bigger player in the region strengthened SCMC, but the group was not quite done growing. Two years later, in 1998, the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Santa Cruz and Mid-Coast VNA affiliated with Sutter and PAMF. This completed the three components of the Santa Cruz integrated delivery system: ambulatory multispecialty physician group, acute-care hospital services and home health services.
Before the physician group merger, the former SCMC included more than 130 providers caring for patients at 16 locations: the Aptos office, Downtown office, Santa Cruz office, Scotts Valley office, Sutter Maternity and Surgery Center, VNA of Santa Cruz office, Watsonville office, Westside office and eight specialty offices.
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