Our Story - A History of Exceptional Community Care

The origins of Palomar Health can be traced back to two benevolent German women, Charlotta Baker Hintz, a nurse, and Elizabeth Martin, a dietician, who left their jobs at the Anaheim Sanitarium in 1933, to establish a hospital to serve the small farming community of Escondido. Using their own money, the women bought an egg and poultry plant at 125 South Broadway and converted it into a 13-bed hospital.

In 1945, the Escondido Valley Hospital Association was formed to investigate the possibility of building a larger facility to keep pace with growth. The Escondido Valley Hospital Association established the Northern San Diego County Hospital District in 1948 and the vision of the new, larger facility in downtown Escondido was achieved in 1950. Palomar Memorial Hospital, named in tribute to the men and women who served in World War II, was dedicated on February 16, 1950.

In 1970, the McLeod Tower was added to Palomar Memorial Hospital to help meet the needs of the growing community. After receiving full designation as a trauma center in 1987, the hospital was renamed Palomar Medical Center.

The Northern San Diego County Hospital District supervised the construction of a sister facility in Poway, Pomerado Hospital in 1977. As that community grew, several expansions were made to Pomerado Hospital.

Palomar Health added a third hospital to the system in 2012 with the opening of the new Palomar Medical Center in west Escondido. The original hospital in downtown Escondido was renamed Palomar Health Downtown Campus.

To more accurately reflect the region it served, the Northern San Diego County Hospital District was renamed Palomar Pomerado Hospital District in 1984. Five years later, the name was changed to Palomar Pomerado Health System and was then shortened to Palomar Pomerado Health in 2001. In 2012 the District’s name was simplified to Palomar Health.

To heal, comfort, and promote health in the communities we serve - When it comes to health it makes sense to come to the area's first and largest healthcare provider - Palomar Health.

While we may care for our patients using the latest in medical technology, our bedside manner is always time-honored human understanding. We are at the forefront of technology, but haven't lost touch with what health care is all about: you, your family and friends.

When it comes to your health, come to us. We cover the continuum of healthcare needs, and we accept most insurance plans including Medicare. If you're looking for the right doctor, or health service information, call The HealthSource, our free referral service, at 800.628.2880.

Understanding Health Care Districts

Health care districts are public entities that provide community-based health care services to residents throughout the state of California. They respond to the needs in their District by providing a range of services, which may include a hospital, clinic, skilled nursing facility or emergency medical services; as well as education and wellness programs. Each of California’s Health care Districts is governed by a locally elected Board of Trustees who are directly accountable to the communities they serve.

Today, Palomar Health is the largest health care district serving communities in an 850-square-mile area and a trauma center that covers more than 2,200 square miles of South Riverside and North San Diego Counties. In addition to three hospitals, Palomar Health offers home health care, surgery, skilled nursing, ambulatory care, behavioral health services, wound care, and community health education programs.

Click here to view map of district boundaries.