Good Samaritan Hospital—Rooted in Our Community
While the oak tree in the logo for Good Samaritan Hospital represents a centuries old tree that was incorporated into plans for the first construction, it also stands for the deep roots Good Sam has in the West Valley community and the hospital’s strong foundation taking the organization and its services into the future.
The vision of Good Samaritan Hospital began in living rooms and coffee shops in the West Valley in the early 1960s, as members of Episcopalian and Methodist churches and other members of the community banded together to raise funds for a hospital dedicated to the whole person, body, mind and spirit and focused on the needs of a growing population.
The Cilker family with generations of history in the valley donated some of the original land dedicated to the new hospital, including the plot containing the oak tree, and made other acreage available for development. Dedicated volunteers and the earliest members of the Auxiliary of Good Samaritan Hospital raised funds for construction, equipment and a hospital chaplaincy, oversaw the earliest days of development and opened the doors of the hospital in 1965.
Additional fund-raising and strategic planning between 1968 and 1974 allowed the hospital to double in size. By 1974, the hospital was licensed for 403 beds and new services including cardiovascular, diagnostic imaging, intensive care, cardiac care and expanded emergency services became available to the families and businesses rapidly populating the West Valley.
The 1980s saw continued expansion and advancement of services, including pioneering work in cardiovascular medicine and surgery, family-centered birthing facilities, oncology services taking advantage of new medical, surgical and radiological advances and additional behavioral health facilities.
Good Sam purchased the smaller Mission Oaks Hospital in near-by Los Gatos and over time has reconfigured the space to focus on rehabilitation services and behavioral health. In the 1990s, the hospital became a national leader in stroke services, the highest level of neonatal intensive care services as well as high risk pregnancies. Adding a heliport gave the hospital the capacity to accept transfers from smaller, less well-equipped or staffed hospitals throughout the region.
Arborists among our readers will be pleased to know that when the original oak tree succumbed to disease, new construction was designed especially to accommodate a replacement oak grown in a nursery under conditions that prepared the young tree for the relatively urban conditions that would become its new living environment. Bill Cilker, who played among the branches of the original tree, was present for the dedication of the new oak.