Good Samaritan Hospital: Rooted in Our Community

The oak tree in Good Samaritan Hospital’s logo is an actual centuries-old tree that was incorporated into plans for our hospital’s first construction, but it also stands for the deep roots that Good Sam has in the community and the hospital’s strong foundation for future growth.

Modest Beginnings

The vision for Good Samaritan Hospital began in living rooms and coffee shops in Silicon 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 with a dual purpose – to treat the whole person (body, mind, and spirit) and to cater to the needs of a growing population.

With generations of history in the Valley, the Cilker family 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. Dreams became a reality when we opened our doors in 1965.

Growth and Expansion

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 that became available to the families and businesses rapidly populating Silicon Valley.

The hospital continued to expand through the 1980s with advancing 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 nearby 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 well-staffed hospitals throughout the region.

Although our signature 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.

With all our growth and advancement since 1965, our mission has remained the same, to treat the whole person - body, mind and spirit.