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Roseville Hospital grew with community

By: Staff report
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Editor's note: This is one in a series of stories celebrating Roseville's first hundred years. Today, the city of Roseville is known for its substantial health care facilities – including Sutter Roseville Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente. But it wasn’t always that way. When the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor plunged the United States into the conflict of war, the Roseville community, comprised of 8,000 residents, began to prepare for a possible invasion. Because there was no hospital in Roseville at the time, registered nurse Hattie Broyer led the effort to organize all the resources of the medical community. She supervised the transformation of the Roseville High School gymnasium into an emergency hospital complete with cots, bandages and medical supplies. The wartime emergency hospital raised awareness in the Roseville community that a hospital was needed and Roseville residents, along with nearly every civic organization, enthusiastically endorsed a campaign to build a hospital for the city of Roseville and the surrounding community. The Civilian Defense Council sponsored a dance in April 1943 that brought in $1,100 for the construction of a hospital. Other fundraisers included a victory garden fair and a harvest festival that also contributed funds for a community hospital. By 1945, dances had been held in the Masonic, Eagles and Odd Fellow Halls, all to benefit the future hospital for Roseville. In 1946, after $15,000 had been raised, the Roseville Chamber of Commerce approved the Community Service Council’s “Municipal Hospital Project,” and a tentative site was selected for the location. The city began researching the actual cost to build a hospital. When, in 1948, the possibility of obtaining state and federal funds to match the city’s cost share became available, Mayor Harold “Bizz” Johnson called for 700 voters to sign petitions to place a $150,000 bond issue on the municipal ballot. More than 700 residents signed the petition and the measure appeared on the April ballot. Roseville residents voted overwhelmingly for a hospital and passed the bond. However, for the next two years the city of Roseville tried unsuccessfully to become eligible for federal and state matching funds. That resulted in scaling down the original plans for a 50-bed facility as Roseville residents instead opted to build the hospital themselves without the funding. In January 1949, Frances Adamson donated 8 1/2 acres of land as the site for the proposed hospital, just east of Sunrise and Melrose avenues. A nonprofit corporation was established in March 1950 to administer a fundraising campaign to collect an additional $150,000 from residents. Ten local residents were the initial corporation members, each pledging $100 toward the new campaign to build a 26-bed hospital. Two years later construction began for a hospital with 26 acute care beds, an operating room and a labor and delivery room. Roseville Community Hospital, serving Placer and Sacramento counties, officially opened in November 1952. Roseville Community Hospital served the area with a distinguished record of service for several decades until 1993 when the hospital affiliated with Sutter Health, a family of not-for-profit hospitals and physician organizations, to allow the fast growing community to take advantage of the services available from the region’s larger health care system. Looking to invest into the future of health care in Roseville and its surrounding communities, Sutter Health embarked on transforming Roseville Community Hospital into a regional medical center. And, just as residents and community organizations did some 57 years ago, everyone worked together to raise funds for this new investment in the future of health care in the community. “Philanthropy at SRMC is deeply rooted in the community,” said Patricia Marquez, executive director of the Sutter Roseville Medical Center Foundation, the charitable arm of the hospital. “We are forever grateful for the support and look forward to a stronger partnership in the future to assist the medical center in providing even greater services for years to come.” Sutter Roseville Medical Center opened July 22, 1997. Designed to meet Placer County’s health care needs for the next 50 years, Sutter Roseville Medical Center supports Roseville, Rocklin, Lincoln, Loomis, Folsom and Granite Bay. The medical center also supports six separate counties with some services, such as the trauma program that treats and cares for patients from these areas. Just this year Sutter Roseville completed the last of its planned projects, which more than doubles the medical center campus in the last seven years from 172 beds to 393 beds with the addition of the new Patient Care Tower, Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit and Sutter Rehabilitation Institute.