Doctors Medical Center Commemorates 60 Years of Caring for the Community

Jul 12, 2022

Modesto, Calif. – Doctors Medical Center held two anniversary celebrations on Thursday, July 7, 2022, to commemorate 60 years of serving the Central Valley and surrounding communities.


The daytime celebration at Doctors Medical Center included the unveiling of a special history wall in the breezeway between the cafeteria and the Emergency Department that documents the hospital’s history in the community. Saum Sutaria, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Tenet Healthcare, was in attendance as well as Stanislaus County District 4 Supervisor Mani Grewal and Russell Fowler, Field Representative for Stanislaus County District 5 Supervisor Channce Condit. Also in attendance were Doctors Medical Center employees, physicians, administration, governing board members and volunteers.

Speaking to everyone in attendance, Doctors Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Warren Kirk said, “We appreciate all of your hard work and everything you do here at the hospital and making sure our patients receive great care. Today is an opportunity for us to celebrate you and thank you for what you’ve done to make DMC the great place that it is.”

“I want to thank each and every one of you, but also express my empathy for the work you have done through this pandemic. It’s not something that we would have ever expected,” said Tenet Healthcare CEO Saum Sutaria, M.D., during the event. “The work you have done unquestionably has saved lives. It is a remarkable thing the way in which this organization has come together and put aside their own issues and own fears to take care of this community in the midst of this pandemic. I offer my sincerest thank you.”

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The daytime celebration at the hospital also included refreshments and commemorative souvenirs.

The evening celebration took place at the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto, where Doctors Medical Center is the Premier Partner. The night kicked off with a presentation that featured speakers including CEO Warren Kirk, Governing Board Chair Dave Halvorson, Modesto Mayor Sue Zwahlen, who is a former Doctors Medical Center nurse, and Stephen Endsley, M.D., longtime Interventional Cardiologist at Doctors Medical Center.

Video remarks were also provided by longtime employees including Evelyn Heron-Olds, Post-Operative Registered Nurse, who is currently the hospital’s longest standing employee having served for 49 years, and Harvey Palitz, M.D., OB/GYN, who has been practicing at Doctors Medical Center since 1975. He has delivered more than 13,000 babies at the hospital.

In addition, the first baby born at Doctors Medical Center, Bob Barnett, was in attendance with his wife, Sherry. Bob was born on July 11, 1962.

The presentation was followed by live music, wine, hors d’oeuvres and dessert.

Additional local dignitaries in attendance were Modesto District 1 City Councilmember Rosa Escutia-Braaton, Stanislaus County District 3 Supervisor Terry Withrow, Stanislaus County District 4 Supervisor Mani Grewal and Modesto Chamber of Commerce CEO Trish Christensen.

Additional Doctors Medical Center Governing Board members in attendance were Rohini Bogineni, M.D., Sean Clare, M.D., Britta Foster, Michelle Lewis, John Merillat, M.D., David Olson, John Porteous, M.D., Benjamin Remington, M.D., Ed Rocha, Niamh Seavy, M.D., William Seavy and Michael Zeppa, M.D.

Doctors Medical Center employees, physicians, administration and volunteers also attended the celebration.

The History of Doctors Medical Center

Founded by a group of physicians, Doctors Hospital of Modesto opened its doors with 56 beds on July 7, 1962. Completion of the South Tower in 1970 brought the licensed bed total to 245. Doctors Hospital of Modesto was renamed Doctors Medical Center in 1979. Doctors Behavioral Health Center was acquired in 2007 to provide inpatient psychiatric care. Valley Heart Institute of Doctors Medical Center opened in 2011, providing specialized cardiology care for heart patients. Darroch Brain & Spine Institute of Doctors Medical Center opened in 2016, providing high-level care for patients with brain, spine, neck and back conditions.

Today, Doctors Medical Center is the largest full-care hospital between Stockton and Fresno, and from the Sierras to the San Francisco Bay Area, with 394 acute care beds and 67 inpatient psychiatric beds. The hospital has nearly 3,000 employees and more than 600 physicians on its medical staff.

Doctors Medical Center was the first verified Level II Trauma Center in the area. The hospital houses a Level III NICU, providing one of the highest levels of care for newborns. The hospital was the first Comprehensive Stroke Center in the Central Valley and is home to two residency programs – orthopedic surgery and family medicine – training the next generation of physicians right here in Modesto.

Here is a snapshot of Doctors Medical Center over the last 60 years:

  • 800,000 inpatient admissions
  • 160,000 babies born
  • 20,000 NICU babies discharged
  • 450,000 surgeries
  • 21,000 open heart surgeries
  • 2.5M emergency department visits
  • 140,000 cath lab cases

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