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Adventist Health Clear Lake Celebrates 50th Year for National Hospital Week

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May 6 – 12 is National Hospital Week, and this year Adventist Health Clear Lake is beginning celebrations of its 50th anniversary as part of the nationwide observance. Under the theme “What Together Can Do,” the hospital is recognizing this milestone with events throughout the year in recognition of the community spirit that created and sustains the hospital.

Adventist Health Clear Lake, then known as Redbud Community Hospital, saw its first patient on April 22, 1968. Adventist Health purchased the hospital from the Redbud Health Care District in 1997 and the hospital’s name was changed to St. Helena Hospital Clearlake in 2008. It was rebranded as Adventist Health Clear Lake in 2017 to better reflect its affiliation with the 19-hospital health care system and service area in the towns around Clear Lake.

“For fifty years, this hospital has been a proud example of what a community can accomplish when they come together for the better of all,” said David Santos, Adventist Health Clear Lake president. “This year isn’t just a celebration of the hospital and our team, but also for the county as a whole as we reflect on what we’ve been able to accomplish together. As we look toward the future, we will continue focusing on patient experience and quality while we take our mission outside our walls to create a healthier, hope-filled community.”

When Dr. John Weeks began practicing in Clearlake in 1979, just over a decade after the hospital was established, the town was a physician shortage area. Dr. Weeks was the only residency-trained family practice doctor in Lake County, the only physician providing obstetric care and one of only two physicians who provided pediatric or orthopedic services. Now, he works in one of the busiest rural health clinics in the nation. 

“The changes we’ve seen in health care over the past five decades are remarkable,” said Weeks. “They are matched with the changes to what is now Adventist Health Clear Lake. During my time here, my colleagues on the medical staff have focused on making our community healthier for our neighbors and our own families.”

Today, Adventist Health Clear Lake is home to a busy emergency department, which underwent a $12.1 million renovation in 2013, and is a 25-bed acute care critical access hospital offering surgery, intensive care, diagnostic radiology, laboratory and women’s care/family birth services. Outpatient locations in Middletown, Kelseyville, Hidden Valley Lake, Lower Lake, Lakeport and Clearlake offer primary care, specialty care, dental care, behavioral health, physical therapy and other services from over 50 physicians and providers. Innovative community partnerships and wellness programs are taking the organization’s mission outside its walls to create a healthier community in Lake County’s homes, parks, streets and schools.

Adventist Health Clear Lake is one of Lake County’s five largest employers with over 530 team members. The organization spent over $6.5 million on community development in 2016 and over $30,000 in 2017 to support local nonprofits, schools and programs such as the Southshore Little League, Lake Family Resource Center and Lions Club Fourth of July Fireworks.

Hospital Week celebrations in recognition of the hospital’s 50th anniversary include a fifties-themed staff barbeque, the annual service awards banquet honoring employees reaching milestone years of service to Adventist Health and a “blessing of the hands” from the hospital chaplain, Jack Mentges, as well as the recognition of nursing staff as part of National Nurses Week, which coincides with Hospital Week.

Fiftieth anniversary celebrations will continue for the community and staff throughout the year. Local residents can learn more by following the hospital’s Facebook page, facebook.com/adventisthealthclearlake.

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Adventist Health Clear Lake is part of Adventist Health, a faith-based, nonprofit integrated health system serving more than 75 communities on the West Coast and Hawaii. Our compassionate and talented team of 33,300 includes more than 24,600 employees; 5,000 medical staff physicians; and 3,700 volunteers working together in pursuit of one mission: living God's love by inspiring health, wholeness and hope. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist heritage and values, Adventist Health provides care in 19 hospitals, more than 280 clinics (hospital-based, rural health and physician clinics), 13 home care agencies, seven hospice agencies and four joint-venture retirement centers. Together, our team is inspired to transform the health experience of our communities, with our unique focus on physical, mental, spiritual and social healing.