Palomar Health Foundation

While Palomar Health has been serving North County for more than six decades, the Foundation was later established in 1984 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization to support the programs, services, projects and growing needs of the healthcare district. 

The origins of Palomar Health can be traced back to two benevolent German women, Charlotta Baker Hintz, a nurse, and Elizabeth Martin, a dietician, who left their jobs at the Anaheim Sanitarium in 1933 to establish a hospital to serve the small farming community of Escondido.  Using their own money, the women bought an egg and poultry plant at 125 South Broadway and converted it into a 13-bed hospital. 

              Founding Nurses               Egg Farm

In 1945, the Escondido Valley Hospital Association was formed to investigate the possibility of building a larger facility to keep pace with growth.  Palomar Memorial Hospital, named in tribute to the men and women who served in World War II, was dedicated on February 16, 1950.  In 1970, the McLeod Tower was built to meet the needs of the growing community.                                               

In 1977, the Northern San Diego Hospital District supervised the construction of a sister facility in Poway, Pomerado Hospital, now known as Palomar Medical Center Poway.  As that community grew, several expansions were made to ensure top quality care.


In 2012, a third hospital opened in Escondido near Interstate 15 and State Route 78.  Palomar Medical Center Escondido, aptly referred to as the "Hospital of the Future,” features a state-of-the-art design that integrates innovative technology with a comforting, healing environment made to support the finest patient-centered care. 


Today Palomar Health is the largest healthcare district serving communities in an 850 square mile area and a trauma center that covers 2,200 square miles of South Riverside and North San Diego Counties.  In addition to three hospitals, Palomar Health offers home health care, surgery, skilled nursing, ambulatory care, behavioral health services, would care, and community health education programs.

As the hospital district grew, the need was recognized to formalize its fundraising efforts, and in 1984 Palomar Pomerado Health Foundation was incorporated.  

Palomar Health Foundation is composed of professional staff and volunteers committed to seeking philanthropic support for hospital technology and equipment, programs, services, community initiatives, outreach programs, health education and other needs identified by Palomar Health.  With continued decreases in Medicare reimbursements and increasing costs of medical care, philanthropic gifts are vital to keep Palomar Health at the forefront of medical healthcare delivery. 

Palomar Health Foundation is overseen by a Board of Directors composed of volunteers from all walks of life to represent the communities we serve.  These Board members are tireless in their efforts to seek funding opportunities and to assure that donor dollars are spent the way the donor intended. 

Community support through contributions to Palomar Health Foundation has resulted in major advances in medical technology and patient care, innovative community health programs, important support for underserved members of the community, and building and refurbishment of hospital facilities.   The staff and volunteers of Palomar Health Foundation are proud to serve our healthcare communities.

Learn more about our Staff and Board of Directors.

Palomar Health Foundation Staff

Palomar Health Foundation Board of Directors

Give now to the Palomar Health Foundation or contact us at 760.739.2787 to discuss any gift opportunities or for other questions.

  • Palomar Medical Center Escondido


    2185 Citracado Parkway

    Escondido, CA 92029


  • Palomar Medical Center Downtown Escondido


    555 East Valley Parkway

    Escondido, CA 92025


  • Palomar Medical Center Poway


    15615 Pomerado Road

    Poway, CA 92064