History of Palomar Health

Egg Farm

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.                         

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 state's largest public 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.

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

  • Palomar Medical Center Escondido


    2185 Citracado Parkway

    Escondido, CA 92029





  • Palomar Medical Center Poway


    15615 Pomerado Road

    Poway, CA 92064