Key Historical Events

Limited healthcare – There were only 11 hospital beds serving a population of about 26,000. Many local residents were forced to travel to Los Angeles for health care.

Community "owned' hospital – Desert Community Hospital, Inc. was formed which spearheaded an election in 1953 to create the Antelope Valley Hospital District, a legal entity which still operates AVH today.

Elections – A total of 3,318 residents voted for a new hospital district while 67 voted against it. The election empowered the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors to appoint a five-member board of directors to operate the proposed hospital.

Fundraising - More than 2,000 contributions had been made, totaling $43,472.90, about $10,000 dollars more than the amount needed to pay for the land. In June 1953, the 20-acre site was purchased at the cost of $1,625 an acre. Total price of the property was $32,500.

Hill Burton – Money had been raised for the land; the next hurdle was to fund the new 41-bed hospital building. The federal government's Hill Burton Funds provided one third of the construction costs or $220,189, with the state matching the federal grant. This left one third of the money to be paid by the newly-created hospital district.

Bond Issue - Once more the hospital supporters went to the voters, this time to receive approval of the $300,000 bond issue to provide the district's one-third share of building costs.

Second Bond Issue – The Valley was growing rapidly, and it became apparent that a 41-bed hospital was just too small. The final vote was 5.4 to 1 in favor of the $350,000 bond issue, enlarging the hospital before it was built.

Antelope Valley Hospital opens – Dedication ceremonies were held October 12 with about 5,000 proud people touring the new hospital.

Losing money – One year after the hospital opened, the red ink was flowing. Severe lack of ready cash was Antelope Valley Hospital's biggest headache.

Auxiliary – The Women's Auxiliary was proposed. The bylaws were completed and approved by the board of directors.

Bonds not approved– Two bond elections were held in an effort to obtain tax money to enlarge the hospital from 86 beds to 250 beds - both attempts failed.

Hill Burton to the rescue – AVH received an allocation of $1,175,272 Hill Burton funds from the Advisory Hospital Council of the California State Health Department. The Funds would be used to enlarge the surgery department, the delivery room, the laboratory, and emergency department, adding a new south wing. About $600,000 would come from the Antelope Valley Hospital District.

New construction – Although a 250 bed hospital was the goal, there was only enough funding to expand the Hospital to a 149-bed facility.

Pharmacy – Services were expanded and remodeled which allowed outpatients to fill prescription in the hospital.

Medicare – was just getting started.
Accreditation – AVH received its first three-year accreditation and was given a top rating for meeting the maximum standards.

Emergency Care – 24-hour Emergency Room was open, but there were no full-time emergency room doctors. Physicians volunteered to take one 24-hour rotation a month.

Growth – The new wing expanded the capacity to 149 beds.

Cutting Taxes – the philosophy of the Antelope Valley Hospital District Board of Directors was that the hospital should be off the tax roles and entirely self supporting. Those persons who used the services of AVH should be the ones to pay for them, not the tax payers.

Alpha Charter Guild – AVH leadership saw the need for a hospital guild where young women could help the hospital without patient contact as well as raise funds with an annual debutante ball. In May 1965, the first Hourglass Ball was held starting a tradition which is still held each Thanksgiving weekend.

Extended Care – One of the first medical units with a specific purpose was the Extended Care Unit which resembled a nursing home.

Neurosurgery Department – the new department meant that many patients who were the victims of auto accidents with head injuries could be treated locally instead of being sent to Los Angeles for care.

New to You Thrift Shop – staffed entirely by volunteers, this entity provides funds for the Auxiliary pledge to the hospital, plus a place to donate used items, and a pleasant working environment for volunteers.

Gift Foundation – The Foundation provided funds to support new services, train medical personnel and honor loved ones as well as an opportunity for residents of the area to contribute for the advancement of patient care.

South wing – The new wing would add 39 medical-surgical beds to the hospital including a combined Intensive Care-Coronary Care Unit. Other additions included a special procedures room, a new recovery room for surgery and a progressive care unit on the second floor. The hospital was now at 184 beds.

Dedication – The new wing is dedicated on October 12, 1975, which also was the hospital's 20th anniversary.

Hospital goes high tech – An automated analyzer is added to the laboratory. The analyzer was capable of handling lab texts that previously had been done by hand, one at a time, by medical technologists. The new equipment would handle an increased volume of laboratory tests needed because of a growing patient load.

SARS – The Sexual Assault Response Services (SARS) program is a one-of-a-kind program that provides sexual assault victims with more than physical treatment such as evidence collection.

1983: Outpatient Treatment Center – This service saved both money and time for numerous patients. Adding the Outpatient Treatment Center followed a national trend among hospitals. The centers were planned in an effort to keep stays short and costs down yet help the patient solve medical problems.

"Tower of Progress" – At 5 stories, Antelope Valley Hospital was now the tallest building in the Antelope Valley. A total of 169,000 square feet of space was added as the medical center dedicated the new tower in celebration of its 33rd anniversary.  The cost of the tower, added on the west side of the building, was $34,642,800. This brought the capacity of the hospital to 260 beds and is said to have been the only building with elevators in the area at the time.

Regional Valley Surgery Center opens – Outpatient procedures and surgeries are offered.

Antelope Valley Outpatient Imaging Center opens – Outpatient state-of-the-art radiology procedures

Antelope Valley  Hospital celebrates 50 years of service to the community!


Women and Infants Pavilion Opens – This spacious, modern and technologically-advanced facility houses a complete array of obstetrical and newborn services, complete with 39 private rooms that are furnished with special labor and delivery beds and bassinets, a state-of-the-art neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and three surgery suites. As the region’s premiere provider of obstetrical services, AVH delivers more than 5,500 babies each year, while maintaining the highest levels of quality.

VHA, Inc. - Performance Improvement Award Winner – Antelope Valley Hospital was recognized by VHA Inc., a national healthcare alliance, for improving performance in core measures. AVH is one of 118 hospitals in the VHA West Coast Region and one of 80 hospitals in California to earn recognition from VHA for performance improvement activities.

Launched Health Information Electronic Document Imaging System – As a step towards improving patient care and safety, Antelope Valley Hospital launched a new electronic healthcare document management solution that captures, indexes, stores and retrieves patient information.



AVATAR - Most Improved Loyalty and Endorsement – Antelope Valley Hospital was named a National Award Winner in healthcare service quality for exemplary service, most improved loyalty and endorsement of the obstetrics department for 2007.

Approved Los Angeles County STEMI Receiving Center –
Antelope Valley Hospital was approved as a ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) Receiving Center. One of only 33 such hospitals in L.A. County, this certification means that when paramedics identify a patient as having acute cardiac myocardial infarction (heart attack), they are instructed to bring patients directly to AVH. The hospital has demonstrated the fastest “medical contact-to-balloon” time of all Los Angeles County STEMI receiving centers multiple times since receiving certification.

VHA West Coast Award for Clinical Performance Improvement
– VHA, Inc. awarded Antelope Valley Hospital’s Rapid Response Team (RRT) with the VHA West Coast Award for Clinical Performance Improvement. Integrating the RRT into patient protocol has resulted in a 92% reduction in cardiopulmonary and respiratory arrest codes, which in turn has saved patients' lives.

Wireless Infrastructure Upgrade
– Antelope Valley Hospital modernized the entire infrastructure of the facility, including the employment of a complete wireless system that utilizes the latest networking technology, allowing caregivers to connect quickly and easily to vital data.

IMQ/CMA - CME Accreditation – Antelope Valley Hospital’s Continuing Medical Education (CME) program was recently awarded with a four-year accreditation from the Institute for Medical Quality/California Medical Association (IMQ/CMA). In addition to receiving a cycle length of four years, the review committee commended the hospital's CME committee for its compliance with the Institutes requirements and excellent program.

California WIC Association - Best Practices and Excellence in Program Evaluation – The Antelope Valley Hospital Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC) won the Best Practices Recognition Award and an Excellence in Program Evaluation Award at the California WIC Association (CWA) Conference.

Volunteer Clinical Faculty Teacher of the Year – Antelope Valley Hospital Emergency Department physician Lawrence Stock, M.D. was awarded Volunteer Clinical Faculty Teacher of the Year from Harbor UCLA Medical Center, a teaching hospital for the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

The Ahmanson Foundation Grant Award Recipient – The Ahmanson Foundation awarded Antelope Valley Hospital’s Healthy Homes program a $40,000 grant to help prevent child abuse and neglect. This achievement was the second time the Ahmanson Foundation had awarded Healthy Homes.



Tobacco-Free Campus – Antelope Valley Hospital and all of its facilities and properties become tobacco-free zones, providing a healthier environment for all who visit or work at the hospital.

Implementation of Information System Upgrades –
Antelope Valley Hospital launched the first of three major information technology system upgrades. This phase included the implementation of a state-of-the-art patient accounting system that simplified clinical and financial operations, a patient care electronic tracking board for the emergency room, and physician order-entry and medication management systems.

Financial Turnaround – The hospital had accumulated an almost $12 million operating loss over the previous years. By the end of the 2007 fiscal year, that number had been reduced to a $1.96 million loss. Fiscal year 2009 closed with nearly $9 million in profit and the positive trend has continued since then.  This financial turnaround was achieved almost entirely by ridding the District of its interest-rate swap agreements with lenders while avoiding cuts to healthcare services or reducing the hospital’s workforce.  



Joint Commission Accreditation – Based on an unannounced survey performed by The Joint Commission, Antelope Valley Hospital achieved full accreditation. Joint Commission accreditation means AVH demonstrates compliance with national standards for patient safety and quality of care.

Level II Trauma Center – Antelope Valley Hospital became a Level II Trauma Center, helping to provide faster care for those involved in serious accidents and allowing families to visit their loved ones without having to drive to Los Angeles-based trauma centers. AVH has the only Trauma Center in the Antelope Valley.

da Vinci® Robotic Surgery
– Antelope Valley Hospital unveiled the addition of this state-of-the-art surgical platform, which allows doctors to perform surgery with unsurpassed dexterity and precision which leads to significantly less pain, less blood loss, less scarring, shorter recovery time, a faster return to normal daily activities and in many cases, better clinical outcomes for the patient.

Financial Stability Recognized
–Antelope Valley Healthcare District received a “stable” rating, with a positive outlook for the future, from Moody’s Investors Service, which rates the financial status of commercial firms and government agencies. Advancements in technology and services, combined with new physician recruits, have increased the level and type of care provided at the hospital, Moody's report noted.

ACHD Names Antelope Valley Healthcare District
Most Innovative Healthcare District – The Association of California Healthcare Districts (ACHD) awarded Antelope Valley Healthcare District with the Most Innovative Healthcare District Award for 2010. The award recognizes AVH’s commitment to improving the standards of care for the community through leadership, achievement and innovation. AVH was chosen from a pool of 74 eligible heath care districts.

Certificate of Commendation from Senator Dianne Feinstein
– United States Senator Dianne Feinstein, representing the State of California, awarded Antelope Valley Healthcare District with a Certificate of Commendation on receiving the Association of California Healthcare Districts' Most Innovative Healthcare District Award. The Senator recognized Antelope Valley Healthcare District’s dedication to providing outstanding medical care to the community and commended the hospital for its many achievements.



Bond Financing – Antelope Valley Hospital secured financing in the way of tax-exempt revenue bonds to be used for capital improvements and to pay off old debt in order to the hospital’s improve financial outlook. $18 million of the bonds were sold through the California Health Care Investment Program, while $24 million were sold as private bonds.

Master Facility Plan Groundbreaking –
Antelope Valley Hospital began construction on the Master Facility Plan. The first phase was a $30 million investment that included facility upgrades and program enhancements. Improvements include expanding patient and guest parking, adding a main entrance patient drop-off/pick-up canopy, redesigning and expanding the café and main lobby, centralizing the imaging department and creating a state-of-the-art cardiovascular and interventional treatment center. 

Information Technology Advancement
– During the second major information technology system upgrade phase, Antelope Valley Hospital launched an electronic medical record (EMR) system that included nursing documentation, a physician access portal, pharmacy order-entry system, and electronic bedside medication administration with barcode scanning. In conjunction with the system upgrades, AVH also deployed over 200 wireless and mobile workstations which allowed clinical staff to chart while administering care in patient rooms.



Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center Accreditation – Antelope Valley Hospital attained advanced certification by The Joint Commission as a Certified Primary Stroke Center, signifying that AVH provides the most advanced stroke care and ensures a team of specialized stroke neurologists and nurses are available at all times.

Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Bronze Quality Achievement Award
– The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognized Antelope Valley Hospital for achieving at least 90 consecutive days of 85% or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines® program quality indicators to improve quality of patient care and outcomes.

Selection to Participate in NICHQ’s Best Fed Beginnings Program
– Antelope Valley Hospital was one of 90 hospitals selected to participate in Best Fed Beginnings, a first-of-its-kind national effort to significantly improve breastfeeding rates in states where rates are currently the lowest. The program seeks to reverse these trends by dramatically increasing the number of U.S. hospitals implementing a proven model for maternity services that better supports a new mother’s choice to breastfeed.

Recognition from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Excellence in Organ Donation
Antelope Valley Hospital was named as one of 22 hospitals throughout the seven-county greater Los Angeles area that were recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with a Medal of Honor for meeting the standards for excellence in organ donation set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). AVH was recognized with a Silver Medal of Honor for meeting or exceeding two out of three national goals during the 24-month measurement period.

Implementation of Advanced Emergency Room Technology
- Antelope Valley Hospital launched an emergency department electronic medical record system and physician computerized electronic order entry, which improved patient safety and communications between caregivers. Also implemented was a system that improved clinical workflow in the emergency room by allowing users to move quickly from computer to computer.

Antelope Valley Hospital CEO Selected as Finalist in Healthcare Leadership Awards
– The Healthcare Leadership Awards, presented by the Los Angeles Business Journal, recognize individuals and organizations that have made major strides in helping Los Angeles residents receive better health care. As a result of the recent improvements throughout the facility, Antelope Valley Hospital’s CEO was selected as an award finalist in the Hospital/Medical Center CEO category.


City of Hope Antelope Valley Cancer and Community Education Center Groundbreaking Antelope Valley Hospital, along with City of Hope and developers G.L. Bruno and Associates, Inc., hosted a ceremony to celebrate the groundbreaking of the future City of Hope | Antelope Valley Cancer and Community Education Center. The 56,195-square-foot, two-story medical and education center will house a full-service cancer center, along with a conference center and 172-seat auditorium, and space for physician offices.


Internal Medicine Hospitalist Program Launch – Antelope Valley Hospital launched an internal medicine hospitalist program to provide high-quality physician care to adult patients who are admitted to the hospital without an assigned primary care physician. This program broadened the scope of comprehensive care provided at the hospital, as a compliment to the hospitalist programs already established in the pediatric and OB/GYN departments, and enabled patients to be seen by a physician as quickly and as often as needed, providing immediate physician access to patients and their families.