A History of Innovation And Quality Care

Providence has a deeply rooted history in Orange County that dates back to 1928, when our Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange broke ground on St. Joseph Hospital in Orange.

They were compelled to establish this hospital after Dr. Herbert Johnson, a noteworthy surgeon in Anaheim, appealed to them for the need of a modern hospital to serve the booming region.

St. Joseph Hospital opened to the public in 1929, becoming one of the very first hospitals in OC and setting the standard for quality, leading-edge care for the region. Upon opening, St. Joseph had less than 50 doctors on staff, one of whom, Dr. Milo Tedstrom, became the first internist and cardiologist in Orange County history.

Well into the 20th century, our Orange County doctors braved the elements in treating patients— everything from a flooding Santa Ana River trail to angry rattlesnakes. Today in 2020, Providence’s dedication to compassionate, quality care remains as steadfast and innovative as the precedent set by our Sisters and founding medical staff before us.

Our Roots Run Deep

Providence Timeline


The Sisters of St. Joseph are founded in Le Puy, France with a mission of serving the poor and suffering.


Mother Bernard and the Sisters of St. Joseph arrive on the shores of Eureka, California with 60 cents to their name.


The influenza pandemic erupts, leading the Sisters to care for the sick in their homes and demonstrating the need for hospitals.


The Sisters purchase the old Northern California Hospital, renaming it as St. Joseph Hospital, after locals in Eureka became impressed with the care provided by the Sisters during the flu outbreak.


The Sisters officially become the St. Joseph Sisters of Orange after moving their mothership to Orange in anticipation of growth in the region and a need for education and service.


Dr. Herbert Johnston convinces the Sisters of St. Joseph to open a modern hospital in Orange County, and ground is broken on St. Joseph Hospital of Orange.


St. Joseph Hospital of Orange opens to the public, and Dr. Milo Tedstrom admits the first patient.


Following the success of St. Joseph Hospital, the Sisters purchase Fullerton General Hospital for $23,000.


The Sisters of St. Joseph adopt special low rates for poor patients typically shut out of medical care.


Actress Judy Garland visits a critically ill girl, who imagines herself to be Garland’s character Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, at St. Joseph Hospital, bringing her gifts and singing 'Over the Rainbow'.


Mother Louis opens a School of Nursing at St. Joseph Hospital of Orange. Three months later, the United States enters World War II.


Following the end of World War II, the School of Nursing closes and the building is converted to a 70-bed medical wing.


Doctors at St. Joseph Hospital donate money as a group for the first time, paying for $3,000 worth of operating-room lights.


After the Sisters close Fullerton General Hospital, Mother Felix and a group of physicians decide to build a new hospital named after St. Jude, the patron saint of desperate situations.


As rain pours down, a crowd of 2,000 gathers to witness the opening of the new St. Jude Hospital. One reporter on the scene writes, “This is the day we have been waiting for. All of Orange County rejoices over the completion of the ultramodern St. Jude Hospital.”


Dr. John Salyer of St. Joseph Hospital of Orange repairs a hole in the heart of five-year-old Steven Colliflower, successfully completing Orange County’s first open-heart surgery.


Dr. Salyer again makes history, becoming the first surgeon on the entire West Coast to implant a pacemaker.


St. Joseph Hospital begins Orange County’s first nuclear medicine program and performs the area’s first total hip-replacement surgery using the Charnley technique.


The first inpatient rehabilitation unit in Orange County opens at the newly dubbed St. Jude Hospital and Rehabilitation Center.


Mission Hospital opens in Mission Viejo to serve the growing local community.


St. Joseph Hospital introduces the first privately run fetal monitoring unit in Southern California.


St. Joseph Hospital dedicates its $5.6 million north wing, making St. Joseph and Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) the state’s third-largest private hospital complex, with 710 beds.


St. Joseph Health System is established in order to bring the Sisters of St. Joseph’s hospitals and organizations under one business entity.


St. Joseph Hospital opens the Regional Cancer Center, Orange County’s first comprehensive outpatient cancer-care facility.


St. Jude launches Orange County’s first mobile health clinic to provide care for the uninsured.


St. Jude is renamed to St. Jude Medical Center in order to reflect its comprehensive care services.


Mission Hospital partners with CHOC Children’s to provide state-of-the-art pediatric services.


Mission Hospital becomes a member of the St. Joseph Health family.


St. Joseph Hospital opens the first pediatric emergency room in Orange County.


With the help of a gift from the Crosson Family, St. Jude Medical Center opens the Virginia K. Crosson Cancer Center, establishing one of the region’s finest cancer treatment programs.


Readers of The Orange County Register vote St. Joseph Hospital as the Best Place to Volunteer in Orange County.


St. Joseph Hospital’s emergency room logs more than 97,000 visits, making it the busiest ER in Orange County.


The St. Jude Medical Plaza opens its doors, hosting the Virginia K. Crosson Cancer Center, Kathryn T. McCarty Breast Center, Fred A. Jordan Family Radiation Oncology Center, St. Jude Heritage Medical Group and the Ann G. Fetters Diagnostic Imaging Center.


A four-story, 248,000-square-foot expansion is completed for St. Joseph Hospital’s Patient Care Center.


Mission Hospital acquires Mission Hospital Laguna Beach, expanding its geographic footprint to include South Orange County, and St. Jude’s $125 million Southwest Patient Tower opens to meet growing community needs.


St. Jude Medical Center’s Northwest Tower opens, offering California’s most state-of-the-art surgical environment.


Providence Health & Services and St. Joseph Health System officially merge, creating Providence St. Joseph Health.


Providence St. Jude Medical Center earns national honors and awards in areas from orthopedics and cancer treatment, to stroke care and robotic surgery, and is named one of Southern California's top hospitals by U.S. News and World Report.


Providence Mission Hospital's state-of-the-art Judi and Bill Leonard Institute for Cancer Prevention, Treatment and Wellness debuts to provide specialized cancer care.


Providence St. Joseph Health rebrands to Providence, while still incorporating the cross logo of St. Joseph Health.


Providence St. Joseph Hospital of Orange embarks on a $16 million expansion of a new Progressive Care Unit to meet the local aging community’s need for expanded services.


Ground will be broken on Providence St. Joseph Hospital of Orange's new Helen Caloggero Women's and Family Center to bring mother-baby services to one central location.