Mills-Peninsula Medical Center in Burlingame

Raziel Ungar

Raziel Ungar

February 9th, 2012 - 2 min read

The New Mills-Peninsula Medical Center

Right here in Burlingame, and located adjacent to tree-lined Ray Park, the new $680 million six-story Mills-Peninsula Medical Center is the first of several new Peninsula hospitals designed to make it through the next major earthquake. The 450,000 square-foot building is the most seismically sound hospital in all of California and could withstand up to an 8.5 magnitude earthquake hitting the San Andreas Fault, and still be functional for up to 6 days!

The hospital, which opened on May 15, 2011, has implemented several innovations to increase patient comfort and safety, not the last of which is that it uses only outdoor air, not recycled air. A state-of-the-art ventilation system that uses wrap-around heat exchangers in the air stream is used to preheat or pre-cool the new incoming air as it is brought back through the air handlers.

Another new feature is the Electronic Health Record, which replaces the paper charting formerly used to store patient information. The electronic record provides staff and physicians with immediate access to patient health information, history and lab results, no matter where in the Sutter Health network you happen to be. Since doctor’s orders and prescriptions are electronically entered into your record, pharmacists and caregivers are less like to misinterpret the information, thus providing greater patient safety.

The hospital has been named one of the nation’s top hospitals.

The History

In 1905 there were no hospitals or emergency facilities on the Peninsula. In 1906, in the wake of the San Francisco earthquake, Elizabeth Mills Reid, a philanthropist and social activist and the daughter of the founder of the Bank of California, D. Ogden Mills, along with the rector of the Episcopal Church of St. Matthew, Rev. Neptune Blood William Gallwey and a young doctor named W.C. Chidester, recognized the need and pledged funds to build and operate an emergency medical facility on the church property.

The hospital continued to grow and in the mid-1910s, Mrs. Reid was convinced that the name of the hospital should be changed to Mills Memorial Hospital, (although she saw to it that the Church of St. Matthew preceded the new name.)

Through the 1920s, additions such as X-ray machines and improvements to the emergency room were made. In 1928 the East Wing was built, adding 124 beds and a 28-bed maternity section.

In 1950, Mills Hospital was expanded with the addition of the West Wing, but with the growth of the communities in San Mateo County in the post-war boom, the one hospital did not meet the demand for quality health care.

In 1954, Peninsula Hospital opened in Burlingame on the former site of Elizabeth Mills Reid’s family home, the Mills Mansion.

In 1985, Mills and Peninsula merged to form Mills-Peninsula Hospitals. For the complete history of the hospital, click here.

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