Our History

Alameda Health System (AHS), is an integrated public health care system with 475 beds and 500 physicians across six major facilities throughout Alameda County. Founded in 1864 as Alameda County Infirmary, the System has a legacy of commitment to its communities that still serves as its foundation for growth.

Fairmont Hospital

The hospital continued to grow through the 1920s, eventually becoming Fairmont Hospital, the first public rehabilitation facility in the western United States. Fairmont provided world-class acute and long-term care as it does today, though it took on added responsibility for tuberculosis patients during that time, as well as provided residence for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Highland Hospital

As the Twenties roared on, County Supervisors recognized the need for an acute care hospital for the growing community of Oakland. In 1927, Highland Hospital opened its doors with comprehensive services for every resident. Highland even pioneered its own school of nursing, establishing a mission to teach that exists today as a highly competitive graduate-level nursing program on the Highland campus.  The hospital’s clinic building was constructed in 1954, with the acute care building added in 1969. 

Ambulatory Health Care

The Sixties brought social movement and with it new trends in health care. Growth continued with the introduction of Ambulatory Health Care Services  an innovative network of neighborhood-based health clinics (Highland, Newark, Eastmont and Hayward).  Today, these Wellness Centers remain essential community assets, providing comprehensive care to hundreds of thousands of residents each year.

John George Psychiatric Pavilion

In the 1980s, the psychiatric program at Highland Hospital began outgrowing its space. County Supervisor John George, a steadfast and courageous champion for mental health care, guided approval and planning for a new acute psychiatric hospital located in the hills above Fairmont Hospital. The new facility opened in 1992, and was named John George Psychiatric Pavilion in his honor.

Alameda Health System

In the 1990s, Alameda County Medical Center was formed as the result of consolidation among Fairmont Hospital, Highland Hospital, John George Psychiatric Pavilion and the community Wellness Centers. Authority over the Medical Center passed from Alameda County Supervisors in 1998 to an independent Board of Trustees.

Now structured as a Public Health Authority, Alameda Health System has the strength and responsibility to build relationships, and forge partnerships with government and community organizations to ensure better access to quality care for every resident of Alameda County. 

The heart of its mission – caring, healing, teaching and serving all – continues to drive innovation, change and enhancement at Alameda Health System as it looks to promote wellness and eliminate disparities within the diverse communities it serves.

A major economic force in Alameda County, AHS employs more than 3,800 people  including 800 physicians at seven facilities throughout the county. These include Highland Hospital, a major regional trauma center and teaching hospital, John George Psychiatric Hospital, an acute and emergency care facility in San Leandro; Fairmont Hospital, an acute rehabilitation hospital and skilled nursing facility in San Leandro; San Leandro Hospital; and four ambulatory wellness centers in Oakland, Newark and Hayward, California.