About Us

St. Joseph Hospital’s long record of delivering exemplary, value-based care is rooted in the vision of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, who founded the hospital in 1929. We advance that vision today by ensuring our patients receive the highest quality, expert care that leaves them healthier and happier.

Providence is the third largest Catholic, not-for-profit health system in the United States. St. Joseph Hospital champions the core values of Compassion, Dignity, Justice, Excellence and Integrity.

Recognized as a national leader across dozens of specialties and procedures, our focus on serving the patient drives our success. Our Nursing Center for Excellence is a four-time designated Magnet hospital, a testament to the level of care and support all patients receive from our talented and caring nurse practitioners.

As one of the top 5% of hospitals in the state, we boast many outstanding medical programs. St. Joseph Hospital’s national accredited Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment provides comprehensive, compassionate, integrated care to patients and their families. Our Heart and Vascular Center – the highest volume center in Orange County – is the top-performing facility for structural heart care, aortic valve surgery, heart attack, heart bypass surgery, heart failure and more.

St. Joseph Hospital's Complex Spine Center is nationally ranked in non-surgical therapies and minimally invasive treatment that’s focused on restoring patients’ pain-free function. Thanks to our expert surgeons, the center routinely serves as the regional referral hospital for some of the most difficult procedures.

With the longest-running transplant program in California and over 50 years of experience, our Kidney Transplant Center is rated #1 in the state. With expert staff, the center has one of the highest transplant success and patient survival rates in the country.

St. Joseph Hospital is accredited as a Center for Excellence in Robotic Surgery and offers a fleet of the most advanced robotic technology. This is further evidence of our commitment to pushing the boundaries of medical innovation and excellence.

Our Orthopedic Services center is nationally recognized and the first in Orange County to perform artificial hip replacement, knee replacement and elbow replacement surgeries.

St. Joseph Hospital’s nationally ranked Women’s Services program offers an unprecedented level of care from babies to older adults. Each year we welcome more than 4,000 babies into our community and provide a world-class experience for new mothers. We are the 20th hospital in the country to receive the Gold Seal of Approval for Advanced Certification in Perinatal Care from The Joint Commission.

At St. Joseph Hospital, we continue to pair leading-edge research and innovation with a deep commitment to quality, compassionate care that results in better outcomes for our patients.

As one of Orange County's first hospitals, St. Joseph set the standard for quality, values-based health care. Founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, who built a solid foundation of community-driven care that continues today.

Pioneering health care & innovation

Since its founding, St. Joseph Hospital has been home to pioneers in medicine and medical innovation. St. Joseph Hospital was home to the first pacemaker installation on the West Coast, the first intensive care unit in Orange County, the first adult bone marrow transplant in the county and the first open-heart surgery conducted in the county. This commitment to leading-edge care continues today. In 2023, St. Joseph Hospital was the first hospital on the West Coast to implant a dual chamber leadless pacemaker, once again pioneering clinical innovation.

Our heritage

Proudly serving our dear neighbor since 1929

On Sept. 16, 1929, St. Joseph Hospital opened its doors as one of the first hospitals in Orange County. Established by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, the philosophy of going into the community and caring for our dear neighbor has been a longstanding tradition in our hospital's history. Our caregivers, nurses, physicians and volunteers are committed to extending the legacy of our founding Sisters through everything they do for our patients, our community and each other.

The legacy of St. Joseph Hospital began with the Sisters of St. Joseph and dates to 1650 in Le Puy, France. Before arriving in America, the Sisters were organized by Jesuit priest, Father Jean Pierre Madaille, to serve the poor and suffering (their "dear neighbors") and spread the Catholic ministry in their community. The Sisters dedicated their lives to God and served the people of France for many years. When they came to America, they eventually settled in Eureka, California, and opened their first hospital in response to the flu epidemic.

In 1922, Archbishop Cantwell invited the Sisters to move their Motherhouse from Eureka to Southern California. They bought the 10-acre Burnham estate on Batavia Street in Orange, California. for $10,000 and officially became the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. After finding a bank that would loan them money, the Sisters decided to open a modern hospital to serve the health care needs of Orange County. The Sisters had a strong vision for what they wanted, which was to open a brand new hospital that would be the "last word in magnificence and technology." They broke ground for the new 190-bed hospital on May 26, 1928. On Sept. 16, 1929, St. Joseph Hospital opened with a medical staff of less than 50.

St. Joseph Hospital is now a 463-bed hospital with a 1,100-member medical staff, making us one of the largest hospitals in Orange County. And though technology has advanced medicine beyond the wildest dreams of our founding Sisters, time has not altered our desire to care for the whole person – body, mind and spirit.

St. Joseph Hospital is proud to continue the rich heritage of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange by building on our legacy of providing care with compassion, dignity, justice, excellence and integrity.

Our founding Sisters were pioneers and always looked ahead to identify the greatest needs in the community and fulfill them through their service. With the continued dedication of our passionate physicians, caregivers and community supporters, St. Joseph Hospital will continue to minister to the changing needs of Orange County residents for years to come.

Physician pioneers

Herbert Johnston, M.D., a noted surgeon in Anaheim, convinced the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange that the county needed a modern hospital. Thus began St. Joseph Hospital. He established the hospital’s first medical staff, comprised of fewer than 50 doctors.

Among them was a young physician who worked in Dr. Johnston’s clinic, Milo Tedstrom, M.D. It was Dr. Tedstrom who admitted the hospital’s first patient on September 16, 1929. He went on to become the first internist and cardiologist in Orange County, was the Chief of the Medical Staff from 1934 to 1936 and was a vital member of the Medical Staff for 48 years. One of his heart patients became the first person on the West Coast to have a pacemaker installed. He served as Chairman of the hospital’s Executive Board from 1961 to 1965, during which time St. Joseph Hospital opened its first major expansion – a 290-bed hospital building. He also set up St. Joseph Hospital’s first diabetes clinic. With all his accomplishments, Dr. Tedstrom’s favorite medical task was treating patients in diabetic comas. “You would come in and see them unconscious, and you would give them the proper dose of insulin and have them come out of it and live,” he said. “It was a big thrill.”

C.D. Ball, M.D., was the first member of the Ball family of physicians to join the St. Joseph Hospital Medical Staff in 1929. In those days, it was common for him to fight flooding rivers and brave the rattle snakes of Gospel Swamps (today called Fountain Valley) to attend to sick patients. The Ball family came from a long line of American physicians, traced back to Silas Ball, who practiced during the Revolutionary War in the 1700s. Six of C.D.’s sons and grandsons continued the family tradition here, the last being Orthopedic Surgeon Donald Ball, M.D., who retired and became a member emeritus in 2008. Those who served at St. Joseph Hospital include C.D., Dexter R., John, John Jr., Dexter T., Robert and Donald Ball. Their contributions to medicine extend beyond St. Joseph Hospital. C.D. was the founder of the Orange County Medical Association (OCMA), and he, along with Dexter R., John D. Sr. and Dexter T., all eventually served as an OCMA presidents.

Ralph White, M.D., who logged six decades of service in Orange County, joined the St. Joseph Hospital Medical Staff in 1939 when there were 200 Medical Staff members. He watched the Medical Staff grow to more than 1,000 members. Dr. White estimates he delivered 1,500 babies during his tenure. He recalls, “There weren’t any specialists when I started out in the field...My specialty is the skin and all of its contents.” After retiring in 1976, Dr. White continued to support St. Joseph Hospital’s mission as a volunteer and donor. He elaborates, “St. Joseph Hospital has always been in the forefront of advancements in medicine, surgical techniques, the whole gamut, really, of medical practice. The hospital wouldn’t be what it is without donations.”

When another of Orange County’s pioneer physicians, Jesse Burlew, M.D., passed away in 1950 he bequeathed funds to maintain the doctor’s library, now named the Burlew Library. He practiced for 43 years in Santa Ana and is a past Chairman of the Board at St. Joseph Hospital. World War I interrupted his civilian practice, when he served as Captain in the Army’s medical corps. Dr. Burlew was the first Orange County surgeon to be made a fellow of the American College of Physicians and Surgeons.

The St. Joseph Hospital campus continues to grow, and our programs and services are expanding to meet the diverse needs of the community.

As we grow, St. Joseph Hospital’s team is committed to upholding our long-standing values of compassion and service paired with medical innovation to ensure the best care and outcomes for patients. It's this commitment that makes St. Joseph Hospital the premier medical facility in Orange County.

Executive leadership team
  • Chief Executive Providence St. Joseph Hospital, Orange County and High Desert Service Area: Brian Helleland
  • Chief Nursing Officer: Michelle Genova, DNP, RN, NEA-BC
  • Chief Medical Officer: Elaine Lee, MD
  • Chief Administrative Officer: Troy Gideon
  • Chief Mission Integration Officer: Cathy Fletcher
  • Executive Director, Quality & Patient Safety: Jahmela Pech
  • Executive Director, Strategy & Business Development: Kim Pensenstadler
  • Chief Financial Officer: Eileen Haubl
  • Chief Philanthropy Officer: Amy Daugherty
  • Chief Human Resources Officer: Marlene Grove
  • Director of Communications: Connie Martin

As stewards of life-long health and wellbeing, we actively pursue awards and certifications that require us to adhere to the highest standards of care.

Providence St. Joseph Hospital Radiation Oncology program based at the Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment has earned a full three-year accreditation from the American College of Radiology (ACR). Providence St. Joseph is the only community hospital cancer program in Orange County with this distinction.

Designated BlueDistinction Center Knee and Hip ReplacementDesignated BlueDistinction Center Spine Surgery

Blue Cross and Blue Shield named St. Joseph Hospital a Blue Distinction Center for spine surgery, hip and knee replacement, bariatric surgery, and maternity care. The honor recognizes hospitals that demonstrate expertise in providing quality care and is designed to help consumers identify which hospitals offer better outcomes (e.g., fewer medical complications, fewer readmissions and higher survival rates) in the delivery of specialty care.

Magnet Recognized American Nurses Credentialing CenterSt. Joseph Hospital has received the Magnet® designation, the highest accolade for nursing excellence that any hospital can receive. Earned by less than eight percent of the nation’s hospitals, this coveted honor recognizes hospitals that exceed national standards and benchmarks and display innovation and leadership in improving outcomes. Independent research shows that Magnet-recognized hospitals consistently outperform other hospitals, including creating better patient outcomes, shorter lengths of hospital stay, and higher patient satisfaction.

The Joint Commission National Quality ApprovalBy meeting the highest national standards in patient safety and quality of care, St. Joseph Hospital received accreditation by The Joint Commission. The accreditation is based on the results of an unannounced on-site survey. Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission is dedicated to continuously improving the safety and quality of the nation's healthcare through voluntary accreditation.

The public may contact The Joint Commission's Office of Quality Monitoring to report any concerns or register complaints about a Joint Commission accredited healthcare organization by either calling 1-800-994-6610 or e-mailing: complaint@jcaho.org

Designated as Baby-Friendly Hospital by Baby-Friendly USASt. Joseph Hospital  has once again earned accreditation as a Baby-Friendly Hospital, an honor recognizing hospitals that provide optimum, evidence-based care to mothers and babies. To qualify as “Baby-Friendly,” a hospital must demonstrate national best practices that offer infants the best start in life by creating an environment where breastfeeding is made easy and mother-baby bonding is improved. Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations’ Children’s Fund.

Commission on CancerSt. Joseph Hospital Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment was among an elite group of hospitals to receive accreditation with commendation from the Commission on Cancer (CoC), a program of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS). The accreditation recognizes those cancer programs capable of providing comprehensive, high-quality, and multidisciplinary patient-centered care.

MBSAQIP Accredited CenterSt. Joseph Hospital’s bariatric surgery program received recertifcation from the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP), a joint program of the by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.