About Us

St. Jude Medical Center is a faith-based, not-for-profit hospital located in Fullerton, California. Established by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange in 1957, St. Jude provides exceptional care and is one of Southern California's most respected and technologically advanced hospitals.

We are one of Southern California's most respected and technologically advanced hospitals, and our five core values: Compassion, Dignity, Excellence, Justice and Integrity are the guiding principles for everything we do. St. Jude is synonymous with exceptional care that extends beyond good medicine to a commitment to caring for you – mind, body and spirit.

St. Jude Medical Center is a faith-based, non-profit, 320-bed, acute care hospital. With nearly 700 of Southern California’s finest physicians on staff, St. Jude offers every medical specialty and sub-specialty. Whether for the birth of a baby, life-saving surgery or a routine mammogram, St. Jude continues to set the standard for medical care and offers the community the most comprehensive array of services and programs.

St. Jude Medical Center is committed to providing compassionate, reliable and safe care. That’s why we continually implement quality initiatives that ensure our patients receive the absolute best care. Our quality dashboard shows our progress on five quality measures.

In 1650, the Sisters of St. Joseph are founded by Father Jean-Pierre Medaille, a Jesuit priest in LePuy, France. He has the vision to organize an order of religious women who, rather than remaining safely cloistered in a convent, would venture out into the community, seek out "the dear neighbor" and minister to their needs. In 1836, the first six missionaries travel to St. Louis, Missouri.

More than 60 years ago, over two thousand people stood in the rain to see the opening of the new St. Jude Hospital. In the words of one newspaper, “This is the day we have been waiting for. All of Orange County rejoices over the completion of the ultramodern St. Jude Hospital.”

There was tremendous excitement over the high-tech features of the new hospital. Going far beyond the community standard at the time, it offered the latest advances in care including state-of-the-art operating areas and a new concept in medicine called “the recovery room.” Even the kitchen offered the newest equipment—and when the former chef of Knott’s Berry Farm was hired—one newspaper called St. Jude’s patients the “best fed in the country.”

The new hospital was the result of a remarkable partnership between the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange—who dreamed of setting a new standard of care in Orange County—and a community who was eager to help make it possible. Neighboring cities, businesses and residents all found ways to raise money to make St. Jude Hospital a reality. The Assistance League held book review parties; the Cub Scouts organized a circus; the Women’s Club hosted bridge parties; and the Kiwanis created a comedy show. From Northrop Aircraft, who auctioned off lunches with Cary Grant and Humphrey Bogart, to the Rotary Club’s sold-out dinner dance, there was an almost endless variety of fundraising events.

In the end, over $750,000 was raised in just six months. Enough money, that when matched by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, meant construction of the desperately needed hospital could begin.

Learn about our historical milestones.

The best and brightest

Within days of opening, every bed in the new hospital was filled and St. Jude’s reputation quickly grew. The best and brightest doctors began coming from all over, attracted to St. Jude’s mission of excellence and the opportunity to practice the highest quality medicine.

“St. Jude was like a magnet. This was where physicians from the nation’s top medical schools and training programs wanted to be,” explains Joseph Lawton, M.D., retired family medicine physician, who joined the staff in 1960. “What St. Jude offered was truly unique: a first-class hospital where the values of excellence and compassion were felt by everyone who walked through the doors.”

Learn about our medical milestones.

A higher calling

Despite the impressive technology, it was this difference of the heart that truly distinguished the new hospital. “The sisters’ values and their profound sense of fulfilling a higher calling created an atmosphere where extraordinary care became not just possible but expected,” explains William Lenahan, M.D., a retired St. Jude physician for 45 years, beginning the day the hospital opened.

The sisters could be found on every floor, from Sister Augustine supervising the surgery rooms to Sister Mary managing the brand new X-ray department. Long before the phrase “female executive” or “continuous improvement” even existed, the sisters ensured excellence was St. Jude’s defining quality. Their faithful service to others and to God inspired St. Jude’s doctors, nurses and staff to go beyond curing illness—and touch lives.

Much remains the same

While much has changed in the last 60 years, some things have remained the same. St. Jude is still one of Southern California’s most technologically advanced hospitals. And the sisters’ life-affirming mission and profound sense of fulfilling a higher calling still create an atmosphere that makes extraordinary care possible.

St. Jude Medical Center offers a community newsletter to assist you and your family in living better, longer and healthier.

St. Jude Medical Center is accredited by the Joint Commission. Accreditation means that St. Jude Medical Center has demonstrated compliance with organizational, patient care and safety standards.

St. Jude Medical Center has set standards to continuously improve performance, provide the highest quality of patient care and to ensure our patients are treated in a safe environment. In response, the Administration and Board of Trustees have invited The Joint Commission to conduct a full survey of St. Jude Medical Center.

St. Jude Medical Center, in conjunction with the Joint Commission, views the survey process as part of our efforts to provide the highest standard of care, and not a one-time "inspection" of compliance. We use this opportunity to have key processes validated and welcome recommendations for improvement. We also initiate proactive steps for performance improvement. For further information concerning the Joint Commission visit their website at www.jointcommission.org.

Patient care and safety

If you have a concern or complaint about patient care or safety, we encourage you to contact our Patient Relations Specialist at 714-992-3000, ext. 3749 or by writing to:

St Jude Medical Center 
Attn: Patient Relations Specialist 
101 E. Valencia Mesa Dr.,
Fullerton, CA 92835

If your issue remains unresolved, you have the right to:
  • Contact The Joint Commission Office of Quality Monitoring at 800-994-6610, by e-mail or mail:

Office of Quality Monitoring 
The Joint Commission 
One Renaissance Blvd. 
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

Awards aren’t the reason we pursue excellence, but they do help make clear our commitment to offer the highest standards of care. We are proud to have been awarded the following:

St. Jude Medical Center’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is among the select programs to be recognized and certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). This honor highlights the hospital’s commitment to using today’s most advanced practices to help restore the health and quality of life of those with chronic lung conditions. (2017-2020)

Demonstrating exemplary care and outcomes in joint replacement, St. Jude is one of only 62 hospitals in the nation to receive The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Knee Replacement— the highest distinction available from the country’s premier healthcare accrediting body. To earn the prestigious designation, St. Jude and St. Jude Heritage Medical Group, Orthopedics, underwent a rigorous, two-day, on-site review of the quality and safety of the hospital’s joint replacement services, including pre-operative, intraoperative and post-surgical care and outcomes. St. Jude is one of only eight hospitals in California to meet the designation’s quality requirements. (Accreditation is for 2018-2019)

St. Jude received 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. (2015- 2019)

Blue Cross and Blue Shield named St. Jude Medical Center a Blue Distinction Center for cardiac care and spine surgery. 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.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield named St. Jude Medical Center a Blue Distinction Center for cardiac care and spine surgery. 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.

St. Jude Medical Center 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. (2016 - 2021)

St. Jude Medical Center is one of only a few hospitals in the state to be recognized as an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center. This recognition, given by The Joint Commission and the American Heart/Stroke Associations, identifies an elite group of hospitals capable of offering the highest level of stroke. The prestigious designation recognizes the significant differences in expertise, resources and training necessary for the treatment of complex stroke.

(Accreditation is for 2017 - 2018)

St. Jude Medical Center’s comprehensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services were recognized by CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities). St. Jude is one of only two facilities in Southern California to receive accreditation in both spinal cord and brain injury (inpatient and outpatient), and one of three in the state to receive accreditation in comprehensive stroke rehabilitation (inpatient and outpatient). (Accreditation is for 2016 - 2019)

The St. Jude Kathryn T. McCarty Breast Center was named a Certified Quality Breast Center by the American College of Surgeons National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). One of the few Breast Centers in Southern California to be designated a Quality Breast Center, the recognition is granted to those meeting stringent performance measures, including providing a multidisciplinary approach that encourages optimal care and the most effective treatment options available. (Accreditation is for 2016 - 2019)

By meeting the highest national standards in patient safety and quality of care, St. Jude earned 3-year 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. (Accreditation is for 2015 - 2019)

St. Jude has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®–Target: Stroke Honor Roll-Elite Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized and research-based guidelines. Hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. St. Jude has also met the stringent guidelines to be distinguished an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center.

St. Jude Medical Center’s robotic surgery program was designated as an Epicenter and Case Observation Site—one of only a handful in the nation—by Intuitive Surgical, maker of the da Vinci Surgical System. The national designation recognizes St. Jude’s highly experienced surgeons, dedicated robotic surgical team, and exceptional outcomes.

St. Jude was honored with the Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), a distinction earned by only 5 percent of California’s hospitals. The award distinguishes critical care units who exemplify excellence in clinical practice and utilize today’s best evidence-based practices to create superior outcomes for critically ill patients. (Accreditation is for 2017-2018)

St. Jude’s Crosson Cancer Institute was among an elite group of hospitals to receive accreditation 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. (Accreditation is for 2017-2019)

St. Jude Medical Center has been named a national Center of Excellence by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), the nation’s leading medical society of quality and safety in endoscopic diagnosis and treatment. St. Jude is one of fewer than 20 hospitals in California to be recognized by the ASGE, and both the hospital’s inpatient endoscopy unit and the outpatient Knott Family Endoscopy Center were distinguished for their use of best practices, elevation of patient safety, and overall excellence in the use of endoscopic procedures to diagnose and treat issues involving the GI tract.