Our History

Hi-Desert Medical Center: Caring for Our Community for More Than 40 Years

Hi-Desert Medical Center has a long legacy of providing first-rate health care services for the Morongo1976-ribbon-cut-ceremony-web Basin community. In 1972, a consolidation of two previously existing hospital districts — the Hi-Desert Memorial Hospital in Yucca Valley and the Twentynine Palms Hospital District — resulted in the development of the current medical center, which affiliated with Tenet Healthcare on July 15, 2015.

Here’s a look back at some highlights from our past:


  • Yucca Valley Chamber approved the idea of constructing a house as a fundraiser for the proposed new hospital in Joshua Tree. Art Miller donated property for the house; community members volunteered labor and materials. The venture netted the hospital fund $23,230. Net donations totaled $8,000.
  • A celebration was hosted with a round-up of stars that included TV stars Desi Arnaz, Ty Hardin and Phil Harris, golfer Lloyd Mangrum and Abe Schiller (“Mr. Las Vegas”). The winning ticket was drawn and the home awarded to Benny Lopez of Pico Rivera.
  • Negotiations between the Yucca Valley Hi-Desert Memorial Hospital District and the Twentynine Palms Community Hospital District continued for several years to develop a plan for a new centrally located acute-bed hospital in the Morongo Basin.


  • In late 1971, the County Formation Commission ordered the consolidation of the Yucca Valley Hi-Desert Memorial Hospital District and the Twentynine Palms Community Hospital District.
  • On February 23, 1975, ground was broken for the medical center project. Dr. Edward Lincoln Smith and his mother were honored guests. Dr. Smith had been the only doctor in the area for many years.
  • In 1976, the Board of Directors voted to sell both Yucca Valley and Twentynine hospitals.


  • In 1980, speech and occupational therapy programs were added to hospital services, and the hospital became one of the largest employers in the Morongo Basin with well over 100 employees.
  • In 1983, a 10-foot tall, 800-pound family statue was installed at the front of the hospital, courtesy of renowned artist, Howard Pierce, and the first hospice patient was enrolled in the Hi-Desert Medical Center hospice program.
  • In 1986, the mammography unit became operational, and Home Health Services opened with nine patients.
  • On October 25, ​1988 a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new Continuing Care Center skilled nursing facility and 50 balloons were released into the air.
  • In 1989, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Helen Gray Education Center.


  • Hi-Desert began with 60 employees and reached 300 employees in 1990
  • November 15, 1990, marked the grand opening for the Continuing Care Center
  • The hospital emergency department responded to the 1992 earthquake, the largest natural disaster to date
  • 1994 marked the grand opening of Airway Surgicenter and the dedication of the Helen Gray Educational Center building


  • Hi-Desert Medical Center Birthing Center opened Labor Day Weekend, 2000
  • Neurology, orthopedics, urology and extended pediatric services came on line
  • The Continuing Care Center celebrated its 15-year anniversary

Learn More

For more information about the history of Hi-Desert Medical Center, contact our Marketing/Public Relations department at (760) 366-6322.