Scripps, Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District Enter Into Affiliation

Chris Van Gorder, Scripps President & CEO and Larry Lewis, CEO of Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District sign Affiliation Agreement. Photo by Kate Ramos.

Agreement includes services to help enhance quality, decrease costs

BRAWLEY – Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District and Scripps Health have entered into an affiliation agreement, signed today at a ceremony at Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley. The two- year agreement marks the first hospital affiliation for Scripps outside of San Diego County.

“We are excited about working together with Scripps Health to bring the best of health care to our communities,” said Pioneers CEO Larry Lewis. “This partnership is a significant step forward to bring the necessary care and resources to strengthen Pioneers and expand needed services for the Valley.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Pioneers will continue to run as an independent hospital and will not change its name or current governance structure. The agreement is focused on helping to provide Pioneers the tools hospitals and health systems today need in order to provide value to patients through continuous quality improvement and reducing costs. It includes Scripps providing Pioneers with enhanced leadership training and development, process improvements,  and other related services.

Management of the affiliation will be by an affiliation steering committee representing both administration and physicians, and composed of three members from Scripps and three from Pioneers.

“On behalf of the Pioneers Memorial Hospital Board of Directors, we are very enthusiastic and eager to affiliate with Scripps Health, which is consistently ranked among the nation’s best health systems. It is our goal that the Imperial Valley will benefit from this affiliation and the experience Scripps brings to continue delivering quality care outcomes,” said Pioneers President Katy Alcantra-Santillan.

The agreement was reached after discussions between Scripps and Pioneers that began in April upon Pioneer’s decision to pursue an affiliation with Scripps, which had responded to Pioneer’s Request for Information in March. The Request for Information was sent to several major acute care providers in San Diego seeking expressions of interest in affiliating with Pioneers.  The Pioneers board determined that, as part of its strategic initiative to improve access to care for Imperial Valley residents, the best choice would be an affiliation relationship with Scripps.

“Scripps is pleased to help Pioneers enhance their quality of care while adjusting to the changing health care environment,” said Chris Van Gorder, Scripps president and CEO. “We’ve worked hard here at Scripps to do that and we’ve been successful. We look forward to joining with Pioneers in their efforts to do the same for their community.”


Pioneers Memorial Hospital (PMH) is a highly respected 107-bed acute care facility accredited by DNV, whose mission is to provide quality healthcare and compassionate service for families of the Imperial Valley. PMH is committed to providing state-of-the-art healthcare and the highest quality community education. PMH is a level 4 trauma center and offers a modern sixteen-bed emergency facility, staffed with board-certified emergency physicians. Within the Phyllis Dillard Family Medical Center is a dual surgery suite for obstetrical and gynecological surgeries. There are fourteen LDRP (Labor and Delivery, Recovery, Postpartum) suites in our Perinatal Department within the Center and we deliver approximately 1,800 babies per year.


Founded in 1924 by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps, Scripps Health is a nonprofit integrated health system based in San Diego, Calif. Scripps treats more than 600,000 patients annually through the dedication of 2,600 affiliated physicians and more than 15,000 employees among its five acute-care hospital campuses, hospice and home health care services, 28 outpatient centers and clinics, and hundreds of physician offices throughout the region.

Recognized as a leader in prevention, diagnosis and treatment, Scripps is also at the forefront of clinical research, genomic medicine and wireless health care. With three highly respected graduate medical education programs, Scripps is a longstanding member of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Scripps hospitals are consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the nation’s best and Scripps is regularly recognized by Fortune, Working Mother magazine and AARP as one of the best places in the nation to work. More information can be found at