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We are impacting lives in Orange County everyday with the generous support of donors.


Providence St. Mary Medical Center
Providence St. Mary Medical Center today

“A community can’t grow if it doesn’t have proper health care. The hospital has grown with the community.” – Patricia Nickell, Founding board member

 “Our experience at St. Mary’s was great. My son was very happy with his care, which is saying a lot considering he’s an RRT. He was thankful for the care he received.”

Three Decades of Transforming Lives

Foundation Celebrates 30th Anniversary

There was ample enthusiasm in the little town of Apple Valley when a 26-bed medical facility called St. Mary Desert Valley Hospital opened its doors in 1956. But decades would go by without an organization dedicated to philanthropic support.

That all changed in the late 1980s when five members of the community — John Armstrong, Elizabeth Daily, Joseph Morris, Patricia Nickell and Wilson So — came together to support their local hospital. In 1991, they founded the Providence St. Mary Medical Center Foundation and initiated a philanthropic movement that would benefit the entire High Desert community.

One of the founding members, Patricia Nickell, remembers the early days of the Foundation. “The thing that made it ultimately successful is that the hospital hired an employee to work with us — someone who was skilled in nonprofits,” she says. “So, the hospital did invest in an executive director, and it just grew and grew and grew.”

Though the local economy was gravely impacted by the closure of nearby George Air Force Base in 1992, the Foundation helped to ensure the hospital continued to thrive.

“A community can’t grow if it doesn’t have proper health care,” reflects Patricia. “The hospital has grown with the community.”

Today, the Foundation’s fundraising initiatives have enabled lifesaving enhancements across Providence St. Mary Medical Center. As we celebrate 30 years of the Foundation’s achievements, we wish to extend our gratitude to the founding members, including Patricia Nickell, for their vision — and for transforming our beloved community.

Learn more about how you can support the future of Providence St. Mary at 760-946-8841 or stmaryfoundation@providence.org.

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Contact Us

Phone: 760-946-8841
Address: 18300 Hwy 18, Apple Valley, CA 92307
Email: StMaryFoundation@providence.org

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