Health System Brochure January 2021

 The County of Santa Clara Health System continues to lead, strengthen, serve, and transform. As the largest public health system in Northern California, we continue to advance the health and well-being of the communities we serve.


doctor examining baby

We work every day to make sure the largest public healthcare delivery system in Northern California remains effective, equitable, and essential. Our work is grounded in the core values of compassion, honesty, respect, learning, accountability, and excellence.

Three women chatting with medical masks on

​ ​We take seriously our role as the health safety net for the nearly 2 million residents of Santa Clara County. We continue to evolve to best serve our patients, clients, employees, partners, and community. As we continue to transform and improve, we are making a difference in the health and well-being of all the people we serve.

father cutting vegetables with his daughter while she looks at him

To our patients, clients, partners, supporters, volunteers, staff, and friends who make our work possible – thank you! You are our champions, and we look forward to continuing our work to reach our vision of Better Health for All.​


The following pages highlight our departments, programs, efforts, and accomplishments.

For more information about activities related to the response to the pandemic, please see our 2020 COVID-19 Report.
Additional Health System activities are also featured in the Quarterly Report​.​


"Behavioral Health Services Department" banner

​​The Behavioral Health Services Department provides an integrated system of care between mental health, substance use, and physical health services to achieve the best outcomes for Santa Clara County residents.

A woman putting hand sanitizer in two kids' hands

The Children, Youth and Families (CYF) division of the Behavioral Health Services Department serves children, adolescents, young adults, and their families who are experiencing social-emotional and behavioral health issues. In addition to outpatient care and programs specific to the unique needs of children and their families, CYF offers programs and services at schools, in homes, and at community settings to ensure client needs are met and easily accessible.

The Adult and Older Adult division offers free or low-cost services to people with mental health and/or substance use issues. These services are provided to those who have Medi-Cal, Medicare, or no insurance, and are residents of Santa Clara County.  Substance use, housing, and criminal justice needs of clients are addressed through multiple programs with different levels of care as a comprehensive continuum of care to to provide coordinated care including appropriate connections to support recovery.

Two guys glancing at a mobile phone while they are both wearing masks

The Behavioral Health Services Department recognizes that there are multiple opportunities and paths to address behavioral health concerns. The Continuum of Care promotes the following:

  • Creating environments and conditions that support behavioral health and the ability of individuals to withstand challenges.
  • Delivering prevention interventions intended to prevent or reduce the risk of developing a behavioral health problem.
  • Providing treatment services to individuals diagnosed with a substance use or behavioral health issues.
  • Supporting individuals’ abilities to live productive lives in the community. 

When an individual faces an emotional or mental health crisis, several services are available.

Psychiatric Emergency Response Team Chart

The Behavioral Health Services Department (BHSD) supports people from different cultures, backgrounds, those who speak other languages, and who are hearing impaired. There are a variety of ethnic specific and LGBTQ-focused programs.  Culturally competent peers and clinicians with lived experience, similar backgrounds, and/or language capabilities are hired to help overcome the stigma and barriers that have traditionally prevented underserved communities from accessing services.

An expansion of crisis response in the community is in development with the addition of the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT). PERT, along with Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT), provide different levels of crisis response in the community. The Community Mobile Response (CMR) program offers a lower level of care to residents of the county.


The Behavioral Health Services Department also continues to adapt to the needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic through the provision of telehealth services, trainings and resources provided to contract providers, and more. Regular collaboration with other County departments helps to leverage resources and maximize services to develop a no wrong door approach for clients requiring care across multiple systems. 

"Public Health Department" banner

The Public Health Department protects and improves the health of communities through education, promotion of healthy lifestyles, disease and injury prevention, and promotion of sound health policy.

COVID-19 graphic of the COVID-19 molecule

In 2020, the Public Health Department (PHD) lead the County’s COVID-19 response, including leading six other Bay Area counties to declare Shelter in Place for our region. The Public Health Department Laboratory was one of the first public health labs to test for the COVID-19 virus outside of the CDC. Also, an aggressive expansion of contact tracing has been conducted by the department. Over 1,000 staff from the County of Santa Clara, community partner organizations and volunteers, were trained to support this effort. In addition, PHD developed its own training materials and resources. These resources were shared with other public health departments and the State of California recognized Santa Clara County as a best practice for developing high-quality resources and materials.

As the pandemic continued, PHD sustained critical disease prevention and control efforts including tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, and Sexually Transmitted Diseases(STD)/HIV.

In addition, PHD conducted community flu vaccination events. The department has also continued to provide direct services through Women, Infants & Children (WIC), California Children's Services (CCS), STD/HIV testing and support, and other prevention and

education programs.

PHD established the Better Health Pharmacy in 2016, the first and only surplus drug pharmacy in California. The Better Health Pharmacy used donated medications – that are unused, unopened and unexpired from medical providers – to offer free prescriptions to community members.

The Healthy Cities initiative empowers communities to promote and protect community health. The initiative uses its Open Data Portal and evidence-based policies and strategies to prevent chronic disease and injury.


"Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Hospitals and Clinics" banner

Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Hospitals and Clinics provides high quality, compassionate, and accessible healthcare for all persons in Santa Clara County regardless of their social-economic status and ability to pay. The largest public health care delivery system in Northern California serves a diverse population of over 2 million Santa Clara County residents and others in the Bay Area and beyond.

The front of the Santa Clara County Medical Center Building with a silver art sculpture next to the building.



Santa Clara County Medical Center Logo



The front of the OConnor Hospital building



OConnor Hospital Logo



The front of the Saint Louise Regional Hospital building



St. Louise Regional Hospital Logo



A centralized executive leadership team manages this fully integrated and comprehensive healthcare delivery system. The system includes three essential hospitals: Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, O’Connor Hospital, and St. Louise Regional Hospital.

Services provided by these essential hospitals include:

  • Level I Adult Trauma Center
  • Level II Pediatric Trauma Center
  • Regional Burn Trauma Center
  • Nationally recognized Rehabilitation Center for spinal cord, brain injury, stroke, trauma
  • Cancer Center
  • Designated a Level IV NICU by California Children’s Services
  • Robotic surgery
  • Renal and dialysis care center
  • Emergency and acute psychiatric care facility
  • Subacute care facilities include DePaul Health Center (36 beds) and O’Connor Hospital (26 beds)
  • Comprehensive adult & pediatrics medical and surgical specialties in over 50 areas
  • 12 community clinics offer primary, integrated behavioral health, urgent care, and dental care, with 8 certified Patient Centered Medical Homes
  • Additional programs offering primary and preventive healthcare and services in the community, include TB/Refugee Care and the Infectious Disease and PACE Clinic (HIV care)
  • Five residency training programs, two fellowship programs and a pharmacy residency program
  • Core training site for Stanford residency programs
  • Highly sought-after rotation site for medical students, including Stanford and Dartmouth School of Medicine
  • Robust clinical research with numerous and ongoing publications in peer reviewed journals

Specialized health care services offered include joint replacement, sport medicine, breast care and highly specialized reconstructive surgery, bariatric and metabolic services, wound care, neuropsychological assessment care, sexual assault response care, women and children's health, and the Valley Homeless Healthcare Program.

Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Hospitals and Clinics employs over 10,000 professionals including an integrated medical staff with over 2,100 physicians and over 200 APPs. The Hospitals and Clinics have been recognized for its fully integrated electronic medical record system by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, attaining Stage 7, the highest level. The annual operating budget is $2.6 billion.

"Emergency Medical Services Agency" banner
An EMS vehicle parked in front of a building

The Santa Clara County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency is an essential service dedicated to providing safe, effective and quality prehospital care in Santa Clara County.

One part of this goal is achieved through classroom training, field exercises, and the accreditation and credentialing of emergency service providers including Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and paramedics. An extensive training and education calendar highlights opportunities for Continued Education (CE) and instructional lectures for prehospital care providers.

The EMS Agency also selects and manages 911 ambulance providers and the 911 system. EMS oversees a Quality Improvement Committee, which provides a process to identify performance standards, measure success, report on progress, and ensure the system achieves desired outcomes.

The EMS Agency has also developed several educational resources for the public and continues to its Public Education and Prevention Program. EMS is committed to integrating existing and emerging public education and prevention efforts to support the reduction of incidences of illnesses, critical injuries, and overall usage of the emergency medical system. Through the effort, the EMS Agency contributes to a community’s overall health and well-being.

"Valley Health Plan" banner
"Covered California" logo with a price tag saying "$$"

Valley Health Plan​

Valley Health Plan (VHP) provides coverage solutions through its affordable plans, accessible network, and community partnerships. VHP offers the lowest cost plan in Santa Clara County for the Bronze and Silver categories with Covered California.

VHP is an essential partner in Santa Clara County's Medi-Cal Managed Care delivery system, providing care to thousands of county residents. Valley Health Plan embraces diversity and is committed to making sure its members are treated with dignity and respect. The plan has also been recognized for improving quality and access to care.

People raising hands in circle together in a field of grass, everyone standing except one man in a wheelchair


County of Santa Clara Health System logo

The County of Santa Clara Health System is an integrated healthcare delivery system providing comprehensive care and high-quality services.

The Health System includes the Behavioral Health Services Department, Public Health Department, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (Hospital and Clinics), O'Connor Hospital, St. Louise Regional Hospital, DePaul Health Center, Emergency Medical Services Agency, and Custody Health Services Department. We are dedicated to the health and well-being of all communities in Santa Clara County.

Dedicated to the health and well-being of the communities we serve.

Better Health for All


©2024 County of Santa Clara. All rights reserved.