Opened as Mary’s Help Hospital in 1912, Seton Medical Center serves the highly diverse 1.5 million residents of San Francisco and San Mateo counties with a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services. Its sister hospital is Seton Coastside, a 116-bed skilled nursing facility located in the coastal town of Moss Beach. Seton Coastside offers the only 24-hour Standby Emergency Department along the 55-mile coastal stretch between Daly City and Santa Cruz.
Seton Medical Center
1900 Sullivan Ave., Daly City, CA 94105
(650) 992-4000 Joanne Allen | President & CEO
Care for the sick and persons living in poverty is central to the mission and values of Seton Medical Center and Seton Coastside. Annually, Seton provides more than $31 million in community benefit programs and services to the community, plus more than $47 million in care for the elderly. Community need drives the continuation and implementation of new community benefit programs – from the established RotaCare Clinics in Daly City and Half Moon Bay to the Health Benefits Resource Center that was introduced in Summer 2012.
Health Benefits Resource Center
Seton Medical Center – First Floor | Map
(650) 991-5860 or (855) 848-4272
Open Monday – Friday | 8:30 am – 5 pm
Providing access to health benefits and other resources that promote healthy families, the Health Benefits Resource Center (HBRC) is a centrally located information and referral service that links families to government-sponsored health benefits and social services, including Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, Healthy Kids, Food Bank and Cal Fresh (formerly Food Stamps). Families are assisted regardless of immigration status or income. HBRC provides free confidential assessments, referrals to community resources, and assistance in completing applications for free or low-cost health insurance programs. Services are available in English, Spanish and Tagalog.
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton New Life Center
1500 Southgate Ave., Daly City | Map
Open Monday – Friday | 8 am – 5 pm
Staffed by English- and Spanish-speaking staff, the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton New Life Center provides compassionate and comprehensive perinatal services for low-income women, including physician care, childbirth and parenting classes, nutritional counseling, social services and more.
Daly City Rotacare Clinic
Seton Medical Center – Lower Level | Map
Open Monday (excluding holidays)
5 pm – 7 pm
Coastside Rotacare Clinic
San Mateo County Health Clinic | Map
225 South Cabrillo Hwy., Second Floor
Half Moon Bay
Open Wednesday (closed holidays) 5 pm – 7:30 pm
Rotacare Clinics provide urgent medical care for individuals without health insurance or other means for obtaining care. No appointment is necessary, and interpreters are provided for Spanish-speaking patients.
Resources for the Uninsured
Available Monday – Friday
8 am – 5 pm
Financial counselors are available to assist coastside residents with information and applications for health insurance coverage. Residents may also call the Foundation for Health Coverage Education (FHCE), a non-profit organization dedicated to simplifying public and private health insurance eligibility information. FHCE can be reached at (800) 234-1317.
Mission of Seton Medical Center & the Daughters of Charity Health System
In the spirit of our founders, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Louise de Marillac, and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the Daughters of Charity Health System is committed to serving the sick and poor. With Jesus Christ as our model, we advance and strengthen the healing mission of the Catholic Church by providing comprehensive, excellent healthcare that is compassionate and attentive to the whole person: body, mind, and spirit. We promote healthy families, responsible stewardship of the environment, and a just society through value-based relationships and community-based collaboration.
Recognizing our own value and the value of others
Providing excellent care with gentleness and kindness
Acting with integrity, clarity and honesty
Advocacy for the Poor
Supporting those who lack resources for a healthy life and full human development
Inventiveness to Infinity
Being continuously resourceful and creative
Located in Daly City, California, Seton Medical Center is situated on a hilltop in Northern San Mateo County, adjacent to the City of San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean, and in close proximity to Silicon Valley. Known as the “Gateway to the Peninsula,” Daly City is San Mateo County’s largest and most ethnically diverse city. For many years, Daly City was considered a suburban residential community. Seton’s service area encompasses 1.5 million residents in the highly diverse San Mateo and San Francisco counties.
Founded as Mary’s Help Hospital in 1893 by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Seton Medical Center has been providing medical care to the people of San Francisco and Northern San Mateo County for over a century.
The Daughters of Charity, whose mission is to care for the sick and the poor, first came to San Francisco in 1852 at the request of Archbishop Joseph Alemany. Their charge was to establish and operate a school for orphaned boys and girls located at the present site of the Sheraton Palace Hotel on Market and Montgomery Streets. By 1858, the school was serving 75 resident orphans and 300 day-students.
In 1889 Kate Johnson, a wealthy San Francisco widow, made a gift to the San Francisco Archdiocese to purchase the land and build a “sunshine hospital” for women and children. A condition of the gift was that the Daughters of Charity be invited to manage the hospital.
Mrs. Johnson had been impressed with the work of the Daughters of Charity with the sick and the poor during her travels in Europe. The Daughters were well established in many European countries at that time, having been founded by St. Vincent de Paul, a parish priest, and St. Louise de Marillac, a pious widow, in 17th century France.
They were established to meet the material and spiritual needs of orphans, beggars, prisoners, the sick, refugees, and the mentally ill. Their humble, simple, loving service was to bring God’s love to those overlooked by society. They were not restricted to a convent but free to visit homes, hospitals, and prisons. These were the Sisters Mrs. Johnson wanted to operate the hospital she was funding.
The new building was completed in 1906 but, before it was occupied, it was destroyed by the earthquake and fire of April 18 that same year. Along with the destruction of the physical plant, a number of properties Johnson had bequeathed to finance hospital operations were also destroyed. It took years of legal disputes to free the remainder of the Johnson legacy to rebuild the hospital.
Mary’s Help Hospital
On July 2, 1912, Mary’s Help Hospital opened on Guerrero Street in San Francisco. The School of Nursing began the same year, and the clinic, which was to become the largest clinic in a private hospital in northern California, opened on July 19, 1913.
Over the years, as the hospital expanded its services to meet the growing demands of the people, not only did the Sisters provide free and partial payment care to clinic patients, they also fed the hungry who came every day. There was free medication for the poor. In addition, the Sisters and nurses visited patients in their homes, supplying food, clothing and medicine.
By the 1950s, the demands on the hospital were growing to the point that expansion of the 1.5-acre plant was critical; 30,000 patients were treated in the clinic annually. While the various options and sources of fund-raising were being explored, a 1957 earthquake damaged the building, a situation that cemented the decision to build a new hospital on a larger site.
Seton Medical Center
The Daughters commissioned a survey to determine the need for hospital beds and services in San Francisco and northern San Mateo County. The survey revealed San Francisco had a surplus of hospital beds and northern San Mateo County needed hospital and emergency services. Because of the generosity of several donors and public fund drives, a new hospital, again designed to provide sunlight and views for all patients, was built on Sullivan Avenue in Daly City and opened offering full services on Sunday, December 12, 1965. In 1983, Mary’s Help Hospital was renamed Seton Medical Center in honor of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the American foundress of the Daughters of Charity and the first American-born canonized saint.
Joining a Health System
In 1995, the Daughters of Charity, Province of the West, joined Catholic Healthcare West (CHW). The Daughters of Charity remained the religious sponsors of Seton Medical Center and Seton Medical Center Coastside. On January 2, 2002, Seton Medical Center was reacquired by the Daughters of Charity and is now a member of the Daughters of Charity Health System.
Under the new health system, Seton Medical Center renewed its commitment to fulfilling the Daughters’ mission of serving the sick, the poor, and the underserved. The delivery of our health care is characterized by our strong commitment to treating the dignity of the whole person: body, mind, and spirit. We will continue to contribute financial support and quality health services that benefit our patients, their families, and our community. Seton Medical Center is constantly contributing to this effort through research, education, patient care and benevolence.
Our history is testimony to our service to the poor. Today, our 357-bed facility offers a comprehensive range of medical, surgical and specialty programs. Seton Medical Center continues its tradition of caring and responding appropriately and generously to the challenges of the present turbulent health care environment and works collaboratively with our professional staffs, donors, and community partners to shape the future of available health care.
Seton Medical Center Volunteers
Seton Coastside Volunteers
Seton Medical Center – Ground Floor | Map
Open Monday – Friday | 8 am – 5 pm
Within the healing environment of the hospital, Seton volunteers become a vital part of the health care team. Year-round, more than 250 adult and teen volunteers provide patients and visitors with the care and compassion that is the hallmark of Seton Medical Center and Seton Coastside. Volunteers play an instrumental role in carrying out the century-old mission of the Daughters of Charity and Seton.
Volunteers can be found at the information desk, greeting and directing visitors to their destinations and escorting them when necessary. Volunteers also provide service in the Gift Shop, patient care units and various hospital departments.
Contact the Volunteer Department at (650) 991-6567 to learn more about volunteer opportunities at Seton Medical Center and Seton Coastside or to register for the next volunteer orientation meeting.