Alameda Health System (AHS), formerly Alameda County Medical Center (ACMC), is an integrated public health care system organized as a public hospital authority.
Formerly operated by Alameda County, California, it now has an independent board of trustees appointed by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. It operates five hospitals (Alameda Hospital, Fairmont Hospital, Highland Hospital, John George Psychiatric Hospital, and San Leandro Hospital), and four primary care medical clinics (called ambulatory Wellness Centers) within the county. In March 2013, ACMC officially changed its name to Alameda Health System.
The system began as the Alameda County Infirmary in 1864. In the 1920s, it became the Fairmont Hospital, the first public rehabilitation center in the western United States. In 1927, Highland Hospital was established. In the 1960s, Ambulatory Health Care Services, a network of neighborhood-based health clinics called Wellness Centers, was established. In the 1992, an acute psychiatric hospital, John George Psychiatric Pavilion, above Fairmont Hospital was opened.
In the 1990s, the three hospitals, along with the Wellness Centers, were consolidated to form the Alameda County Medical Center.
Throughout the 1990s, ACMC faced structural deficits resulting from changes in the American health care industry. On July 11, 1996, California State Assembly Bill 2374 (AB 2374) was passed to permit Alameda County to establish a public health authority to manage, administer and control the Alameda County Medical Center. On July 1, 1998, the Board of Supervisors formally handed control of ACMC to a newly formed Medical Center Hospital Authority.
AHS received a $200 million bailout from Alameda County in the 1990s, and as of 2013 still owes about $130 million. In addition, a half-cent sales tax from local Measure A has provided financial relief, including $105.5 million in fiscal year, 2010-11.