Timeline of Medical "Firsts"
Pioneering new technologies and services.
Since 1957, Sharp HealthCare has pioneered new health care technologies and services that have helped to improve patient care and set higher standards in the health care community. Sharp's numerous "first" achievements are recognized locally, nationally and worldwide — making Sharp San Diego's leading health care provider.
Below is a chronological timeline of Sharp's history of "firsts" that have made Sharp synonymous with health care excellence.
Sharp Grossmont Hospital’s Burr Heart & Vascular Center clinicians develop an algorithm to treat cardiogenic shock, a rare and extreme form of heart failure. The algorithm mirrors the National Cardiogenic Shock Initiative protocol. Sharp Grossmont is the first hospital in San Diego County to implement the approach to improve survival outcomes.
In December, the world's smallest baby at the time is born at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns. Born at only 8.6 ounces (245 grams), Baby Saybie weighed as much as a large apple. After a five-month-long stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, she was discharged home as a healthy 5-pound infant.
Sharp McDonald Center launched San Diego's largest and most comprehensive medications for addiction treatment (MAT) program to support individuals with alcohol or opioid dependency.
Sharp Coronado Hospital becomes the first hospital in the U.S. to perform a general surgery procedure using the new da Vinci® X Robotic Surgical System.
Sharp Grossmont Hospital becomes the first hospital in San Diego County to offer an innovative, minimally invasive surgery for patients at risk for stroke due to carotid artery disease, which is caused by plaque buildup in the neck arteries. The procedure, called transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR), helps avoid stroke during the procedure by using a novel system that temporarily reverses blood flow in the arteries that deliver blood to the brain.
Sharp Grossmont Hospital pioneers AVATS, or awake video-assisted thoracic surgery, designed for patients that may not be able tolerate traditional lung surgery under, general anesthesia.
Sharp Memorial Hospital becomes the first hospital on the West Coast — and only the sixth in the country — to implant an investigational mechanical heart pump, the HeartMateII™ left ventricular assist device (LVAD), as part of a nationwide clinical trial. The trial was designed to evaluate the performance and safety of the device in patients with advanced heart failure. The device received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in 2017.
Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center announces plans for a new, seven-story tower, which opened in 2020. The Ocean View Tower at Sharp Chula Vista is the first new hospital in San Diego's South Bay in more than 40 years. It includes 106 private patient rooms, 6 operating rooms, 10 ICU suites and a rooftop café with indoor/outdoor dining and panoramic ocean views.
A Sharp Memorial Hospital surgeon is the first in San Diego County to help restore the lost vision of a patient with end-stage, age-related macular degeneration by implanting a miniature, high-tech telescope into his eye.
Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center becomes a Planetree Designated Patient-Centered Hospital, becoming the first co-located hospital and skilled nursing facility in the nation to receive this distinction, which recognizes achievement and innovation in patient- and resident-centered care.
Sharp Memorial Hospital is the site of the first U.S. husband and wife who both donated their kidneys to strangers through the National Kidney Registry. Their voluntary donations set off a transplant chain that saved 10 lives across the country.
Sharp HealthCare is the first medical provider in San Diego County to offer subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (S-ICD) procedures for arrhythmia diagnostics and treatment. The procedure is offered at Sharp Grossmont Hospital and Sharp Memorial Hospital.
Sharp HealthCare is the first health care group to join the City of San Diego's Food Waste Composting Program. As part of the program, Sharp Memorial Hospital and Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns annually divert more than 358,000 pounds of food waste from local landfills.
Sharp Rees-Stealy's Downtown location moves to a brand-new medical center, which becomes San Diego's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified medical office building. The building was constructed using green practices for energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality and stewardship of resources. The 300-space parking structure has reserved parking for electric vehicles and charging stations.
Sharp Memorial Outpatient Pavilion is the first facility in San Diego to offer the new CardioHealth® Station, using the only FDA-cleared automated IMT imaging device, to quickly and painlessly image a patient's carotid artery. This helps doctors to better assess risk and potentially help patients prevent a heart attack or stroke.
Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center opens the Douglas & Nancy Barnhart Cancer Center, which is the first cancer center in San Diego to offer the TrueBeamSTx™ radiotherapy/radiosurgery system, as well as radiation therapy suites with floor-to-ceiling windows.
Sharp Memorial Hospital joins with Montreal Heart Institute in Quebec, Canada, to complete the first phase of certification training for the CardioWest™ temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH-t) at University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona. This allows stable CardioWest patients to discharge and recover at home while they wait for a donor heart transplant - instead of being confined to the hospital, which can be costly and without the comforts of home.
Sharp Memorial Hospital, along with the US Food and Drug Administration, announces that the HeartMate II Left Ventricular Assist System (LVAS) received FDA approval as a bridge-to-transplant (BTT) treatment option for patients suffering from advanced-stage heart failure. The device is the first continuous flow chronic LVAS to receive FDA approval for BTT in the U.S. The hospital is one of only 44 centers in the country to participate in the Thoratec® HeartMate II® Clinical Trial, and the only center in San Diego to offer this landmark technology.
Sharp Coronado Hospital is named as the country's first Planetree Patient-Centered Hospital of Excellence.
Cardiovascular surgeons at Sharp Memorial Hospital performs a first-of-its-kind surgery in the country on a 16-year-old mechanical-assist heart-device patient. In addition to removing the patient's HeartMate ® II Left Ventricle Assist Device (LVAD), the physicians also repaired the patient's mitral valve and replaced a metal heart valve, making it a first.
Sharp Memorial Hospital and San Diego Cardiac Center participate in the first-ever human gene transfer therapy clinical trial in patients with heart failure.
Sharp HealthCare win a gold-level award from the California Awards for Performance Excellence (CAPE) program, the state-level affiliate of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Sharp is the first health care system recipient to receive the gold-level award.
The pilot medication reconciliation program at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center is recognized by The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists as the first in the country to employ bilingual pharmacy technicians during admission to the hospital to help reduce medication errors.
The Cancer Institute at Sharp Memorial Hospital is the first in San Diego to use the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System — robotic instruments that enhance the surgeon's ability to perform complex procedures through small, minimally invasive surgical incisions.
The Cardiothoracic and Vascular Institute at Sharp Memorial Hospital is the first in San Diego to perform robotic-assisted, minimally invasive heart surgery using the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System.
The Cancer Institute at Sharp Memorial Hospital is the first in San Diego to offer the Novalis®-Shaped Beam Surgery device for stereotactic radiosurgery - type of treatment that allows high doses of radiation to be given to small areas of the brain.
The Cardiothoracic and Vascular Institute at Sharp Memorial Hospital is the first California hospital to implant the HeartMate® II Left Ventricular Assist System (LVAS) for permanent support for late-stage heart failure, otherwise known as Destination Therapy.
The David and Donna Long Cancer Center at Sharp Grossmont Hospital is the first center in San Diego County to implement the TomoTherapy Hi-Art System, a radiation treatment device with a built in Computerized Tomography (CT) scanner.
Sharp Memorial Cancer Center is the first center in San Diego to have the BrainLAB stereotactic radiosurgery device for treating tumors.
Sharp Coronado Hospital becomes one of the first hospitals in the country to offer hospital inpatients integrative services, such as acupuncture, massage therapy and clinical aromatherapy.
Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center is the first hospital in San Diego County to install the GE Innova 3100 cardiac catheterization lab, which allows doctors to treat blockages beyond the heart and reduce radiation exposure to patients and staff.
Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center is the first to implement infusion-pump wireless technology to increase medication safety with better data and recording of medication infusions.
Sharp Memorial Outpatient Pavilion opens and is the first comprehensive, multispecialty outpatient center in San Diego.
Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center purchases a state-of-the-art nuclear medicine camera used to scan bones, lungs, organs and the brain, one of only three in use west of the Mississippi River.
Sharp Memorial Hospital performs the first heart-kidney transplant in San Diego.
Sharp Grossmont Hospital is the first hospital to convert to digital imaging.
Sharp Memorial Hospital is the first hospital in California recognized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid as a Destination Center for mechanical assist device.
Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center is the first area hospital to offer intensity-modulated radiation therapy, allowing radiation to be administered to some cancer patients with a high dosage to the tumor and a lower dose to surrounding healthy tissue.
Sharp Grossmont Hospital opens the first hospice house in San Diego, known as the LakeView Home, offering in-home end-of-life care.
Sharp Rees-Stealy unveils a new acquisition, the fastest CT scan machine available in the U.S., and the only one in San Diego and one of two in California.
Sharp launches the first comprehensive website for patients and consumers, www.sharp.com, offering health tips, news stories, physician referrals and comprehensive coverage of Sharp programs and services.
Sharp Memorial Hospital's transplant team performs first live donor kidney transplants using laparoscopic technique.
Sharp Grossmont Hospital is the first in San Diego County to have a Computerized Tomography (CT) scanner with three-dimensional radiation treatment capabilities and dose calculations.
Sharp HealthCare Murrieta delivers the system's first "Internet baby" via a secure broadcast.
The first health care system in Southern California to establish a systemwide network of ER chest pain centers offering rapid treatment to save lives of heart attack victims.
The first use of the vented-electric LVAS, which enables mobility for cardiac patients awaiting transplant surgery.
The first East County outpatient cardiovascular diagnosis center opens at Sharp Grossmont Hospital as part of the Cardiovascular Institute.
Sharp Grossmont Hospital opens the David and Donna Long Center for Cancer Treatment, San Diego County's first stand-alone cancer center offering comprehensive diagnoses, treatment (chemotherapy), drug trials and radiation therapy in one location.
Sharp is the first nonacademic health care provider in San Diego to establish residency training.
Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women opens as the largest and most extensive freestanding center for women's health in Southern California.
Sharp performs its first heart-lung transplant surgery.
Sharp is the first in San Diego County to use extracorporeal carbon-dioxide remover (ECCO2R) to treat adult respiratory distress syndrome.
Sharp HealthCare performs its first kidney transplant on July 19, 1990, at Sharp Memorial Hospital.
Sharp is the first on the West Coast to use a mechanical Jarvik-7 heart as a bridge to transplantation.
Sharp performs San Diego's first use of the Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD).
Sharp Memorial Hospital performs the first implantation of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), which is placed in a patient's chest to treat irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias. AICDs use electrical pulses or shocks to help control life-threatening arrhythmias, especially those that can cause sudden cardiac arrest.
Sharp Memorial Hospital performs the first heart transplant in San Diego.
Sharp creates the first home monitoring program for high-risk cardiac patients.
Sharp offers the first Brain-Injury Day Treatment Program south of Los Angeles.
Sharp creates the first hospital-based program designed for the young children of alcoholics and other chemically dependent parents at Sharp Vista Pacifica (now Sharp McDonald Center).
The first eye research program to combine outpatient diagnostic services with inpatient surgical care and an active in-house research program.
The first private employer-sponsored child care center, co-sponsored by Sharp Memorial Hospital.
The first advanced digital imaging cardiac research project to study heart function in detail using sophisticated computer systems typically found in government, defense and aerospace facilities.
Sharp Memorial Hospital is the first hospital in San Diego to offer an employee assistance program for all employees.
Sharp uses San Diego's first digital subtraction angiography unit that enables radiologists to take detailed pictures of the body's vascular system.
Sharp introduces San Diego's first exercise track designed especially for cardiac rehabilitation.
San Diego's first total body Computerized Tomography (CT) scanner to provide a three-dimensional detailed image of internal organs.
Sharp debuts San Diego's first hospital-based alcohol and drug treatment program.
Sharp HealthCare introduces the first driver-education program for disabled individuals in San Diego.
Sharp Memorial Hospital features San Diego's first fully computerized laboratory reporting system.
Sharp introduces San Diego's first patient representative program with a full-time staff member. The representative acts as an advocate for patients in meeting their needs and concerns during hospitalization.
Sharp debuts San Diego's first privately supported cytology training program.
The first major long-term rehabilitation center specializing in care for patients with spinal cord, stroke and brain injuries opens at Sharp Memorial Hospital.
Sharp HealthCare installs the first electronic pacemaker west of St. Louis.
Sharp Memorial Hospital features San Diego's first outside nursery viewing windows.
Sharp Memorial Hospital performs San Diego's first open-heart surgery.
Sharp performs San Diego's first cardiac catheterization, a procedure that enables cardiologists to see inside the heart and major arteries.