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Sharp Health News

Expanding care for a growing community

Feb. 26, 2018

Expanding care for a growing community

Former Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox, with her father, John Willett, at the Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center construction site.

The new hospital at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, scheduled to open in fall 2019, will enhance care and expand capacity to meet the needs of San Diego's growing South Bay community.

Former Mayor of Chula Vista Cheryl Cox, has seen the community's tremendous growth firsthand since moving to the community more than 55 years ago. She knows how Sharp Chula Vista's continued care is vital to the South Bay's growth.

"Our Navy family moved to Chula Vista in 1963, when the population was 42,000," says Cox. "It continued to rise when my husband served as mayor in the 1980s and again when I served as mayor 25 years later. Over the next 10 years, our community is projected to grow to 325,000 residents."

Cox is one of many local leaders committed to supporting the Above and Beyond philanthropic campaign to help build this next-generation hospital at Sharp Chula Vista — the South Bay's first new hospital in more than 40 years. It will bring the highest levels of medical innovation and patient-centered care to the region, and will include all private patient rooms, six high-tech surgical suites and a rooftop café with panoramic views.

"With the generosity of residents throughout the South Bay, our philanthropic goal is to raise $50 million to transform the health care experience for our community today and generations to come," explains Cox. "Every single dollar contributed is critical to achieving this goal."

Cox's belief in the lifesaving work provided at Sharp Chula Vista extends beyond her longtime connection to the Chula Vista community and into her own family's personal experiences as well.

"When my dad was in his 70s and suffering from an irregular heartbeat, Dr. Philip Bajo and the cardiology team at Sharp Chula Vista prescribed and carried out a successful ablation procedure that resulted in fewer abnormal heartbeats and helped prevent a stroke," says Cox. "We visited the team regularly over the next 20 years, and they provided the treatment and hope that kept my dad healthy."

Cox's father, John Willett, turned 97 in 2018. Cox attributes Willett's strong genes — his mother lived to be almost 105 and his grandfather lived to be almost 100 — and the "excellent care and advanced attention to his medical needs from the medical professionals and support staff at Sharp" with his longevity.

She sees the new hospital at Sharp Chula Vista as a place where hundreds of thousands more patients like her dad can access the compassionate care they deserve to live long and happy lives in the heart of the community they love.

Cox and her family have donated to support the Above and Beyond campaign and previous priority projects at Sharp Chula Vista over the years, including numerous gifts in honor of Dr. Bajo as Cox's father's Guardian Angel. To learn more about the new hospital at Sharp Chula Vista and its philanthropic campaign, visit

For the news media: To talk with a Sharp Chula Vista expert about the new hospital for an upcoming story, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at

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