Betty Higgins Surgical Center 
Will Enable Advanced Procedures

The Legacy of Betty M. Higgins at Mark Twain Medical Center


The Wings of Freedom Foundation has pledged an additional $3 million to the Mark Twain Medical Center Foundation in memory of Betty M. Higgins. Last year the foundation donated $4.5 million to begin renovations and purchase new equipment for the surgery department at Mark Twain Medical Center. These donations reflect the largest-ever commitment to the Foundation.  


Betty Higgins was a long-term, quiet supporter of Calaveras County. This largest-ever donation to the Mark Twain Medical Center Foundation is a pioneering investment of $7.5 million which will help meet the ever-changing needs of our community tomorrow and well into the future.

Betty grew up in the Midwest and during World War Two moved on her own to Los Angeles to attend Otis Art Institute at the age of 17. She joined the war effort by applying her talent for art to doing drafting for the military. Just after the end of the war she met her husband, Sam, just discharged from the Navy and married him. Sam was lucky to find her after surviving being on 3 ships that sunk in battle during the war. The couple established their roots and Ranch in Calaveras County over 55 years ago.

Her respect and appreciation for those who gave so much for our country inspired the generous support of our veterans and their families. Betty has helped send veterans suffering from PTSD on outdoor trips to help with the healing process and has established many scholarships for children of fallen soldiers.

She has supported many other endeavors including helping build a medical facility to produce high-tech prostheses.

Betty was a published author of children's books and a prolific oil painter with a love of working in her vast garden.

Upon completion of the project, the surgery department will be named the Betty Higgins Surgical Center in honor of her commitment to our community.

Left to Right: William Glover, Gary Arvin, Doug Archer, Pardeep Athwal M.D., and Charanjit “CJ” Singh review plans for the new updates coming to the surgery center.

This pioneering investment will strengthen the fight against disease and injury by upgrading facilities and adding specialized equipment for advanced procedures. The surgery department at Mark Twain Medical Center is currently staffed by highly skilled physicians, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nursing teams. Surgical services are a key component in providing specialty care services to Calaveras County. While the current facility meets the needs of today, these generous gifts will allow us to meet the ever changing needs of our community tomorrow and well into the future.

“The modernization of surgery services is a big step for Mark Twain,” says Doug Archer, President and CEO of Mark Twain Medical Center. “This gift is a boost to the entire hospital as the project symbolizes the donors’ commitment to our community and the hospital's ability to remain at the forefront of excellence in patient care.”

“Patients don’t want to leave the community for their care. With this generous gift we will be able to continue to provide State of the Art Surgical Care to our patients in our community,” says Pardeep Athwal, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and Radiologist.

The upgrade of the existing surgical services unit and adjacent areas will incorporate the latest technology to enhance best practices in pre-operative care, surgical care, and post-operative care, providing improved operating rooms to accommodate advanced surgical procedures. Improvements also will increase the number of cases that can be performed in an outpatient setting.

To learn more about the MTMC Foundation, contact CJ Singh at 209.754.2624 or