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Our History

Founded in 1887 by Dr. Walter Lindley, California Hospital was the first hospital to be owned and operated solely by a physician. Dr. Lindley believed in uncompromising quality. To this end, he established a nursing program to train nurses to be skilled, compassionate caregivers. The nursing school at California Hospital produced the highest quality nurses in Los Angeles from 1898 – 1984. Throughout its 122 years, California Hospital has seen many “firsts”. It was the first hospital owned and operated by a physician; it was the first hospital to have its own nursing school in Southern California; it was the first hospital in the United States to have a supervoltage x-ray machine; and it was also the to introduce the use of radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. In 1965, it was the first hospital to open comprehensive emergency unit – the only one of its kind in the city. In 1988, California Hospital was designated as the Official Hospital of the Olympics.

In the new millennium, California Hospital carries on the tradition of achieving medical milestones. In 2004, it became the first hospital in more than 2 decades to open a trauma center in Los Angeles. Every year, the hospital serves close to 2,000 trauma patients and more than 60,000 emergency room patients.  

As an essential community leader, California Hospital collaborates closely with City, State and other elected officials to help shape the destiny of needs of patients in our community. As downtown Los Angeles changes, California Hospital continues to evolve and grow. The revitalization of downtown Los Angeles has expects more than 1.2 million people to reside in the new “Manhattan-style” lofts and upscale apartments that surround the Staples Center, LA Live and the Nokia Theater, all of which a located only two blocks away from the hospital. 

In its 122 years of existence, California Hospital has been part of the community’s fabric and wellbeing. For as many years to come, we will continue to deliver the same message to the families and communities we serve, “We’re Here For You.”

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