Timeline: Hospital History

By Bob Holton March 15, 2010 18:18

1849 – First hospital in Sonora opens in a tent near today’s Courthouse Square. Attending physician paid $8 a day.

1851 – New hospital established near old Roman Catholic church (SE corner of Norlin and Jackson streets); special tax levied; public health care becomes sole responsibility of county.

1854  – County hospital moved to lot opposite site of today’s Catholic church on Hospital Street (later Bradford Avenue). Contract awarded to Drs. William Browne and Thomas Kendall on a bid of $25 per week per patient.

1856  – County requires all hospital physicians to hold medical degrees.

1861  – Hospital moves to northwest corner of Lyons and Shepherd streets,

next to Chinatown.

1873  – Moves again to Gunn House. Grand Jury later declares this

facility unfit for use owing to bed bug infestation.

1897  – New hospital for males only constructed on present TGH site. Women

cared for in private homes.

1900 – Dr. Innis Bromley opens Bromley Sanitarium at Washington and Bradford streets in Sonora, moves it to larger quarters at Washington and Church nine years later.

1906  – Sierra Hospital opens on North Main Street (now Columbia Way).

1915 – County hospital expands, 1897 building becomes known as “Old Men’s Home.”

1936 – Second addition built with aid of federal funds.

1945 – Sierra Hospital, closed three years earlier due to financial woes, reopens as Columbia Way Hospital.

1951 Dr. Ben Boice purchases Bromley Sanitarium, by this time known as Sonora Hospital.

1957 – Boice, joined by Drs. Paul and Helen Anspach, relocate hospital to Forest Road, expand it and rename it Sonora Community Hospital.

1957 – TGH begins ambitious 40-year expansion, over the years adding and

upgrading skilled nursing unit, laboratory, radiology, emergency

room, pharmacy, intensive care, adult day care, primary clinic for

low-income Medi-Cal patients, acute psychiatric ward and more.

1958 – Columbia Way Hospital shuts down, reopens near Sonora Community as Sierra Hospital.

1981 – Sonora Community and Sierra hospitals merge, with Sierra becoming the combined facility’s birth center.

1988 – Turnaround between billings and payments at TGH reaches record 82 days.

TGH kept afloat with six-figure, and years later, seven-figure loans and county subsidies.

2003 – Medi-Cal dental clinic opens as financial ills mount. Union Democrat headline reads,

“Should the County Sell Its Hospital?”

2004 – Sonora Community moves to new, $50 million complex on Greenley Road and becomes Sonora Regional Medical Center.

2006 – Financially troubled TGH adds family health and wellness clinic,

expands and modernizes dental services.

2007 – Board of Supervisors deems TGH’s financial problems unfixable,

orders permanent closure in stages, starting with acute care.

2009 – Acute psychiatric unit closes.

By Bob Holton March 15, 2010 18:18
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