History | Whittier, CA | PIH Health

Our History

In 1959, PIH Health was founded as Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital out of a significant community need for improved healthcare. Support came from Hill-Burton act funds that followed WWII and the dedicated efforts of men and women in the community raising funds to build a local healthcare facility.

Today, PIH Health is a nonprofit, regional healthcare network with three hospitals, numerous outpatient neighborhood medical offices, hundreds of talented and compassionate physicians, home healthcare services and hospice care. Our entire staff and leadership dedicate themselves to putting patients first and delivering top-quality healthcare.

PIH Health serves more than 3.7 million residents in Los Angeles and Orange Counties and throughout the San Gabriel Valley.

From the Beginning: Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital

California’s post-World War II population boom triggered widespread shortages of hospital beds. The few area hospitals originally built in the 1920s were stretched well beyond capacity and located too far away to effectively serve residents in the Whittier area. By the early 1950s, the need for an up-to-date hospital was apparent. Community leaders, doctors and local residents took up the cause of establishing an up-to-date hospital in the city. Augmented by federal funding, the local community financed construction of the 188-bed Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital that opened its doors on January 19, 1959.

Immediate Demand for More

To meet demand just two years later, Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital added facilities for intensive care, long-term care and acute (inpatient) care. By 1969, the Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital Foundation was created to target and oversee the hospital’s growing development activities, trusts, endowments and public outreach programs. During the decade of the 1970s, Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital began adding a number of innovative medical services at the hospital and in the community, including the area’s first cardiac catheterization laboratory and coronary bypass operation and additional facilities for ambulatory care, rehabilitation services, preventative care and outpatient services.

Responding to Healthcare Complexities in the 1980s

The 1980s saw organizational changes and expansions as Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital responded to increasing complexity in the healthcare environment. The formation of an integrated healthcare delivery network under the auspices of InterHealth Corp., a nonprofit holding company, added many specialty services, and create a sort of “hospital without walls” for residents of Whittier, Santa Fe Springs, Pico Rivera, Montebello, La Mirada, Hacienda Heights, the City of Industry, La Habra and the greater San Gabriel Valley.

After the 1987 earthquake in Whittier, Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital tripled the treatment capacity of the Emergency Department, established the Pediatric Critical Care Unit, and built a high-tech Radiation Therapy Pavilion.

Continued Expansion to Deliver Excellent Care

Throughout the 1990s, Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital continued to expand its top-quality medical services and facilities and extended its expertise to medically underserved residents in the San Gabriel Valley area in 1992 by adopting a formal charity care policy and outreach efforts that included a Hospice House and mobile health services.

Leading the Way into the New Millennium

As the new century opened, Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital continued to lead the region in scientific breakthroughs and effective ways to meet evolving standards of quality patient care. New and updated facilities and services included a breast health center, oncology center, advanced technology in the cardiac catheterization lab, expanded neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), pediatric and adult hospitalist programs and two new patient care towers.

PIH Health: An Integrated Delivery System for Healthcare

In 2012, InterHealth Corp. aligned it's integrated delivery system under one consolidated brand – PIH Health, that continues to provide high-quality healthcare and serve as our communities’ health and wellness partner.

Just a year later and with approval from the California Attorney General’s office — as well as the support of our community, employees, partners and physicians — Downey Regional Medical Center (DRMC) joined the PIH Health regional healthcare delivery network as PIH Health Downey Hospital. As we continue to work together, our ongoing efforts remain focused on putting patients first and delivering exceptional, compassionate, high-quality healthcare to the more than three million residents of our communities.

Medical Groups Launch, Grow and Merge

Nationwide changes in medical care during the 1980s led to the formation of health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and preferred provider organizations (PPOs). These groups of doctors and other medical specialists took a more direct and consumer-oriented approach to the delivery and purchase of healthcare services.

At the time, PIH Health and its medical staff developed a PPO known as Whittier Professional Medical Group. By working together, everyone was better able to offer affordable services and stay up to date on the latest medical technologies, drugs and best practices for patient care. As HMOs became more prevalent, PIH Health sponsored the formation of an independent physicians association (IPA)—Whittier Regional Medical Group—which later changed its name to Bright Medical Associates.

PIH Health acquired the assets of a major medical group in the Downey area in 1993 to help strengthen its managed care contracting efforts and expand its marketshare. This acquisition grew into a thriving IPA renamed Presbyterian Health Physicians in 2001. In 2008, PHP acquired Bright Medical Associates and developed into a medical foundation with a wrap-around IPA, and the organization was renamed Bright Health Physicians of Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital. By 2012, the organization had tripled in size and—as part of the branding effort—renamed itself PIH Health Physicians (PHP). Other area physician groups also became part of the PIH Health family providing excellent, coordinated healthcare and services to Whittier and the surrounding communities.

Changing Names, Adding Facilities, Expanding Services

As a regional healthcare delivery network—known as an integrated delivery system (IDS), Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital, Bright Health Physicians, and the other subsidiaries under InterHealth Corp. consolidated their brand in the fall of 2012 as PIH Health.  PIH Health provides the high-quality healthcare without discrimination our communities have come to expect. We put patients first and contribute to the well-being of our neighborhoods as their health and wellness partner.

Just one year later, Downey Regional Medical Center—with the approval of the California Attorney General’s office—became PIH Health Downey Hospital. And in 2019, Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles, joined the PIH Health family. Our expansion helps our regional healthcare network continue to meet the growing needs of the communities we serve in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, the San Gabriel Valley and Downtown Los Angeles.

PIH Health Downey Hospital History

From its beginnings in 1920—with six beds and two doctors in rooms on the second floor of a former hotel on what is now Downey Avenue—the history of this hospital was filled with financial challenges and medical triumphs. Within two years of its opening, an explosion in the city showed the value of the hospital and the need for larger facilities. Two years later, a new 15-bed hospital opened on East 5th Street.

Ongoing Growth

During the early years of the 1930s, a group of five physicians purchased the hospital and renamed it Downey Community Hospital (DCH). Growth before and after World War II added operating rooms, modern X-ray equipment, maternity/obstetrics wards and the first emergency department with around-the-clock care. By 1956—the same year the city of Downey became incorporated—DCH reorganized as a nonprofit hospital with 49 beds.

Continued Demand for Services

In the mid-1960s, construction began on a new 152-bed facility at the current location on Brookshire Avenue. The day after opening in 1969, eight surgeries were performed. Within a week, the hospital was full. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, DCH continued the growth of facilities and services to meet the healthcare needs of the growing community.

Expanding Service Throughout the Area

Between 1990 and 2013, Downey Community Hospital acquired more resources and launched services.  And in 1999, Downey Community Hospital became Downey Regional Medical Center (DRMC), a total healthcare system that included a 199-bed hospital and DRMC Insurance Services. Downey Regional Medical Plaza opened in 2003.

A New Partnership

By 2012, DRMC emerged from financial reorganization and opened an advanced technology Catheterization Lab. Soon, a Management Services Agreement was signed between DRMC and PIH Health, which created an opportunity for greater collaboration between the two mission-based nonprofit organizations.

In the fall of 2013, Downey Regional Medical Center—with the approval of the California Attorney General’s office—became part of the PIH Health family as PIH Health Downey Hospital. In 2019, Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles joined the PIH Health family. These new partnership help our regional healthcare delivery network continue to meet the expanding needs of the communities we serve in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, the San Gabriel Valley and Downtown Los Angeles.

PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital History

PHGSH has met the healthcare needs of the Los Angeles community since 1885, when Sister Mary Wood of the Episcopal Church founded a nine-bed facility. The following year, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church entered into an agreement with the California Diocese to assume control of the facility, then known as the Los Angeles Hospital and Home for Invalids. The hospital soon moved to larger quarters, reflecting a period of growth for the city.

Ongoing Growth

Following another move in 1896, PHGSH received its name in honor of Mrs. Mark Severance, who donated the funds needed to purchase the new property. In 1898, the hospital became a training school for nurses – a commitment mirrored today by the hospital’s on-site training programs and continued emphasis on nurse-patient education. The move to PHGSH’s current location took place in 1911, when it merged with Columbia Hospital. New facilities were completed in 1927, with an addition in 1953 to enable care for more than 400 patients.

Today’s Hospital

PHGSH opened its current hospital building in 1976 followed by the Medical Office Building in 1981 and the most recent Wilshire Medical Office Building in 2016. In 2019, PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital joined PIH Health. This addition brought PIH Health to 7,100 full-time employees, three hospitals totaling 1,130 licensed beds, and 26 outpatient clinics.

Serving Our Community

PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital (PHGSH) combines modern medicine with compassionate care to provide optimal service to its patients and their families. A leader in tertiary care, the PHGSH houses many regional centers of excellence, which draw patients from Southern California, the western states and other countries. They include a comprehensive heart care program, including cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery; women’s health services, including obstetrics, gynecology, neonatal intensive care, and gyn-oncology; breast care; an orthopedic surgical program; ophthalmologic care; an oncology program; a digestive diseases program; kidney stone treatment; and many other outstanding specialized medical services.

Contact Us

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PIH Health Corporate Offices
12401 Washington Blvd.
Whittier, CA  90602