A Brief History of PIH Health Downey Hospital

A Brief History of PIH Health Downey Hospital

Over the last 100 years, PIH Health Downey Hospital has grown to be a leader in improving the health and wellness of the Downey community. Learn more about the continuing evolution of the hospital as it continues to improve to better serve its patients.

Historical photots of PIH Health Downey Hospital.

Meeting a City’s Need for a Hospital

From its beginnings as Virginia Hospital 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 proved 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.

Joining PIH Health

By 2012, DRMC emerged from financial reorganization and opened an advanced technology Catheterization Lab. A Management Services Agreement was signed between DRMC and PIH Health in June 2013, which created an opportunity for greater collaboration between the two mission-based nonprofit organizations. Downey Regional Medical Center—with the approval of the California Attorney General’s office—became part of the PIH Health family as PIH Health Hospital – Downey on October 1, 2013. This new partnership helps our regional healthcare delivery network continue to meet the expanding needs of the communities we serve in Los Angeles and Orange Counties and the San Gabriel Valley. With the addition of PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital in December 2019, PIH Health Hospital - Downey name was changed to PIH Health Downey Hospital as a part of a new naming convention to align all hospitals in the PIH Health system.