Wednesday, March 10, 2010

In case of emergency

03 10 10_1740
Downey Regional Medical Center (formerly Downey Hospital) opened its doors in October of 1920 with six beds and two physicians on staff. Located on a dirt road that is now Downey Avenue, the hospital occupied the second floor of the former Downey Hotel. A year later, under new management the hospital's name was changed to Virginia Hospital. Less than two years after opening, a violent explosion occurred at a popular service station injuring over 20 people and causing nine fatalities. This disaster substantiated the need for a larger hospital.

Consequently, in 1924 Virginia Hospital relocated to 5th Street, expanded to 15 beds and became Downey Community Hospital. During the next two decades, the staff and facility grew to meet the demands of the booming population. Recognizing the need for emergency services as auto accidents became more prevalent, DRMC decided to open a 24-hour a day/seven-day a week emergency department across the street from the hospital.

As one of the few rural hospitals in southern California, DRMC soon outgrew the 5th street location. Subsequently, plans were passed to start construction of a new private, non-profit hospital in 1964.

Five years later DRMC moved from its 49-bed facility to its current facility on Brookshire Avenue, which was then licensed for 152 beds. The day after opening, eight surgeries were performed. Within one week, the hospital was full.

Information courtesy of the drmc website


  1. I was one of those boomers who made them outgrow the 5th Street site. :-)

  2. My brother was born in the old Downey Community Medical Center on 5th ave :)

  3. That's where Andrea was born.


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