- 1909: The College of Medical Evangelists, a new medical school, opens in Loma Linda, California. The American Medical Association immediately requires the school to provide greater numbers of patients for clinical training—giving rise to a clinic that will someday become White Memorial Medical Center.
- 1913: The first patients receive free treatment at the First Street Clinic near the Santa Fe Railway Station.
- 1915: The talented Dr. Percy Magan is offered $23 a week to be the new director of medical education at the clinic—but is told he must raise his own salary. Remarkably, he accepts, leaving a prestigious teaching post and practice.
- 1918: The new hospital opens in a cluster of single-story buildings. An earthquake rocks on the April 18th opening ceremony, but the speaker continues unshaken.
- 1922: A $30,000 contribution from philanthropist Josie Phillips allows the hospital to nearly double its capacity, expanding from 59 beds to 94 beds.
- 1929: Since its opening, the thriving medical center has treated more than 750,000 patients.
- 1930: The Great Depression hits, and WMMC physicians accept payment from patients in flour, sugar or household goods. Medical students do janitorial work for free. Nurses make free home visits.
- 1937: The new WMMC building opens—the first fireproof hospital in the state. The designer is noted architect Myron Hunt, who also designed the Rose Bowl.
- 1940: East Los Angeles is a solidly working-class neighborhood, with Latinos now the fastest growing foreign-born group.
- 1950: The decade brings many expansions to WMMC, including a new wing that doubles the bed capacity of the hospital and includes a radiation laboratory, electro-encephalography unit, psychiatric ward and complete emergency facilities.
- 1956: The new White Memorial Church is completed adjacent to the hospital.
- 1966-67: Loma Linda University taught third- and fourth-year medical students at WMMC until this year when they moved them to the Loma Linda campus.
- 1968: A $4.2 million Diagnostic and Treatment Center, later called the North Tower, opens across the street from where the first hospital building was constructed 50 years earlier.
- 1989: WMMC succeeds—in a last-minute appeal—in getting special government funding extended to all hospitals that provide care to underserved communities. Hospital leaders see the change as nothing short of providential and envision an era of increased financial stability for WMMC.
- 2010: A $250 million project to rebuild White Memorial is complete—made possible in part by $89 million in FEMA funding for seismic upgrades and $30 million in community support.
- 2012: U.S. News & World Report ranks WMMC #12 of the 32 top-rated hospitals in the Los Angeles metro area and #20 of the 41 strong-performing hospitals in California.
For more information on White Memorial’s history, click here to purchase our centennial history book.
You can view more historical photos of White Memorial Center by visiting our main photo gallery page.