Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Been there, done that? Kaiser's recent announcement about a new hospital to be built at the Rail Yards brings the history of Downtown medical facilities full circle.
Medical care near the Rail Yard began officially on February 1, 1870, with the opening of the Central Pacific Hospital at 13th and D streets. The hospital was built for the exclusive use of the railroad workers who became sick or injured while building the first transcontinental rail line from Sacramento over the Sierras to Promontory, Territory of Utah.
For more info about the important beginnings of this first hospital and Sacramento's progressive medical arts culture of the time see the book by J. Roy Jones, MD
Kaiser's hospital roots began when Henry J. Kaiser, the industrialist, teamed up with the man who essentially invented the prepaid medical practice model, Dr Garfield, to provide medical care for the thousands of workers and their families, first at the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington State and later during WWII at the massive shipyards down the road at Richmond California - for the princely sum of 5 cents a day!
For a look at the fascinating beginnings of prepaid medical care and the early history of the Kaiser Pemanente of today please click here.
So, with Kaiser's plans to build a full service hospital on the Rail Yard site, heath care Downtown has come full circle!
Sources: History: The Old Central Pacific Hospital by J.Roy Jones, MD, Kaiser Permanente presentation to DSP. Images: CPRR Museum, SacBee
* John Woodall Blogs at “SactownUrbanUpdate”