On October 3, leaders from the University of Southern California, including those from Keck Medicine of USC, joined elected officials to celebrate and visit USC Arcadia Hospital, which became affiliated with the Keck Medicine health system on July 1.

Despite the unseasonably warm autumn day, guests gathered on the lawn outside of Lewis Hall to recognize and honor this momentous partnership. U.S. Representative Judy Chu (D-Pasadena) and Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger were also in attendance.

“Today we celebrate the union of the university and this hospital — two organizations that have deeply influenced our community for more than a century — coming together to write the future,” said Steven Shapiro, MD, senior vice president for health affairs at USC. “No one organization can give its patients the range of health care they will need over the course of their lifetime in this rapidly evolving world. It is only by coming together that we can serve our community with the routine and advanced medicine available today, and the path-breaking treatments of tomorrow.”

USC Arcadia Hospital began operating in 1903 as Methodist Hospital of Southern California — with five beds in a two-story house on Hewitt Street in Downtown Los Angeles. In 1909, the Women’s Home Missionary Society of the Southern California Conference of the Methodist Church, founders of the hospital, began to raise funds for a new facility. The existing house was outfitted with 18 beds and used temporarily until a new 100-bed facility was dedicated on the site in May 1915. It was the first major hospital built in Los Angeles of reinforced concrete.

The Hope Street location was further expanded to 225 beds in 1925. In 1951, it was approved for internship and residency training by the American Medical Association. The hospital’s operating rooms were the first in Los Angeles to be air-conditioned, and it also featured the first post-operative recovery room in the city. Today, USC Arcadia Hospital is a full-service, 348-bed community hospital serving a population of nearly half a million. In a single year, the hospital delivers nearly 2,000 babies, and treats more than 40,000 adults and children through its emergency department.

“Our coming together as one marks a new beginning for medical care in the San Gabriel Valley,” said Carol Folt, PhD, president of the university. “As one united team, we’ll always keep innovation and compassion top of mind, but we’ll reach even more people. What we have achieved separately is nothing compared to what we will achieve together. Our local community is keeping what it already has — but it’s gaining expanded access to a whole new range of physician specialties.”

The hospital’s affiliation with USC brings San Gabriel Valley residents convenient access to Keck Medicine’s specialized care, research, and breakthrough technology. Over the coming years, Keck Medicine will invest in USC Arcadia Hospital’s equipment, infrastructure and services including an expansion of neurosciences, cardiac care and oncology services, which will complement the multispecialty outpatient services that Keck Medicine currently provides in Arcadia.

As the celebration drew to a close, Chu presented hospital leadership with a certificate of congressional recognition and reiterated the impact USC Arcadia will continue to have throughout the region.

“Standing here today, the purpose of this hospital is palpable,” said Dan Ausman, MPA, president and CEO for USC Arcadia Hospital. “In my 11 years with the organization, I’ve witnessed how the hospital has dispensed world-class care in a community setting. Our goal is to have this hospital remain the jewel that it is, and to serve the community for another 119 years.”

— Matthew Vasiliauskas