Healdsburg General Hospital 1920-1972

Healdsburg General Hospital 1920-1972

After Dr. Seawell moved the hospital to to the T. S. Merchant Building, it operated as the Healdsburg General Hospital until 1929,when it was severely damaged by a fire. All seven of the current patients were evacuated to a nearby home.

The community reacted quickly. Ira H. Rosenberg offered the old Rosenberg residence at East and North Streets (site of the current Jordan Oil and Gas Company building) as a temporary hospital.

A community fund-raising drive netted $50,000 from 45 citizens in just 10 days for a new facility, at the same location, Lincoln and Johnson Streets.

The building was complete in October, 1929. The one-story, concrete, fireproof building was considered state-of-the-art. It had 10 private rooms, two-bed wards, a room signaling system, a surgery, a delivery room, nursery, offices, solarium, kitchen and dining rooms, and an emergency ambulance entrance.

It was one of the first hospitals of its size to be inspected and recognized by the American College of Surgeons. Nercilla Jones was its director for many years.

The hospital capacity expanded from 14 to 25 patients, and served the ill from as far away as Annapolis and Boonville.

The original 45 donors and their heirs sold the hospital to Chanco Medical and Electronic Enterprises in 1968. Chanco started to look for a new location for the overcrowded and outdated facility, then considered scrapping the expansion. Administrator Duane Kenward and Nurse Ramona DeBenedetti (like Nercilla Jones before her) helped rally support for the new project. The work began in 1969 on four acres of land on University Street, and the hospital held a grand opening in its present location in January, 1972.

The old facility was sold and converted to offices for Duff Chiropractic.

At the time, the hospital was once again considered to be the best of its type. With 52 beds and plans for up to 150 more, the hospital had two surgeries, high-tech therapeutic and diagnostic equipment, laboratories, a pharmacy, intensive care and maternity units, kitchen and dining, an emergency department, and much more.

Nineteen patients were shuttled from Johnson Street and the new era began.