COMMUNITY

Improving the health and wellness of the communities we serve

OUR HISTORY

The healthcare District has a rich history that has been well documented over these forty-plus years. Envisioned and built by the community, the District has served as a healthcare safety-net in the Morongo Basin.

We are currently working on presenting the time line and photos for your reference. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work to make our history available to you.

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  • 2015 District History coming soon
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  • 2010 District History coming soon
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2000:

  • Emergency department remodel project complete
  • Grant received to purchase HDMC van for transporting women to Special Addition Prenatal Services
  • Continuing Care Center awarded bronze medal by State Health Department’s “Best Practices” for activities department

2002:

  • Elsinore Machris Guild donates thrift shop building to Auxiliary

2003:

  • Brim Management contract signed
  • HDMC Birthing Center opens Labor Day weekend
  • Employee newsletter initiated, “HDMC Happenings”

2004:

  • MRI, purchased through a collaborative effort with the Marine Corp Air Ground Combat Center and Federal grant monies, opens with state-of-the-art applications; staff conducted 130 scans during the first full month of operation
  • Outpatient physical therapy opens in Yucca Valley
  • Employee Do-It-Groups, Dynamite Ideas, employee birthday celebrations and KRA boards go District-wide

2005:

  • Board Resolution: Approved purchase of Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS)
  • Rural Health Clinics added to HDMC services
  • Special Additions Prenatal Program and Family Birthing Center receives the San Bernardino County’s “Award of Excellence”
  • Inaugural class of students attend the new Registered Nursing Program at Copper Mountain College
  • Neurology, orthopedics, urology, and expanded pediatric services come on line!

2006:

  • Continuing Care Center celebrates 15 year anniversary
  • 990,600 patient meals served between December 1976 and August 2006
  • Auxiliary thrift store remodeled by donation of Leota Bell
  • HDMC celebrates 30 years of caring for our community!
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1991:

  • $120,000 raised at the HDMC Foundation gala
  • Subacute services begin at the Continuing Care Center

1992:

  • Consortium formed with San Bernardino County Dept of Public Health and Maternal Services, and Loma Linda University Medical Center to bolster perinatal services in the Morongo Basin
  • HDMC implements reduction in force
  • Board discusses expansion plans to replace business office trailer with new construction
  • Hospital emergency department responds to 1992 earthquake, the largest natural disaster to date
  • Circuit board fire in electrical room caused hospital to switch to emergency power for 12 hours; no patients evacuated
  • Outpatient lab opens at Airway
  • Architect instructed to proceed with final plans for the Helen Gray Education Center with construction budget of $600,000
  • Board contracts to do a feasibility study to determine if HDMC should begin planning for additional acute care beds as requested by Medical Staff.
  • Materials management building added to hospital campus

1993:

  • New X-Ray machine installed
  • Dr. Guzman named “Doctor of the Year” by HDMC Medical Staff

1994:

  • HDMC applies to the Federal Dept of Health to initiate the CPSP perinatal program on campus
  • Cardiology services brought in-house
  • Grand opening of Airway Surgicenter
  • Cardiac ultrasound equipment purchased with funds donated by Machris Trust
  • Helen Gray Education Center building dedicated
  • Special Additions prenatal education program comes on line
  • Board resolution to refurbish operating room
  • Bi-pap machine and transesophageal echo machines purchased

1995:

  • Adopted strategic plan that included the addition of the Birthing Center
  • Lab Department relocated to temporary trailer during remodel of laboratory
  • Purchased Prescott Building now being used by Behavior Health

1997:

  • Bone Densitometry equipment purchased
  • Open house for Behavioral Health Centre
  • $2.18 million to remodel patient rooms, upgrade electrical systems and emergency power, install Meditech computer system
  • Mobile MRI services initiated
  • Board of Directors voted to add birthing center to services

1998:

  • HDMC negotiated a rental agreement for a rural health clinic in Twentynine Palms.
  • New CT Scanner purchased; first of its kind on the West Coast
  • Auxiliary introduced Junior Volunteer Program at Continuing Care
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1980:

  • Speech and occupational therapy programs added to hospital services
  • $50,000 donation received from Yucca Valley Memorial Guild for the dedication of Wing 1 in the name of Elsinore Machris
  • Hospital is now one of the largest employers in the Morongo Basin with well over 100 employees; and has budgeted more than $2 million just for salaries and benefits in the fiscal year from July 1, 1980 through June 30, 1981
  • Contract executed between Joshua Tree Ambulance and hospital; Contract with County of San Bernardino to serve as Base Station

1983:

  • New system surgical video monitoring system purchased
  • Board resolution to contract for dining room re-design
  • 10-ft tall, 800-pound nuclear family statue installed at front of hospital, courtesy of renowned artist, Howard Pierce
  • First hospice patient enrolled in HDMC hospice program
  • Auxiliary hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house for the purchase of the thrift store

1985:

  • Donna Newland reported to the Board of Directors that the Emergency Department had 600 visits last month; the operating room had 88 procedures
  • Outpatient radiology and laboratory services moves to the Avalon Medical Center

1986:

  • Mammography unit operational
  • Dedication of ICU/CCU monitoring equipment
  • Monument signs placed at entrance to hospital campus
  • Home Health Services opens with nine patient

1988:

  • 10/25/88 - Groundbreaking ceremony for Continuing Care Center; approximately 100 participants observe groundbreaking for new skilled nursing facility. Board members were: Ernie Littlepage, President; Carol Barrett, Vice President; Virginia Wagner, Treasurer. 50 balloons were released into the air
  • Home Health provides care to 514 patients

1989:

  • Helen Gray Education Center groundbreaking ceremony
  • New CAT scan equipment purchased
  • 1990:
  • Hospital began with 60 employees and reaches 300 employees in 1990
  • 11/15/90 - Grand opening for the Continuing Care Center
  • Twentynine Palms outpatient lab opens
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Late 1971:
The County Formation Commission ordered the consolidation of the Yucca Valley Hi-Desert Memorial Hospital District and the Twentynine Palms Community Hospital District in what observers referred to as a “shotgun” wedding.” At the time of the consolidation, preparations were underway at both ends of the Morongo Basin to renovate the individual hospital – revenue bonds for a 28-bed facility had been passed in Twentynine Palms, and Yucca Valley voters passed an $8.6 million revenue bond issue, purportedly on a site between Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley. Soon after, the consolidation of the federally charted Inland Counties Comprehensive Health Planning Council ruled there should be one centrally located hospital. Opposition emerged in various forms to the proposed new medical center and residents, particularly in the west end of the valley, mounted a number of strategies against it, including alternate private hospital proposals and opposition to approval of the center before various county, regional and state agencies – all to no avail. When the State Attorney General refused to grant residents permission to pursue the matter in the courts a few months later, construction of the new hospital moved out of the political arena and onto its present White Feather Road site.

Feb 23, 1975:
Groundbreaking Ceremony: Bob Thacher and Larry Fine were co-masters of ceremony; 400 were in attendance. Mr. Thacher was serving as the U.S. Magistrate and represented Twentynine Palms. They borrowed a semi-truck from the Base and set it up as the stage where the main entrance of the hospital would be. Edward Lincoln Smith, MD, and his mother were honored guests. Dr. Smith had been the only physician in the area for many years. Judge John Allen, who preceded Mr. Thacher as U.S. Magistrate (it was then called Commissioner) was one of the driving forces in getting a single hospital in Morongo Basin and had served on the Board of the Twentynine Palms Hospital. 75 folding chairs were set up in front of the truck stage. The hospital board members manned the shovels: Walters, Petrovich, Emrick, Luckman, and Ishmael.

1976:

  • Construction deadline of July 31 for new hospital; application for license for new facility mailed to the Department of Health Services
  • Pledges to the HDMC Foundation at $227,761; cash received to date: $58,045; Auxiliary membership at 95
  • Applied for Federal Aviation authorization for heliport; Design presented for Medical Arts Buildings; dedication of hospital building set for August 26, 1976
  • 9/26/76 Hospital dedicated with over 1,000 in attendance at ceremony
  • Telephone system installed in hospital; radiology department and kitchen nearing completion; approved the construction of the Medical Arts buildings for $555,000; motion to move the Board of Directors’ meeting to the new hospital in Joshua Tree effective November 9, 1976
  • First patients admitted to hospital, transported from Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley hospitals by Joshua Tree Ambulance Association; Board votes to sell both Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms Hospitals

1977:

  • Respiratory therapy department becomes hospital based; contract with outside firm eliminated
  • Contract awarded for construction of storage building
  • Telemetry system operational
  • Department of Health approves increase of certified beds to 56
  • Employee newsletter, “Main Artery” and new hospital brochure were published
  • College of the Desert approved to use hospital for expanded nursing clinical training

1978:

  • December has 20 percent increase in patient census over November and October
  • Added 55 parking spaces to accommodate new medical arts building
  • Cardiopulmonary Services added to hospital services
  • Medical Arts Building groundbreaking ceremony; 70 people in attendance
  • Hospital census averaging 25-26 patients
  • Board approves a transfer agreement with Loma Linda University Medical Center
  • At two-year anniversary, hospital has admitted 3,000 patients in total

1979:

  • Auxiliary opened thrift shop in Joshua Tree
  • Board approves mileage reimbursement at 20-cents/mile
  • Properties adjacent to the hospital were annexed
  • Building & Grounds Committee focused on solving current parking problems and developing a long-range parking plan
  • First disaster drill planned for October 30
  • Hospital entered into a Joint Oncology Program with other hospitals in area
  • Board approves the addition of wine to patient menus