Downey Regional Medical Center
For many years, Downey Regional Medical Center (DRMC) has been an integral part of Downey. More recently named Downey Community Hospital (DCH), followed originally named Virginia Hospital, the six bed maternity facility was located on the second floor above a hardware store at Downey Avenue and Third Street. Today, DRMC offers technology as sophisticated as any hospital in the world.
In 1920, Dr. E.H. Welcome convinced a group of businessmen to establish a local hospital. By 1924, Virginia Hospital had moved from its cramped quarters to a new cottage style facility on Fifth Street. Over the years ownership changed and the hospital was closed and reopened several times.
An early innovation which helped to solidify the position of DCH in the community was a prepaid health plan. This type of program later revolutionized the health care industry as health maintenance or preferred provider insurance.
In 1933, Dr. Welcome again organized a group, this time of local physicians, and purchased the struggling institution. This group changed the name to Downey Community Hospital.
By 1950, Downey was experiencing a population explosion. The hospital building on Fifth Street went through numerous expansions. With Only 49 beds, it was painfully apparent that DCH was too small and outdated to keep pace with the dramatic growth of the area.
In 1956, the J. Arch Morris family acquired controlling interest in DCH and provided a new era of leadership. Mr. Morris convinced a group of local business leaders that the future of DCH was to change the hospital's corporate status to nonprofit. Seven members of this group purchased the facility and formed the Downey Community Hospital Foundation.
Among the priorities of the nonprofit Foundation was to construct a new hospital. The landmark project would prove to be a formidable task. DCH entered into a joint powers authority with the City of Downey and Los Angeles County to guarantee the success of the project. The new hospital facility was completed at the Brookshire location in 1969. From that day forward, progress and innovation have been non stop.