Northridge Hospital Medical Center was founded in 1955 by 37 physicians, headed by Dr. Frederick Gruneck, who each put up their own money to build the new hospital. Five acres of land formerly occupied by cows and chickens were purchased for $27,500 as the site for the new 49-bed facility.
The hospital opened with a 102% occupancy on September 18, 1955. It was the only hospital in the area "cooled by refrigerated air." One year later, the hospital was converted to a non-profit facility. Two beds had to be available at all times to care for charity cases.
Three years later, the hospital expanded and was dedicated by the Governor of California, Goodwin Knight. Over the ensuing years new towers were added, and capacity was increased to the present 409-bed facility.The original construction site is pictured above.
Would you believe that in 1955: A car cost $1,950, a house cost $17,500, and gasoline was 26 cents a gallon. Bread was 18 cents a loaf, and milk was 92 cents a gallon. A postage stamp was three cents, the average annual salary was $5,000, and the minimum wage was 72 cents per hour.
Born in 1955: Bill Gates (Co-founder of Microsoft), Steve Jobs (Founder of Apple Computers), Jerry Seinfeld (Comedian), Bruce Wills (Actor), Maria Schriver (Journalist and Former First Lady of California), Reba McIntyre (Singer/Actress), and Howie Mandel (Comedian).
Fun Facts About Northridge Hospital
- The hospital was at the Epicenter of the major 6.6 earthquake at 4:31 a.m., Monday, January 17, 1994.
- 1,700 victims of the earthquake were treated in the four days following the devastation. A makeshift triage was set up in the parking lot.
- The Neonatal ICU plunged into darkness and glass and equipment crashed everywhere - but miraculously all 21 babies survived.
- Shaken but not STIRRED! Employee raised $10,000 for victims of the quake by selling T-shirts that said Northridge Hospital EPI Center.
- Hollywood comes to Northridge Hospital with starring roles in:
"Out of the Darkness" with Diana Ross
"Heart Condition" with Denzel Washington
"In Sickness and in Health" with Tom Skerritt
"Doogie Howser, M.D."
- "The Golden Throat Award" was an inspiration of Transcription Services for physicians who showed clarity and accurate use of dictation equipment.