Sutter Lakeside Hospital's roots go back to July 1945, with the opening of Lakeside Community Hospital.
Patient Donation Brings New Beginning
The rundown condition of a small hospital in Upper Lake moved a former patient of Robert Barr, M.D.’s to contribute $25,000 towards its renovation. That was the seed money for the purchase of property between Lakeport and Upper Lake for the construction of a new facility. Dr. Barr and Neal Woods, M.D., a physician with a successful practice in southern California, formed a partnership that put together approximately $250,000 in financing for its construction. No longer would it be necessary for patients to leave the area for hospitalization.
Old-timers remember with nostalgia the team spirit that existed in the facility in the early years. The hospital was such a success that expansion soon became necessary. A new wing with room for 15 additional beds was constructed. The expanded facility operated successfully, albeit not without a few problems. Seasonal declines in census had their impact, and a leaking roof was a constant drain on finances. Eventually, Dr. Barr surrendered his interest in Lakeside to Dr. Woods and retired to San Jose.
The 1960s saw increased growth in Lake County, and with it, the need for more expansion and renovation of the hospital's facilities. Dr. Woods had been running the facility as a proprietary hospital for more than 20 years, after having come to Lake County to retire. Tired of all the new regulations and funding pressures for renovation, he turned the hospital over to the community in 1966. A community Board of Directors assumed responsibility for Lakeside Community Hospital as a non-profit corporation. Dr. Woods became its first board president.
The following year, Lakeside Volunteer Auxiliary was founded. This enterprising group of women helped mobilize community support for fundraising activities to purchase new equipment for the hospital.
When further plans for expansion in its present site became impractical, a new facility was constructed on hospital-owned property behind the existing facility. Community fundraisers were successful in convincing local residents to contribute to the building effort. More than a half-million dollars was raised to underwrite the anticipated $2.5 million construction cost. Completion of the 32,000 square-foot facility was celebrated with dedication ceremonies in 1978. However, in a trade-off with the state for building 30 beds, the hospital surrendered its obstetrics wing.
Patients, physicians and staff alike greatly appreciated the beautiful new hospital. However, the need for more space again became evident. One year after its completion, the Board of Directors filed an application to the State for an additional 30 beds. Seven years later, the expansion became a reality. Once again, community fundraising successfully raised over a half-million dollars for the addition, including a basic emergency room and six intensive/coronary care beds.
Affiliation with Sutter Health
Faced with the difficult problem of operating as a completely independent, not-for-profit hospital in an era of rapidly escalating costs, the Board of Directors voted to affiliate with Sutter Health, a Sacramento-based not-for-profit healthcare organization, in 1992. Affiliation with Sutter Health has provided needed administrative and financial stability. As part of this affiliation, the hospital's name changed to Sutter Lakeside Hospital.
50 Year Celebration
In 1995, celebrating 50 years of history in Lake County, Sutter Lakeside opened its new birthing center, once more providing excellent obstetric care for the citizens of Lake County. Service enhancements include improvements in:
- Medical Imaging
- Physical Therapy
- Cardiac Rehabilitation
- Respiratory Therapy
- Women's and Children's Practice
- Home Medical Services
- Community Services
- Community Clinic at Upper Lake
2002 and Beyond…
2002 brings the opening of the 28,000-square-foot state-of-the-art emergency/surgery addition.
Truly, Sutter Lakeside Hospital has grown and improved beyond its founders' wildest dreams - all made possible through the continuing support and involvement of the citizens of Lake County.
We look forward to the preservation of our partnership with the community as we journey together on the road to wellness!