The 1960s-1970s
Not only has our "look" changed, but so has our name. In 1962, Los Angeles
County operated the Harbor General Hospital through the Department of Charities.

he biggest change to Harbor General Hospital during the 1960s and 1970s was construction of the 450,000 square- foot Unit 1, what is now the "main" hospital. The original Army barracks, erected in 1943, were built to last only seven years. With age, many of the features of cheap, fast construction began to create problems. The barracks had no gutters to divert rain water, and the buildings sank at the edges and the floors bowed. Throughout the hospital, plumbing and electrical lines were exposed.

   In November, 1956, a $15,400,000 bond measure was passed by Los Angeles County voters to raise funds for building a new acute unit at Harbor. Ground breaking for the hospital took place on July 25, 1960. At daybreak on February 23, 1963, newborn twins led a parade of 450 patients transported by ambulance to the new facility. By noon, every transferable patient from the barracks was in bed and ready for lunch in the new building. The chest patients, most of those with tuberculosis, remained in the barracks until March, 1978, when the service moved to 4W Ward. After construction of Unit 1 was completed, the next question was what to do with the Army barracks. Originally, the county was planning to bulldoze them. However, county officials were persuaded to leave the obsolete wooden barracks to be used for research laboratories.

Community physicians have been instrumental in Harbor's growth. Dr. George Porter (standing), was a community physician who, in addition to his private practice, supervised the emergancy room and the resident physicians.
The Barracks in 1963. Once patient care was moved to the new hospital, the barracks provided space for research and education.
   As subspecialties proliferated at Harbor in the late 1960s, the hospital also expanded its training programs for allied health professionals. In 1969, significant programs in women's health care and emergency medicine had their start at Harbor.

   The Women's Health Care Clinic was founded in 1969 as one of the nation's first outpatient services dedicated exclusively to the health needs of women. The clinic is also an integral part of the nation's largest, fully accredited Nurse Practitioner Training Program. The program, funded by the Office of Family Planning, Department of Human and Health Services, trained the first Nurse Practitioners for Guam, Samoa and the Navajo Nation. As a result of this program and other innovations in women's health care, in 1969, Ladies Home Journal chose Harbor as one of the top 10 institutions in the country for women's health care.

   The first paramedic training program in California -- and the first hospital-based paramedic training program in the country -- was initiated in 1969. Directed by Dr. J. Michael Criley, chief of cardiology, the program was designed to train fire fighters to provide life support to heart attack victims and other emergency patients in the field. Harbor's paramedic training program set a nationwide precedent that transformed emergency medical services and became a model for training paramedics all over the country.

Critical care nursing in the mid-1960s.

Neonatal ICU in 1977.

In the exercise physiology laboratory, Karl Wasserman, MD, PhD, chief of Respiratory Physiology and Medicine, studies the effects of an investigative drug on the exercise performance of a patient.
(circa 1974)

Ensuring the orientation and competence of staff was as essential in the '70s as it is today.
   During the '60s and '70s, the affiliation with UCLA School of Medicine continued to grow. To make the association more evident to the public, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors changed the name of Harbor General Hospital to Los Angeles County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in September, 1978.

   Our association with nursing programs also continued to grow during this time. In the mid-1950s, associate degree programs of nursing were developed in community colleges with Harbor serving as the site for clinical experience. Although our first such affiliation was with Orange Coast College's Associate Degree Nursing program, Harbor helped to develop a similar program at Harbor College in 1962.

Sebastian DiGiampaolo receives an award for devising an automatic defrosting system for our deep-freeze box.
(circa 1961)

Celebrity Billy Barty presents a check to be donated to the Small Stature Clinic, directed by Dr. David Rimoin.
(circa 1973)

The early 1960's brought the ground breaking and construction of the new tower hospital.

Mayor Tom Bradley presents a City of Los Angeles scroll to Dr. Michael Kaback and his team for Tay-Sachs Prevention Week.
   The 1960s were pivotal years for research at Harbor. The addition of a full-time research administrator in 1963 made it possible to seek and administer grants and contracts on a large scale.

   In an effort to assist investigators whose research involves humans, a six-bed clinical investigation facility was created on the fifth floor of the hospital in 1966, called the Intensive Diagnostic Unit. In 1969, the unit received approval and funding from the National Institutes of Health as a General Clinical Research Center. Today, the unit is known as the Clinical Study Center and is one of about 70 such units funded by the NIH to provide the equivalent of a small research hospital within the hospital.

   The Research and Education Institute's Summer Fellowship Program was established in 1977, enabling hundreds of outstanding students and teachers the opportunity to work side-by-side with the world's leading medical researchers.

Research Committee members review a meeting's agenda.
(circa 1979)

   In 1963, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center chartered a management club called the National Management Association. Prior to this year, there were no other hospital chapters anywhere in the country -- only in aerospace and manufacturing. The chapter was established by Edward J. Foley, personnel director, and Frank J. DeSantis, administrator of REI. The purpose of the chapter was to increase training and improve communications for managers.