Southern Inyo Healthcare District History
The hospital district was founded July 5, 1949 through the efforts of the Business and Professional Women’s Club and the Lion’s Club, and was first located on the corner of Bush and Main Streets, directly south of the current location of Lone Pine Drug. It was licensed for nineteen beds and four bassinets.
On March 17th, 1955, the hospital moved to its present location, and was licensed for eighteen beds and four bassinets. At this time there were twenty-one full time employees. A new wing was completed on May 18th, 1964, and the hospital was accredited by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Hospitals on June 5, 1964, after the new wing allowed it to expand its capacity above the required minimum of twenty-five beds. This expansion was accomplished through a $650,000 bond project.
Today, Southern Inyo Hospital is a Critical Access Hospital, a sole community provider and a frontier hospital. It currently has four acute care beds and thirty-three skilled nursing beds for a total of thirty-seven licensed beds. There are currently fifty-two fully time, seventeen part-time, and twenty-four per-Diem for a total of sixty-seven full time equivalents. The voters of the District recently passed a property tax measure which is allowing for the expansion of clinical and diagnostic services and further integration of health care into the community.
The Southern Inyo Healthcare District encompasses a diverse and highly coveted tourist destination, including the bottom of Death Valley (Badwater, -282 feet) and the top of Mt. Whitney (14,497 feet). In addition, it comprises a large part of the source waters for the Los Angeles aqueduct, which supplies up to 75% of the water for this growing city, a major filming locations for movies, commercials, and other projects from around the globe, and a large part of the Inyo National Forest, Alabama Hills National Recreation Area, and Death Valley National Park. It is estimated that more than 40% of employment in the county is accounted for by transportation, communication, utilities, and various other government agencies.
Southern Inyo Hospital is located in the town of Lone Pine, which sits at the foot of Mt. Whitney and the world renowned Alabama Hills. Lone Pine is a destination for hikers, climbers, mining and film history buffs, hunters, fishermen, back-country skiers, hang-gliders, photographers, and many others who enjoy astonishing natural beauty and a peaceful, tight-knit small town atmosphere. With the recent re-watering of the lower Owens River, opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, bird-watching, and other water sports are also being developed. For more information on the area, please visit our “Links” page.