Doctors Medical Center San Pablo Campus

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Doctors Medical Center San Pablo Campus
Hospital (From Vale Road)
Location2000 Vale Road, San Pablo, California, United States
ListsHospitals in California

Doctors Medical Center (originally Brookside Hospital) was an eight-story creekside hospital in San Pablo, California.[1] It was the only cardiac/STEMI, stroke, and cancer center in Contra Costa County.[2] The health facility once employed 1,100 people.[3] The hospital has been described as the "backbone" of the community of 250,000 people between that is bordered by Vallejo to the north and Berkeley to the south.[2] The West Contra Costa Healthcare District board voted on 26 March 2015 to close the facility in April.[4] The hospital closed on April 21, 2015.[5]


The hospital opened in 1948 when the community voted to create a special government district around the concept of building a modern hospital known as the West Contra Costa Healthcare District.[3] In 1954 Brookside Hospital opened its doors and at a later time Tenet HealthSystems took over administration from the district.[3] In 1997 the hospital was forced to receive nearly all the ambulance arrival emergency patients for west county as a result of a federal shut down of Kaiser Richmond.[6] In 2004 Tenet dropped their contract and the hospital began to suffer from financial woes.[3]

Financial woes[edit]

The hospital was bailed out through several state loan, county funding, and ballot measure schemes throughout the 2000s decade as it struggled to remain open.[1][2][7][8][9] The hospital also struggled to secure funding necessary to retrofit and modernize to meet the state's strict earthquake proofing building standards.[1][2][7][9]

In 2006 the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors approved $20 million of funds to be handed over to the hospital.[7] This deal came with the condition of heightened county scrutiny over the medical center's bookkeeping.[7] Half came from the county's emergency reserves and half from county administered federal Medicaid funds.[7] This deal permitted the center to continue ambulance services.[7]

In 2011, a mail-only special election ballot measure, measure J was approved by 74% of the voters and will cost $47 per parcel annually as long as the facility remains open.[1][2] The measure was supported by the local chambers of commerce and the local tax payer's advocate group even abstained from having a position on the matter.[1] It is projected to raise approximately $5 million annually.[1]

Although the hospital has been able to stay afloat, it has had to cut costs to the "bone" including discontinuing obstetrics.[2] It is one of only two hospitals that accept Medi-Cal in the county which comprise 80% of its users, while 10% have private insurance or none whatsoever, respectively.[2]

Also in September 2011 Richmond mayor Gayle McLaughlin along with area state senator Loni Hancock and the mayors of Hercules, Pinole, and El Cerrito lobbied governor Jerry Brown for loan guarantees.[9] The hospital and the lender would have guaranteed loans so the hospital would have funding and the state would repay the lender if the hospital can not.[9] It was approved by Brown on October 9.[8]

In March 2015, the West County Health District Board voted to close the hospital and sell the property. The estimated $7.5 million from the sale would satisfy employee, physician, and vendor liabilities. The hospital closed on April 21, 2015.[10]


The hospital was the main medical facility serving the West County area of Richmond and surrounding communities. The area is a low income community that serves mostly Medi-Cal patients. The hospital was founded in 1954.[1] It was also the only full service emergency room for the region it served and as such had caused much attention for repeated near closings or bankruptcies.[9] The only other hospital with any emergency services is Kaiser Richmond but this is not full service.[11] It had a heliport located on the ground in front of the main entrance.[12]

The site is accessible by AC Transit bus lines 70, 72, 72R, and L that connect it with Richmond BART and Amtrak, San Francisco, El Cerrito del Norte BART, Pinole, El Sobrante, Berkeley, and Oakland.[13]

The facility has treated victims of local industrial environmental accidents such as the General Chemical Company and PBE Polymers explosions or Chevron Richmond Refinery spills.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Voters OK tax to keep San Pablo hospital open, Carolyn Jones, San Francisco Chronicle, 16-11-2011, access date 27-02-2012
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Parcel tax would support Doctors Medical Center, Carolyn Jones, San Francisco Chronicle, 10-11-2011, access date 27-02-2012
  3. ^ a b c d Doctors Medical Center, San Francisco Chronicle, 01-05-2005, access date 17-02-2011
  4. ^ "Board votes to close Doctors Medical Center in April". 26 March 2015.
  5. ^ "West County Health Care Resources :: Contra Costa Health Services".
  6. ^ Kaiser Richmond Stops Admitting New Patients, Elaine Herscher, San Francisco Chronicle, 18-04-1997, access date 23-03-2012
  7. ^ a b c d e f Supervisors approve hospital bailout plan Doctors Medical Center to restore ambulance service, Jason B. Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, 01-11-2006, access date 27-02-2012
  8. ^ a b Legislative Detail: CA Senate Bill 644 - 2011-2012 Session, 09-10-2011, access date 13-03-2012
  9. ^ a b c d e East Bay Mayors Press Governor To Save Doctors Medical Center, KCBS, CBS5, 24-09-2011, access date 13-03-2012
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-08-23. Retrieved 2015-08-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ Staff Ralies for Hospital in Richmond, Suzanne Espinosa Solis, San Francisco Chronicle, 01-09-1998, access date 23-03-2012
  12. ^ Google maps, 2000 Vale Road, San Pablo, CA 94806, access date 24-04-2012
  13. ^ AC Transit system map,, 2012, access date 04-02-2012
  14. ^ "Fire Department - Richmond, CA - Official Website".

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°56′14″N 122°21′37″W / 37.93729°N 122.36028°W / 37.93729; -122.36028