Eisenhower Medical Center

Coordinates: 33°45′48″N 116°24′20″W / 33.76333°N 116.40556°W / 33.76333; -116.40556
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Eisenhower Medical Center
Location39-000 Bob Hope Drive,
Rancho Mirage, Riverside County, California
Coordinates33°45′48″N 116°24′20″W / 33.76333°N 116.40556°W / 33.76333; -116.40556[1]
FundingNon-profit hospital
StandardsGeneral Acute Care Hospital[2]

The Eisenhower Medical Center (EMC) is a not-for-profit hospital based in Rancho Mirage, California, serving the Coachella Valley region of Southeastern California. It was named one of the top one hundred hospitals in the United States in 2005.


Named for President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the hospital credits its initial creation to two events in 1966 when entertainer Bob Hope was asked to lend his name to a charity golf tournament and to serve on the board of the hospital that would be built from the tournament's proceeds.[3] The original 80 acres (32 ha) of land were donated by Bob and Dolores Hope and both helped raise private funds for the hospital's construction.[3] Construction began in 1969; the groundbreaking ceremony was attended by President Richard Nixon, Vice President Spiro Agnew, Governor Ronald Reagan, and entertainers Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Gene Autry, and Lucille Ball. The main Eisenhower hospital, designed by Edward Durrell Stone, opened in November 1971, containing 289 beds. Among the early trustees were actress Martha Hyer (the wife of film producer Hal B. Wallis) and Roy W Hill.[4]

(left to right) Alex Dreier, Bob Hope, Anne T. Hill, Geraldine Dreier, Roy W. Hill at a fund raiser for Eisenhower Medical Center. 1975

The three original medical buildings were named for local philanthropists Mr. and Mrs. Walter Probst, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Kiewit and Mrs. Hazel Wright.[3] Philanthropists Walter and Leonore Annenberg donated funds to establish the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences.[5] A $212.5 million, four story addition to the hospital, the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Pavilion, opened for patient care in November 2010. Lee Annenberg donated over $100 million to Campaign Eisenhower, Phase II.[6] Other institutions on the campus include the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center and the Dolores Hope Outpatient Care Center. Dolores Hope served in the capacities of President, Chairman of the Board and Chairman Emeritus since 1968 and participated in every major decision regarding the hospital until her death in 2011.[3]

By 1990, the hospital's 3000th open heart surgical procedure was performed.[3] In 2019, the hospital was recognized as one of the top five in the Riverside County-San Bernardino metro area.[7]

Figures from the entertainment industry have been involved with fundraising for the hospital during its history; as the area is home to many from the entertainment industry, those notable figures have also received care at the hospital.[8] In January 2006 President Gerald Ford was admitted to EMC for sixteen days for treatment of pneumonia. Upon Ford's death on December 26, 2006 his body was taken to Eisenhower Medical Center, where his wife, Betty Ford, died in 2011.[9]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Eisenhower Memorial Hospital
  2. ^ California Department of Public Health Facility Information
  3. ^ a b c d e "History of Eisenhower". Eisenhower Medical Center. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
  4. ^ "Med Center Selects Trustees". The Desert Sun. April 29, 1975, p. A4
  5. ^ Annenberg Center for Health Sciences
  6. ^ "Annenberg Donations to Eisenhower Reach $100 Million". The Annenberg Foundation. December 20, 2007. Archived from the original on 2010-07-13. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
  7. ^ "To Your Health". Palm Springs Life. 31 July 2019. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  8. ^ "The Legendary Legacy of Eisenhower Medical Center". 27 October 2017.
  9. ^ Sharma, Aayush (21 January 2021). "Michelle Pfeiffer To Play Former First Lady Betty Ford For Upcoming TV Show". International Business Times. Retrieved 7 February 2021.

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