Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital

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Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital
Adventist Health
Logo of Adventist HealthCare.png
Location Willits, California, United States
Care system Private
Hospital type Community
Beds 67
Founded 1927
Lists Hospitals in California

Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital is a rural 25-bed Critical Access Hospital located in Willits, California, a northern Mendocino County community known as "gateway to the redwoods."


In the early 1920s, the community of Willits realized the need for a community hospital and in 1925, the Willits Development Association sponsored the first Frontier Days, as a benefit to begin construction of a hospital. In 1926, Charles S. Howard became interested in building a hospital in memory of his son who had died in an auto accident. With further convincing from several local citizens, the Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital (HMH), named after Charles' son, came into existence.[1]

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held and construction began in 1927. The next year, the original hospital building was completed with the board of directors consisting of the Howard family. Several years later, in 1946, the south wing was constructed adding two three-bed wards and three semi-private rooms, making HMH a 20-bed hospital.[1]

Throughout the next several years, HMH continued to enlarge and 1955 was the busiest year for construction in the hospital's history. During that year, a new surgical wing was built, adding two operating rooms; Central Oxygen Quarters, Sterile Central Supply, and areas for physician and nurse lounges were added; and the kitchen and laundry were enlarged. The X-ray department was renovated in 1960. In the midst of building, HMH received its first accreditation by the Joint Commissions on Accreditation of Hospitals. In 1970, a new patient wing was completed, making HMH a 42-bed facility and adding a Critical Care unit, nursery and emergency room. A pathology and laboratory department was completed in 1973 and the Smalley Medical Center was built in 1977.[1]

The 1980s were a time when the hospital continued to grow. A surgical wing was added in 1980, the entire inside of the hospital received a facelift in 1982 and the business office and data processing center was remodeled to accommodate a new in-house computer system. In 1985, a wing of the hospital was converted into an Emergency Urgent Care facility, including new state-of-the-art treatment facilities. One year later, in 1986, HMH joined Adventist Health and a memorial chapel was added.[1]


Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital is part of Adventist Health, a health care organization headquartered in Roseville, California. Adventist Health represents regional delivery networks spanning California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. The networks comprise 85 distinct business units including 20 acute care facilities—controlled, managed or leased—with more than 3,000 beds, 17,000 employees, numerous clinics and outpatient facilities, medical foundations and 18 home health agencies.[2]

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Coordinates: 39°24′1″N 123°21′4″W / 39.40028°N 123.35111°W / 39.40028; -123.35111