San Francisco Chinese Hospital

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San Francisco Chinese Hospital
San Francisco Chinese Hospital, logo, Oct 2016.gif
Facade of the now-demolished 1924 building. The 1979 annex stands uphill.
Facade of the now-demolished 1924 building. The 1979 annex stands uphill.
Location San Francisco, California, United States
Coordinates 37°47′44″N 122°24′33″W / 37.79556°N 122.4092°W / 37.79556; -122.4092Coordinates: 37°47′44″N 122°24′33″W / 37.79556°N 122.4092°W / 37.79556; -122.4092
Funding Non-profit hospital
Hospital type General
Emergency department Yes
Beds 54
Founded 1925
Lists Hospitals in California
San Francisco Chinese Hospital
Traditional Chinese 東華醫院
Simplified Chinese 东华医院

San Francisco Chinese Hospital is a hospital in San Francisco and the only Chinese hospital in the United States.[1][2] The hospital is located in San Francisco's Chinatown.

Chinese Hospital primarily serves the elderly, poor and immigrants from China in the San Francisco area and provides an alternative to San Francisco General Hospital for patients with a language barrier.[1] The hospital also operates the Chinese Community Health Plan. The hospital's staff can provide services spoken in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Taishanese and other languages.[3]



In 1888, the Chinese Hospital Association sought permission to erect a hospital in the University Mound neighborhood, but the Board of Supervisors referred the request to committee instead, based on opposition from existing property owners.[4] Several so-called Chinese hospitals were established in San Francisco as privately-run institutions of poor repute, mainly functioning as hospices and morgues, throughout the late 1800s.[5][6][7]

Chinese Hospital traces its origins to 1899,[8] when the Oriental Dispensary, with ties to the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals in Hong Kong, was founded[9] over the protests of property owners on Sacramento Street.[10] A modern building opened in 1925, replacing the original Sacramento Street location.[11]

1924 and 1979 buildings[edit]

The original "modern" building at 835 Jackson Street was built in 1924.[12] A new annex was built in 1979 at 845 Jackson Street, housing 54 beds. With the opening of the 1979 hospital annex, the original 1924 building was converted to a Medical Administration Building.[12]

2012 expansion[edit]

In 2012, Chinese Hospital announced plans to build a replacement hospital building in the space where the 1924 building currently stood. The new building would take over patient care from the 1979 building, and the 1924 building would be demolished as it was seismically unsafe.[13] The plans were approved and the 1924 building was demolished, despite significant opposition by the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP).[14] The NTHP commemorated the 1924 building as one of ten historic sites lost in 2013.[15] There was a 41-space parking garage behind the 1924 building which was also demolished to make room for the new building.[12][13]

As of September 2016, the new eight-story, $180 million building called the Patient Tower was set to officially open.[16] The replacement hospital building was planned to have 54 beds and add a new 22-bed skilled nursing facility; the 1979 building would be converted to serve as a Medical Administration and Outpatient Center.[12] Fundraising for the project was spearheaded by Rose Pak, a Chinese American activist who died September 18, 2016.[17]

Board of Directors[edit]

Title Member
President James K. Ho
Vice President Harvey Louie
English Secretary Thomas T. Ng
Assistant English Secretary Kin F. Yee, DDS
Chinese Secretary Jack Sit
Assistant Chinese Secretary Jack Lee Fong
Treasurer Mel Lee
Assistant Treasurer Faye Woo Lee
Board Member Paul M. Lee
Board Member Siu Kong Tam
Board Member Tim Siow
Board Member Kitman Chan
Board Member Yick C. Tam
Board Member George Lew
Board Member Dick W. Wong
Board Member Edward Y. C. Chan, MD



Services provided by SFCH include:

  • Surgical suites
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • 24-hour Treatment Center
  • Same Day Surgery Unit
  • Western San Francisco Community Clinic
  • Clinical and Pathology Laboratories
  • Imaging Services (Radiology, Nuclear Medicine, CT Scanning, Ultrasound, Mammography, etc.)
  • Cardiopulmonary Unit (Cardiology, Pulmonary Function, Respiratory Therapy, Neurology, etc.)
  • Pharmacy

Famous patients[edit]

Actor and martial artist Bruce Lee was born at Chinese Hospital.[1][19][20]

See also[edit]

Other Chinese hospitals and health care serving local Chinese communities:


  1. ^ a b c "Chinese Hospital". Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  2. ^ Torassa, Ulysses (19 May 2002). "The healing power of community / City's top-ranked Chinese Hospital offers western medicine with eastern touch". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  3. ^ "Medical Staff & Clinics". San Francisco Chinese Hospital. Retrieved November 20, 2016. 
  4. ^ "The Supervisors. Various Municipal Matters Are Quickly Disposed Of.". Daily Alta. 42 (14151). 29 May 1888. Retrieved 14 October 2016. At the regular weekly meeting of the Board of Supervisors last night a petition was received from the Chinese Hospital Association, asking permission to erect a hospital on Block 98 of the University Mound Tract. The matter was referred to the Health and Police Committee. It will be remembered that the Board refused to take action on the protest of property-owners against the erection of the proposed hospital. 
  5. ^ "Neighboring Places". Los Angeles Herald. 41 (100). 29 January 1894. Retrieved 14 October 2016. Senator Gwin died in 1887, and his family mansion on Jackson street has been a Chinese hospital for sixteen years. 
  6. ^ "Ghastly Dens in Chinatown". San Francisco Call. 79 (97). 6 March 1896. Retrieved 14 October 2016. These are the Chinatown morgues, or hospitals, and deadhouses combined. They are little rooms at the end of long, foul alleys, where those who are dead and those who are dying lie together until their friends ship their dry bones back to China for burial. There are several of these places in Chinatown. [...] A few years ago the Chinese merchants raised a large fund to erect a hospital. Plans were drawn up and submitted to the City authorities, but for some reason the Chinese were not permitted to build. Large sums of money are subscribed by missionary societies to erect hospitals in China, but there is no place in the Christian City of San Francisco where a sick and friendless Chinaman can breathe his last, except among coffins and boxes of bones in a Chinese charnel-house. In some cases they are dumped into these hideous "chambers of peace" and left to die unattended, except a peep now and then to see when life is extinct. 
  7. ^ "Slavery in San Francisco". San Francisco Call. 82 (54). 24 July 1897. Retrieved 14 October 2016. There is work for the Board of Health and for the police authorities in the dark dens of the Chinese quarter. The revelations made within the last few days concerning the dread horrors of the Chinese hospitals and the inhuman and even murderous treatment of Chinese girls who are held in most accursed bondage are enough in themselves to spur the proper authorities to remedial action without delay. 
  8. ^ "Incorporations". Los Angeles Herald (162). 11 March 1899. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  9. ^ "Hospital for Sick Chinese". San Francisco Call. 87 (177). 16 May 1900. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  10. ^ "Perrault Exposes a Peculiar Condition". San Francisco Call. 86 (27). 27 June 1899. Retrieved 14 October 2016. The following protests were received and referred to the proper committees: Property owners [...], against establishment of Chinese hospital on Sacramento street below Stockton [...] 
  11. ^ "'Frisco Chinatown Being Modernized". Healdsburg Tribune (60). United Press. 14 January 1926. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  12. ^ a b c d Draft Environmental Impact Report—835-845 Jackson Street: Chinese Hospital Replacement Project (PDF) (Report). Planning Department, City and County of San Francisco. 16 April 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  13. ^ a b Wildermuth, John (10 May 2012). "Chinese Hospital plans new $160 million building". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  14. ^ Turner, Brian R. (30 May 2012). "Commons on Draft EIR 835-845 Jackson Street Chinese Hospital Replacement Project, Case No. 2008.0762E" (PDF) (Letter). Letter to Mr. Bill Wycko. Retrieved 13 October 2016. 
  15. ^ "A look at 10 historic sites saved, 10 lost in 2013". Post Crescent. Associated Press. January 5, 2014. p. F3. Archived from the original on 14 October 2016. Retrieved January 19, 2014. 
  16. ^ Veklerov, Kimberly (15 April 2016). "Chinatown hospital set to unveil 8-story, $180 million building". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  17. ^ Wildermuth, John (21 September 2016). "Rose Pak, SF political powerhouse, dies". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ De Anda, Juan (14 November 2014). "Tourism For Locals: San Francisco was Bruce Lee's Native City and There's No Homage to It [BLOG]". SF Weekly. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  20. ^ Hua, Vanessa (26 May 2015). "Chinese Hospital Gives New Meaning to Family Medicine". NBC News. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 

External links[edit]