San Francisco Chinese Hospital

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San Francisco Chinese Hospital
San Francisco Chinese Hospital, logo, Oct 2016.gif
Chinese Hospital in San Francisco, consisting of the new Patient Tower and the 1979 Annex.
The new patient tower and the 1979 Annex, to the right.
LocationSan Francisco, California, United States
Coordinates37°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
FundingNon-profit hospital
Hospital typeGeneral
Emergency departmentYes
ListsHospitals 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] After two years of community fund raising, a modern Chinese hospital, in concrete and steel, with a touch of Oriental style in the roof lines, was completed at 835 Jackson St. and opened on April 18, 1925 with a huge Chinatown celebration lasting several days.[11][12]

1924 and 1979 buildings[edit]

The facade of the now-demolished 1924 hospital. The 1979 annex stands uphill.

The original "modern" building at 835 Jackson Street was built in 1924.[13] 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.[13]

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.[14] The plans were approved and the 1924 building was demolished, despite significant opposition by the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP).[15] The NTHP commemorated the 1924 building as one of ten historic sites lost in 2013.[16] There was a 41-space parking garage behind the 1924 building which was also demolished to make room for the new building.[13][14]

As of September 2016, the new eight-story, $180 million building called the Patient Tower was set to officially open.[17] 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.[13] Fundraising for the project was spearheaded by Rose Pak, a Chinese American activist who died September 18, 2016.[18]


The hospital has been operating at approximately one-third of its 52-bed capacity since opening the Patient Tower, and Chinese Hospital sustained a $17.4 million operating loss in 2016. According to the hospital's CEO, Brenda Yee, "reduced support from the community physicians" has resulted in fewer admissions.[19]

The non-profit Chinese Hospital, the Chinese Community Health Care Association (CCHCA, a group of physicians), and the Chinese Community Health Plan (CCHP, a for-profit insurer) have been allied since 1982 to provide an integrated health network in Chinatown. CCHCA negotiated contracts on behalf of its physicians, but in July 2015, CCHP began sending contracts directly to doctors, sparking a lawsuit by CCHCA against CCHP in August 2015.[20] Yee, who heads both CCHP and Chinese Hospital, stated that CCHP was free to contract directly with doctors.[20][21] CCHCA stated the hospital had cut them out of a mutually beneficial profit-sharing arrangement.[19]


Chinese Hospital is governed by a Board of Trustees, with members selected from sixteen community organizations serving Chinatown.

Chinese Hospital Board of Trustees[22]
Chinese Chamber of Commerce Member Organization
President George Lew Chee Kung Tong
Vice President Harvey Louie Chinatown Y.M.C.A.
English Secretary Thomas T. Ng Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association
Assistant English Secretary Kin F. Yee, DDS Hop Wo Benevolent Association[a]
Chinese Secretary Jack Lee Fong Sue Hing Benevolent Association
Assistant Chinese Secretary Gustin Ho, MD Chinese Democratic Constitutionalist Party (民主憲政黨)
Treasurer Robert Wong Chinese American Citizens Alliance (同源會)
Assistant Treasurer Yick C. Tam Kuomintang of China
Board Member Edward Y. C. Chan, MD Chinese Hospital Medical Staff
Board Member Kitman Chan Chinese Chamber of Commerce
Board Member Robert Chiang Yan Wo Benevolent Association
Board Member Mel Lee Ning Yung Benevolent Association
Board Member Paul M. Lee Yeong Wo Association
Board Member Kent Lim Kong Chow Benevolent Association
Board Member Dan Quan Sam Yup Benevolent Association
Board Member Dick W. Wong Chinese Christian Union of San Francisco

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference 6companies was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

Hospital rating data[edit]

The HealthGrades website contains the clinical quality data for San Francisco Chinese Hospital, as of 2018. For this rating section clinical quality rating data, patient safety ratings and patient experience ratings are presented.

For inpatient conditions and procedures, there are three possible ratings: worse than expected, as expected, better than expected. For this hospital the data for this category is:

  • Worse than expected - 0
  • As expected - 8
  • Better than expected - 1

For patient safety ratings the same three possible ratings are used. For this hospital they are"

  • Worse than expected - 0
  • As expected - 11
  • Better than expected - 0

Percentage of patients rating this hospital as a 9 or 10 - 68% Percentage of patients who on average rank hospitals as a 9 or 10 - 69%[23]


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][24][25]

See also[edit]

Other Chinese hospitals and health care serving local Chinese communities:


  1. ^ a b c "Chinese Hospital". Retrieved March 31, 2012.
  2. ^ Torassa, Ulysses (May 19, 2002). "The healing power of community / City's top-ranked Chinese Hospital offers western medicine with eastern touch". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 14, 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 October 14, 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). January 29, 1894. Retrieved October 14, 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). March 6, 1896. Retrieved October 14, 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). July 24, 1897. Retrieved October 14, 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). March 11, 1899. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  9. ^ "Hospital for Sick Chinese". San Francisco Call. 87 (177). May 16, 1900. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  10. ^ "Perrault Exposes a Peculiar Condition". San Francisco Call. 86 (27). June 27, 1899. Retrieved October 14, 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. January 14, 1926. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  12. ^ Hom, Laureen D (2013). Early Chinese immigrants organizing for healthcare: The establishment of the Chinese Hospital in San Francisco (G.J. Yoo et al., Handbook of Asian American Health ed.). New York: Springer. p. 353-362. ISBN 978-14614-2226-6.
  13. ^ 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. April 16, 2012. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  14. ^ a b Wildermuth, John (May 10, 2012). "Chinese Hospital plans new $160 million building". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  15. ^ Turner, Brian R. (May 30, 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 October 13, 2016.
  16. ^ "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 October 14, 2016. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
  17. ^ Veklerov, Kimberly (April 15, 2016). "Chinatown hospital set to unveil 8-story, $180 million building". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  18. ^ Wildermuth, John (September 21, 2016). "Rose Pak, SF political powerhouse, dies". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  19. ^ a b Matier, Phil; Ross, Andy (October 2, 2017). "SF's Chinese Hospital, Rose Pak's pet project, bleeding cash". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 2, 2017.(subscription required)
  20. ^ a b Colliver, Victoria (August 13, 2015). "S.F.'s Chinese Hospital, doctors clash in contracting dispute". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  21. ^ Rauber, Chris (August 2015). "Chinatown health care battle engulfs doctors, insurance plan and Chinese Hospital". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved October 2, 2017.(subscription required)
  22. ^ "Senior Leadership Team". Chinese Hospital. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  23. ^ HealthGrades website, .
  24. ^ De Anda, Juan (November 14, 2014). "Tourism For Locals: San Francisco was Bruce Lee's Native City and There's No Homage to It [BLOG]". SF Weekly. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  25. ^ Hua, Vanessa (May 26, 2015). "Chinese Hospital Gives New Meaning to Family Medicine". NBC News. Retrieved October 14, 2016.

External links[edit]