About Us

History of St. Vincent Medical Center

We’ve been here for quite some time, and witnessed monumental changes in both our hospital and in the medical profession. In our time, we’ve seen small pox become a disease of the past, and open heart surgery progress to beating heart surgery.

Established in 1856 by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul as the first hospital in Los Angeles, St. Vincent Medical Center has both a strong history and a glorious future.

St. Vincent Medical Center Timeline
1856 Daughters of Charity (Daughters) arrive in “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles,” or “City of Our Lady, Queen of Angels.” They began a school and orphanage, and within a few months, were asked to care for the sick.

1869 Daughters incorporate Los Angeles Infirmary under their own ownership, the first women in the region to do so.

1877 Smallpox epidemic ravages Los Angeles; Daughters provide care.

1883 Six and one half acres of land purchased by Daughters for $10,000 at Beaudry Park for new hospital.

1884 New hospital, Los Angeles Infirmary, erected at Sunset and Beaudry.

1885 Another smallpox epidemic swept through Los Angeles, claiming the lives of two Daughters who were caring for the sick.

1899 Daughters of Charity establish the St. Vincent College of Nursing.

1913 Los Angeles Infirmary becomes first hospital in California accredited by the American College of Surgeons.

1918 Name changed to from Los Angeles Infirmary to St. Vincent’s Hospital.

1956 Estelle Doheny Wing added to Hospital.

1957 First successful open-heart surgery on West Coast performed at St. Vincent’s Hospital.

1960 St. Vincent’s Hospital doctors were first to use the surgical microscope to operate on the inner ear.

1962 St. Vincent’s Hospital was the first hospital to offer hemodialysis to kidney failure patients.

1966 First artificial heart implanted. First human heart transplantation.

1971 Groundbreaking for new 381-bed St. Vincent’s Hospital.

1974 Name changed to St. Vincent Medical Center.

1988 St. Vincent Medical Center’s first heart transplant.

1993 Pancreatic cell transplant at St. Vincent Medical Center to overcome diabetes made headlines.

1995 St. Vincent Medical Center Liver transplant program founded.

1995 St. Vincent Medical Center departs from Daughters of Charity National Healthcare System and affiliates with Catholic Healthcare West hospital system.

1996 St. Vincent Medical Center and Daughters of Charity celebrate 140 years in Los Angeles.

2002 Daughters Charity Health System is established in California. St. Vincent Medical Center, along with seven other hospitals, joins the new system, leaving the Catholic Healthcare West hospital system.