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LB Historical Society provides look into Laguna’s history in healthcare on Jan 9

On Thursday, Jan 9 at 7:30 p.m., the Laguna Beach Historical Society will present a program on the rich history of South Laguna’s hospital, which opened as the 74-bed South Coast Community Hospital in 1959. Today it has developed into Mission Hospital, LB, with over 200 beds. The presentation will be given by three physicians: Dr. David Lagrew, Dr. Woody White, and Dr. George Harper. It will be held at the Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Center.

LB Historical French

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Officer Gordon French

The realization of the hospital begins in 1953 with the death of a popular policeman, Gordon French, who bled to death from a gunshot wound and a general community concern of the vulnerability of residents in growing South Orange County. A combination of city leaders, community leaders, celebrities, and grassroots support would convert a land donation from the James Irvine Foundation at the behest of its president Myford Irvine and make it one of Laguna’s most important community assets.

LB Historical hospital

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Submitted photo

Mission Hospital

The presentation will cover the important personalities and events of the medical center. It will include the story of how the local community hospital grew into a four-building campus. Details of the events and pressures of healthcare changes, which led to two major health systems to buy and reform the hospital into the modern facility to meet community needs, will be presented. The stories of local physicians who worked at the center and had ties to actual history will be of particular interest in telling the history of the hospital.

The Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Center is located at 380 Third St. For more information on the LB Historical Society, visit www.lagunabeachhistory.org/.