DR. STIREWALT, realizing the need for a hospital in Concord, urged his nurse Edna Haywood to take over a nursing facility on East Street. It had been established in 1929 and was in operation briefly. The nurse borrowed $7,500 to buy the residence and Concord Hospital was officially opened on June 1, 1930, at 2540 East Street, the site of the present Mt. Diablo Medical Center. The tiny hospital boasted six hospital beds and one bathroom, which was used by patients, staff members, and visitors.
In the early 1930s, surgery was performed in a room on the second floor of a tank house behind the main building. Heat was supplied by a kerosene stove, and patients were moved to and from surgery on a surgical cart that employees pushed along a covered ramp. Staff member Jack Frye recalls having to pass through the surgery room to reach the delivery room. One entrance to the building, a screen door, opened directly into the operating room. Groceries were delivered here even during surgery. Imogene Uptain remembers that the laboratory was in the kitchen, radiation and X-ray treatment were in the dining room, and the dressing room was in a tiled bathroom.
By 1935, the hospital had expanded to a two story building. The surgery, delivery, and emergency rooms and an obstetric ward were on the first floor. On the second floor were 10 private rooms. The hospital featured the first elevator in Concord.
This building stood until 1958, when it was torn down to make room for construction of a new hospital.
In 1997, Mt Diablo Hospital merged with John Muir Medical Center. In 2005, the Mt Diablo name was dropped in favor of John Muir Health (Concord).
Cowell Historical Society