wick. He was succeeded by Wm. P. Butler in 1932. Mr. Butler guided the hospital through the depression years and succeeded in making it a nonprofit institution. This encouraged endowments and donations. During World War II, the population of service people increased in San Jose. This increased the need for hospital beds. Mr. Butler responded by decreasing hospital stays, turning private rooms into semiprivate rooms, and creating more four-bed wards. He also started a new industrial accident ward called the Derby Ward. Post war, hospital census increased again, with deliveries at ten per day, and this with only two delivery rooms. In 1946, four barracks were purchased and moved across the street yielding an additional 34 beds. Using Hill-Burton funds (Federal Government loans), the hospital added beds by extending the east wing northward and adding a story in front of the west wing. Capacity now was 240 beds. David Olsson became the next administrator when Butler died from a heart attack in 1951. He set his sights on increasing the number of beds by not only adding a four story 120-bed addition to the west wing, but also purchased Alum Rock Hospital (67 beds). However, most doctors did not use the new acquisition, and it
became an extended care facility. In 1968, a 2.7 million, 252-bed building was constructed as a separate unit at San Jose Hospital and used for extended care and inpatient psychiatry. 1970 marked the merger of Doctors Hospital on the Alameda with San Jose Hospital. The medical staff was not happy. They were not told of the merger and did not approve of the quality of care that Doctors Hospital was known for. Renamed Park Alameda Hospital, it continuously bled money from San Jose Hospital and was finally sold to the city and was used as an alcohol rehab unit. 1974 saw the arrival of John Aird. He came with a masters degree in health administration. He was in his thirties and was one of the youngest hospital administrators in the country. Some of his positive measures were: (1) the closure of Park-Alameda Hospital, (2) closure of the nursing school, (3) the CAPI Unit (adolescent psychiatric inpatient center), and (4) remodeling of the Emergency Room. Also, in 1974, Stanley Skillicorn, MD became the director of medical education. His quality of care program won national acclaim. The 1970’s also saw increased government regulations and decreased reimbursement to hospitals (e.g. PSRO’S, HSA– Health System Agencies).
In 1976, Robert Brueckner was appointed day-to-day administrator and John Aird took charge of planning and development. The name of the hospital also changed to San Jose Health Center, reflecting a broader role in dealing with the health care system. The first surgicare center in the Valley opened in 1976. It was founded by Dr. James Dickson, an anesthesiologist, and later sold to San Jose Hospital. A Family Practice Residency Program was founded at the hospital by Dr. Lee Blanchard and was very successful. An Alternative Birth Center was started at San Jose Hospital in the same time frame. This allowed mothers to labor and deliver in the same room. It had a home-like atmosphere. It proved to be very popular with patients, and soon spread to other hospitals. Time, however, was starting to run out for San Jose’s third hospital. The downtown area was starting to be adversely affected by suburban growth in homes and shopping malls. New hospitals were being built in the outlying areas of San Jose. All of these factors led to the financial instability of San Jose Hospital. The doors finally closed in 2006. A vacant lot is all that is left of the hospital that for 83 years served the heart of the city and its people. MAY / JUNE 2016 | THE BULLETIN | 37