On June 12th, 2020, the Fallbrook Regional Health District celebrated its 70th Anniversary! From our humble beginnings in a frame house on Main Street to the establishment of The Fallbrook Hospital, at 625 E. Elder, which was in full operation through March 2015, to now awarding nearly $1 million dollars a year in grant funding to local nonprofit organizations; we sure have come a long way.
As part of our celebrations, we had a week-long celebration beginning on June 8th, with frozen yogurt giveaways from our own local Yogurt Palace, delivering a lovely bouquet of flowers to our past, current, and new grantees to express our gratitude for their service, and an article in the Fallbrook & Bonsall Village News on June 11th highlighting the Health District's progression including an interview with one of the very first Health District employees. Lastly, in classic Friendly Village manner, we are fortunate enough to have pictures of Health District employees and activities throughout the years that have been kept safe by the Fallbrook Historical Society, and we looked forward to sharing them throughout the celebratory week on social media.
Health District History
In the late 1930s, Fallbrook Hospital began in a small, pale blue house on Main Street. In the early 1940s, medical care was expanded to include obstetrics, minor surgery, emergency surgery, and general medical care.
In 1950, a formal hospital district was organized under California law and it remained in the same building on Main Street for the next ten years.
In 1959 a bond issue for $185,000 was passed by voters and matching funds were provided by the government under the Hill-Burton Act. The new building was completed at 624 E. Elder Street and Fallbrook Hospital District moved into its new 20-bed facility in December of 1960. Following the passage of another bond issue in the amount of $2,200,000, the hospital expanded to a 50-bed facility in 1972.
In 1992 the Wellness Center, a two-story building on S. Brandon Rd. was added to house Cardiac Rehab, Home Health & Hospice, the Foundation, and Human Resources.
The Fallbrook Hospital Auxiliary formed in 1959, this volunteer organization continued to serve the Health District hospital and its patients from the opening in 1960 to the closure in 2015.
In November of 1998, after exhaustive efforts to find a partner, Fallbrook Hospital District negotiated a 30-year lease and operating agreement with Community Health Systems, a for-profit organization based in Tennessee that operates hospitals nationwide.
The District changed its name to Fallbrook Healthcare District and shifted its focus to providing grants to local non-profit entities providing health-related services in the District. Since the year 2000, more than $9,135,000 has been awarded to maintain those health-related services in the District. In addition to the grants, the District helps to support urgent care services that began in 2015, has helped to purchase ambulances, and works on common projects and goals through a Joint Powers Agreement with the North County Fire Protection District.
Amid the pandemic, the Board of Directors (BOD) approved additional financial support to MedPlus Urgent Care as they are committed to meeting the needs of the Fallbrook & Bonsall community by providing telehealth appointments. The BOD also approved emergency grants for non-profit service partners to assist with COVID-19 relief efforts for our at-risk populations. Recipients include the Fallbrook Food Pantry (Pantry), Foundation for Senior Care, Boys & Girls Club of North County, Michelle’s Place, and the Fallbrook Senior Center. The Health District will provide financial support until the situation abates. Additionally, from March 23rd- May 13th, the Health District served as a drop-off and processing location for donations of fresh produce for the Fallbrook Food Pantry, thereby reducing the congestion at the Pantry and still allowing our wonderful community to be generous. We worked with our local newspaper, the Village News to get bi-lingual information into the hands of our community, by underwriting a special COVID-19 edition. Furthermore, we provide reliable and current local, regional, nationwide, and global information to our community through our daily Health District COVID-19 AM Briefing and by updating our COVID-19 Resources page regularly.
This upcoming 2020-2021 fiscal year, FRHD anticipates granting approximately $1.4 million to ten organizations, for 14 programs. Please frequent our website and follow us on social media to learn more information about the Health District’s current efforts and plans for the future. Our meetings are open to the public and we encourage everyone to be a part of them so they can follow our discussions about our 1636 E. Mission Rd. property and more!