Los Angeles Almanac Logo
Home | All Almanac Topics | Health

Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center

Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center

Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center. Los Angeles Almanac Photo.

The Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center in East Los Angeles is one of the nation’s largest public hospitals and the nation's largest medical training center. In one year, the hospital will serve 39,000 inpatients, deliver 10,000 babies, treat more than 140,000 people in its emergency room, treat about half of all AIDS and Sickle Cell patients in Southern California, and handle 750,000 outpatient visitors per year. As the largest single provider of health care in Los Angeles County, it provides more than 28 percent of the County's trauma care. Its Emergency Department ranks among the 10 busiest in the nation. Many of its patients are severely injured and almost half of them are poor and uninsured. It operates one of the three burn centers in Los Angeles County and one of the few Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Units in Southern California. Its medical staff includes more than 500 full time faculty physicians from the Keck School of Medicine, 900 residents in training, and 1,600 other physicians. It serves as a training site for U.S. Navy physicians.

The original county hospital was built in 1878 and became affiliated with the University of Southern California School of Medicine in 1885. It then consisted of 100 beds, 47 patients, 6 staff members, and a $4,000 budget (its main building, presently at 1104 North Mission Road, Los Angeles, is now used by the Los Angeles County Coroner). In 1930, the 8-ton cornerstone for a new, larger building was laid (and dedicated by actress Mary Pickford) and the hospital was completed in 1933 (at present-day 1200 State Street, Los Angeles). The long-running television soap opera General Hospital featured the building in its opening scenes, making it probably the most recognizable hospital in the country. In 1968, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to rename Los Angeles County General Hospital to its current name to reflect its partnership with USC.

Original Los Angeles County Hospital, ca. 1910-1925

Postcard of original Los Angeles County Hospital, ca. 1910-1925, published by Pacific Novelty Company, San Francisco.
Building at center remains standing today and is in use by the Los Angeles County Coroner.
Los Angeles Almanac Postcard Collection.


Los Angeles County General Hospital, 1933

Postcard of Los Angeles County General Hospital, 1933, published by Western Publishing & Novelty Co, Los Angeles, Calif.
Los Angeles Almanac Postcard Collection.


After the 1994 Northridge earthquake, rendered the famous art-deco building became non-compliant for use as a hospital under new seismic and fire safety codes. In 2008, the new 1.5 million square foot 600-bed facility opened nearby (2051 Marengo Street, Los Angeles) to become the new Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center. Although the old building can no longer be used as a hospital, it is compliant with non-hospital seismic standards and today continues in use by various community organizations.

Old Los Angeles County+USC Hospital Building

Old Los Angeles County+USC Hospital building. Los Angeles Almanac Photo.

In 2018, the hospital had 9,000 employees and an annual budget of $1.66 billion.


The doctors of the staff give their services without charge in order that no citizens of the county shall be deprived of health or life for lack of such care and services.

-- Inscription above the entrance to the old L.A. County-USC hospital.