Inter-Community began as a seven-bed hospital founded in 1922 by two sisters – a nurse and a schoolteacher – Melisse and Mary Wittler. Mary made the hospital’s mortgage payments with the pay she earned from her teaching position, while Melisse ran the hospital.
In 1924, the community purchased $25,000 in bonds to build and expand the hospital.
The demands of running a busy hospital became too much for the Wittler sisters, and in 1947 they put the hospital up for sale. Eleven communities raised enough money to purchase the hospital and to remodel and expand the facility. These 11 communities are cities we now know as Covina, West Covina, Baldwin Park, San Dimas, Glendora, Azusa, La Puente, Irwindale, La Verne, Walnut and Diamond Bar. The hospital was named Inter-Community to reflect the contributions of the different communities.
Queen of the Valley Hospital
In the late 1950s, the Immaculate Heart of Mary (an order of Catholic nuns) sent Sister Columba to West Covina with an old Buick and $25 to build a community hospital.
The sisters used all the property they owned as collateral to purchase land for the hospital. This included their high school, college, library and even the Mother House in Los Angeles.
In 1962, they opened Queen of the Valley Hospital with the support of local business leaders and the Queen of the Valley Auxiliary.
Dr. Elvin Stanton and businessman Leonard Ray were instrumental in making dreams of a “good, not-for-profit community hospital” to serve the foothill communities come true. Local businessman C.M. Johnston also played a tremendous role by donating the land and established a $2.5 million hospital fund in memory of his physician son, Morris L. Johnston. And, in 1970, the city of Glendora assisted in acquiring the tax-exempt bonds to finance hospital construction costs. The hospital opened its doors in 1973.
Morris L. Johnston Memorial
Glendora's well-known slogan, "Pride of The Foothills" is a fitting introduction to the story of Foothill Presbyterian Hospital. The hospital's very origin was based upon "community pride."
Today, as a place of healing and recovery, thousands of individuals and families from throughout the East San Gabriel Valley visit us to receive essential health-care services.
The hospital physicians and staff are proud to be working at the facility that is the choice of the community and we are thankful that so many have also made the hospital a chosen recipient of their charitable support, following the legacy of C. M. Johnston.
Citrus Valley Hospice
Citrus Valley Hospice, formerly the Hospice of the East San Gabriel Valley, also has a history rich in community volunteerism.The hospice was founded in 1979 by community volunteers who worked out of a room donated by Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Covina.
In 1984, Inter-Community purchased the former Sunkist Elementary School site and built a 10-bed inpatient hospice facility, one of the first free-standing hospices of its kind west of the Mississippi.