Fabiola Hospital, Oakland, California 1

The Fabiola Hospital was built in 1887 at the intersection of New Broadway and Moss Avenue (now Broadway and West MacArthur Blvd.) on 2-1/2 acres of land donated by Anthony Chabot. This new hospital was the work of the women club members of the Fabiola Association who envisioned a comfortable environment for the underprivileged. The Oakland Kaiser Permanente complex literally stands on the same site as the Fabiola Hospital. 1

Kate Kirkham learned of the need for a local hospital in Oakland after witnessing a terrible carriage accident in 1877. The victim had to be transported 10 miles to a hospital in San Leandro. $50 was collected from 18 of her women friends and the Fabiola Association was formed. The focus of the group was to provide medical assistance for all, regardless of financial circumstances. The name Fabiola comes from Saint Fabiola, a woman in 4th century Rome who started the first hospital for sick and needy travelers.

After the construction of the hospital, a nursing school was established, along with a diet kitchen and a visiting nurse service. Further program expansion continued until the Great Depression.

Fabiola annexed a Queen Anne cottage for nurses' quarters, and a facility for children as well as a maternity cottage was also added.

The hospital spread over the next 20 years to facilities on the other side of Broadway, including the building of a Spanish style nursing home designed by Julia Morgan.

In 1907 a new surgical building was constructed on Howe Street and Moss Avenue, and in 1923 the Fabiola Association built another nurses residence at 3797 Piedmont Avenue.

Fabiola Maternity Hospital (circa 1924) 1 Fabiola Hospital, Oakland, California (circa 1910)1912 Sanborn map fair use

At the end of the year a modern 50 bed maternity hospital was built at the corner of Broadway and Moss Avenue.

The maternity hospital later became the first Kaiser Permanente hospital in 1942.

Although most of the original Fabiola Hospital was torn down many years ago, Kaiser Permanente retained the history by naming a newer medical office at 3801 Howe Street the Fabiola Building.

Links and References

  1. A History of Total Health: 19th century Fabiola ladies championed health care for all
  2. East Bay Then and Now by Dennis Evanosky and Eric J Kos San Diego: Thunder Bay Press, 2004