Column: The Claycord Online Museum – John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek

April 17, 2012 14:00 pm · 20 comments

The Claycord Online Museum – Every Tuesday at 2pm on

This postcard of John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek is from the late-60’s.

John Muir opened its doors on June 16, 1965. At the time, it had 150 beds and 150 employees. Now, the remodeled hospital in Walnut Creek has 572 beds and over 1,000 employees.

ABOUT THE CLAYCORD ONLINE MUSEUM: The Claycord Online Museum is made up of historical photos, documents & anything else that has to do with the history of our area.

If you have any old photos or items that you’d like to place in the Claycord Online Museum, just scan or take a photo of them, and send them to the following address: It doesn’t matter what it is, even if it’s just an old photo of your house, a scan of an old advertisement or an artifact that you’d like us to see, send it in and we’ll put it online!

Click on the tag below titled “Claycord Online Museum” to view other items!

1 Medical Cost April 17, 2012 at 2:08 PM

So 1965 1 bed 1 employee. Now 1 bed 2 employees. Part of the issue with medical insurance cost??? Could be. This should start things going.

2 black man April 17, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Thats the general hospital of the East Bay, worse than Kaiser Hospital

3 dbc April 17, 2012 at 3:05 PM

I remember that version of John Muir Hospital and had the misfortune of watching a friend of mine die of Leukemia in 1966 in this hospital, my first encounter with death or spending time in a hospital room. I was in sixth grade attending John Muir Elementary in Martinez when my best friend got real sick and admitted to this hospital, never to leave it alive. Moments like that live with you forever, and I can recall walking in the halls and sitting with him in his room. I remember the nurses and the uniforms and how each nurse wore a hat that signified what nursing school they attended, it was a different life back then with different priorities.

4 Jojo potato April 17, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Medicine has gotten a lot more complicated that’s for sure.

5 Happy One April 17, 2012 at 3:12 PM

LOL, Medical Cost #1! Yes, that should start things going!

It would be interesting to know what all those additional employees are doing. Of course our medical care is much more complex than it was in the 1960s. MRIs and CT scans and heart bypass surgery are things that we all take for granted today and require specialized skills. Perhaps people in the hospital today are sicker than they were in the 1960s. Back then you could stay in the hospital several days after giving birth or having surgery. Now they kick you out almost immediately. Only those who really need skilled care get to stay. I also wonder how many of those extra employees are involved with insurance billing. That activity is much more complex today, too.

6 Cowellian April 17, 2012 at 3:53 PM

John Muir always provided excellent care to my family and me when we really needed it.

7 Old teacher April 17, 2012 at 4:19 PM

My family has had a lot of experience with John Muir in WC and the care has always been excellent. The doctors and nurses were extremely caring and went out of their way to care for their patients. I’m glad we have such a good facility so nearby.

8 soconcord resident April 17, 2012 at 4:25 PM

That building still houses the labor recovery rooms…you may as well sleep in a closet they are so small. I thought that part of the new addition was to take that building down as it was not efficient for earthquakes…could be wrong. Anyway, the Claycord Museum is one of my favorite features of this site…great work!

9 'Yochfather April 17, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Is it true that John Muir is a better hospital than Kaiser?

10 RanchgirlCA April 17, 2012 at 6:43 PM

I was a candy striper at John Muir Hospital when it looked like that. I think it’s still in there someplace…

11 Transpo April 17, 2012 at 8:06 PM


I am sorry for your loss…

12 9 deuce daisy April 17, 2012 at 9:21 PM

Born there in 69. I’ve also had some friends die there over the years.

13 Love jm April 17, 2012 at 9:24 PM


The new building is where labor recovery is now. You no longer have to stay in a tiny ass room. The new rooms are bigger! Enough room for mom to walk around and they even have a couch hide a bed. So nice

14 Mom of the Horde April 17, 2012 at 11:21 PM

Those tiny post-partum rooms were awful. I stayed in those after my last 3 kids were born, while they were nicely decorated, the restrooms were awful tiny and there wasn’t room to walk around. Big difference from the post-partum room I was in when one of my older kids was born there in 1999.

15 Just me April 17, 2012 at 11:25 PM

John Muir Health actually employs close to 6000 people in this community. It is one of the only non-profit, non academic hospitals to rank amongst US News top 100 hospitals every year (Nationally – for orthopedics, gastro, cardiac services, etc). We are very lucky to have this program (with ties to UCSF, Stanford, etc…). in our back yard.
Not to mention the healthsystem is non-profit and invests in the community that created it.

16 proudofjm April 18, 2012 at 1:48 AM

I agree with Just me – we should be very proud of John Muir – a wonderful community asset. I do have to remember Mt. Diablo Community Hospital. With out our community hospital funds (in the ten of millions) John Muir would never have been able to build their current campus in WC. At the time of the merger it was true that Mt. Diablo was operating at loss but because it was a community hospital it had huge reserves. John Muir on the other hand had no cash in the bank (they were not required by community charter like Mt. D) but did turn a profit. Now the millions of Mt. D’s reserves are gone and we can see which campus most of them went to. But I guess we did get a world class medical group for our county.

17 Z Man April 18, 2012 at 6:10 AM

My Son was born 6 weeks premature at John Muir. Everything turned out great. They even kept my Wife a few days as well back in 2009.

In August, we are headed back to deliver Our 2nd child!

Growing up in a hostpital environment, I can John Muir has suited us well.

With it being in Our backyard, can’t ask for too much more.

18 JayR April 18, 2012 at 10:11 AM

John Muir is an excellent hospital with excellent doctors. I don’t have any second thoughts when they send request for a donation.

19 Mac April 19, 2012 at 8:03 AM

My Daughter had my Grandson at John Muir last Sunday night.

I was shocked on nice of hospital it was.

Been going to Kaiser since i was born there.
Had 2 kids there also.

But i have nothing but good things to say about John Muir.
It could not have gone better.

20 livininconocrd April 19, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Mt Diablo (now the John Muir CONCORD Campus Hospital) was a community hospital. John Muir Hospital now JM MEDICAL Center is not a non profit. They definitley make a profit. Its an excellent place – but it should be – their costs are very very high. They might have 6000 employees but like most places like that they have a LOT of “on call” employees, who only work 1 day here and there and for vacation relief.

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