San Diego Oasis at Grossmont Center hosts free program on the history of Grossmont Hospital

June 17, 2024 – Our town took a magical trip down memory lane today. The Model T Ford Club of America rolled into town for their 2024 National Tour. 

Dozens of these magnificent Model T’s lined our streets. It felt like stepping back in time.

The visitors took a stroll through our town’s rich history, from the old Lakeside Inn, the Auto Speedway route, made famous by racing legend Barney Oldfield, to our charming historic buildings and homes.

The Lakeside Historical Society opened their doors, welcoming everyone to explore the chapel, museum, Gift Shop, and the Speedway monument. It was a little slice of the past brought back to life.

Their visit was short, but the memories will last a lifetime. A huge thank you to the Model T Ford Club of America for stopping by and making the day in our hometown so special.

Jim Newland

San Diego Oasis, a nonprofit that promotes successful aging throughout San Diego County for anyone over age 50, will host author and local historian Jim Newland for a special presentation discussing a new book on the history of Grossmont Hospital from 10 to 11:30 a.m., Thursday, May 31, at the Oasis Lifelong Learning Center at the Grossmont Center mall, 5500 Grossmont Center Dr., La Mesa. The public is invited to attend this free presentation. For more information, call (619) 881-6262 or visit

Newland is the author of “Grossmont Hospital: A Legacy of Community Service,” a book that chronicles the history of Grossmont Hospital as one of the most revered local community institutions in La Mesa and the East County. The La Mesa hospital, owned by the citizens of the East San Diego County region, opened in 1955. The 153-page book, published by The History Press, is available in local book stores and can be ordered online through the publisher’s website, as well as Amazon.

Newland, a manager and historian with California State Parks, partnered with Sharp Grossmont Hospital and the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD), a public agency, to chronicle the history of history of the publicly-owned hospital. The book highlights the doctors, nurses, administrators, civic-leaders, volunteers, donors, patients and families who have contributed over the decades to this iconic regional institution. Several local residents, including former and current doctors, GHD officials and hospital administrators, are listed as contributors in the book.

“This book is really designed as a tribute to the vision and dedication of our community leaders from a previous generation to provide a public hospital both as a necessary healthcare provider as well as a manifestation of our region’s legitimacy as a modern community,” said Newland. “It also illuminates how our local hospital has continued to survive and thrive in the ever-changing American healthcare industry. After reading this book, I’m hoping people will see how Grossmont Hospital is even more impressive than at first glance as a landmark publicly-owned community hospital.”

Newland, a longtime La Mesa resident and author of “Around Mt. Helix,” “La Mesa” and “Cleveland National Forest,” is a past president of the La Mesa Historical Society and has served on the La Mesa Planning Commission since 2014.

San Diego Oasis promotes successful aging throughout San Diego County for anyone over age 50 by offering lifelong learning classes, encouraging healthy living and community engagement. Working to prevent isolation, loneliness, depression and sedentary behaviors in older adults, Oasis offers more than 1,700 classes and an intergenerational literacy tutoring program in 103 schools. Headquartered in La Mesa, Oasis has a second location in Escondido and partners with more than 100 locations to bring programming and tutoring opportunities to older adults. For more information, call (619) 881-6262 or visit