Old green Chinese Hospital sign next to the brightly painted entrance.

History

History

CCHP is part of an integrated delivery system with its roots in going back to 1899 when the first Chinese residents in San Francisco did not have access to the services provided by San Francisco institutions. Schools and hospitals were not open to the Chinese people for decades. Even during the bubonic plague outbreak at the turn of the century, the city’s health department quarantined Chinatown rather than open health facilities to afflicted Chinese. The only facility available that practiced western medicine was the Tung Wah Dispensary - founded in 1899 and staffed by Christian missionaries.

The dispensary was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and was rebuilt. The growing needs of the community inspired 15 Chinese service organizations to join together and raise funds for a hospital to replace the dispensary. In 1925, Chinese Hospital was opened and gave the Chinese community a convenient option to the distant San Francisco General Hospital. The San Francisco Chinese Hospital is the first and only Chinese hospital in America. Even as hospitals in America have consolidated and grown less independent, Chinese Hospital continues thrive as a community-owned institution that serves the needs of those who need it.
 
During the 1980’s when managed care became a driving force on how health care was funded, the Chinese community continued to grow and many people held low income jobs working in small businesses - businesses that insurance companies did not find profitable to insure. 
 
With the help of Chinese Hospital, Chinese Community Health Plan (CCHP) obtained a Knox-Keene license in 1987 so it could offer quality, affordable health plans to the community.  Today, CCHP competes directly with large corporate health insurance companies offering a quality, local alternative for commercial and Medicare plans. CCHP has grown to over 21,000 members and is involved in administration of an addition of over 10,000 members in Medi-Cal, Medicare and commercial programs. (Membership data as of 2018.)