More than 50 colleagues, family and community members gathered at Redlands Community Hospital this week for a plaque dedication ceremony to honor the memory of Dr. Stephen Lazarus, who founded the Redlands Community Hospital emergency department. Dr. Lazarus was the department’s director for more than 20 years. He passed away in January of this year.
“Dr. Lazarus was a leader and an innovative healer who recognized the value of an emergency department and its impact on the community,” says Jim Holmes, president and CEO of Redlands Community Hospital. “His contributions to the hospital and community will continue to be remembered on honored.”
Lazarus established the emergency department at Redlands Community Hospital in 1973 after a non-traditional path to medicine. Originally admitted to the University of Michigan to study nuclear physics, Lazarus lost interest and headed west where he dealt blackjack, craps, and roulette at 14 different casinos in Las Vegas before being drafted to serve in the military.
After completing his service in the military, Lazarus enrolled in the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV). Upon graduation, he was accepted to the University of Oregon Medical School, and held the distinction of being the first UNLV student to earn a degree in medicine. He was among the first medical professionals to become board certified in emergency medicine after it was formally recognized as a specialty in the 1980s.
“My husband worked tirelessly for 40 years, 30 of them at Redlands Community Hospital to save lives and promote the well-being of so many of Redland’s citizens,” said Mollie Bennell-Lazarus, the widow of the late Dr. Lazarus. “He was recognized and remembered so fittingly.”
As Redlands Community Hospital nears the completion of its new $20 million renovated Esri Emergency Department, it will double in size to 20,000 square feet, which will increase its annual capacity from 54,000 to 70,000. The new facility will feature cutting edge technology, increase the number of beds from 21 to 33, provide speedier admission and triage, and improve patient privacy. Construction is expected to be completed in 2020.
“Dr. Lazarus would be delighted with his long-lasting impact and legacy – a modern emergency department that has continued to expand over the years to meet the growing needs of our community,” adds Holmes. “I’m sure he would be proud of how his hard work will save lives for generations to come.”
To learn more about Redlands Community Hospital, visit: www.RedlandsHospital.org.