With its central headquarters located in the San Gabriel Valley, Pacific Clinics was originally founded in 1926 as an outreach of the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic. This outreach later became the Pasadena Child Guidance Clinic. In 1980 this latter name was changed to Pasadena Guidance Clinics, to reflect better the expansion in the range of clients whom the Clinics now served. The Clinics had begun to treat both children and adults in the early 1970s, after originally concentrating its services on children. The final name change occurred in 1987, when the Pasadena Guidance Clinics became the Pacific Clinics.
This mental health care provider began as a treatment center for children with emotional and mental problems. In 1926 the Pasadena Community Chest originally funded a social worker offering part-time services from the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic for work in Pasadena. An advisory committee was formed in 1941 to explore the possibilities of more substantial services for the children of Pasadena. This work led to the establishment in 1942 of a separate mental health clinic--the "Pasadena Child Guidance Clinic"; 1944 was the year when it actually was incorporated under this name. The staff now included full- and part-time members, including a psychiatrist and full-time director (Forrest N. Anderson, M.D.). The City of Pasadena graciously donated a city building on Dayton Street in the city park for the Clinic's use. Additions to the building were made, at the expense of the city, in 1944 and 1948 because of the Clinic's increasing caseload. From this solid beginning, the Clinic began its steady growth, aided by such leaders as Esther Heath Simpson, a later director in the decades of the 40s and the 50s; and Dr. Marion Durfee, medical director from the late 1940s to the early 1960s.
As the Pasadena Child Guidance Clinic grew it changed locations, moving to larger buildings to meet the demands of this growth. The first capital fund campaign for the construction of a new building was launched in the late 1950s, and a new building was opened in 1960 on Waverly in Pasadena. Reflecting the broad geographical scope and demand for the Clinic's services, Director John Mead met this need with the 1970 opening of a branch children's clinic in Monrovia. Expansion in Pasadena continued as well, with critical additions in the 1980s of the Huntington Hospital buildings on Fair Oaks Avenue, where the administrative headquarters of Pacific Clinics are now located.
In its most recent organizational form Pacific Clinics stands as the most prominent non-profit mental health care provider to the San Gabriel Valley, with clinics in seven cities of the San Gabriel Valley. These include Santa Fe Springs, Duarte, Glendale, Rosemead, and West Covina. The range of services includes the important Asian Pacific Family Center in Rosemead, which serves the diverse and large Asian population of the San Gabriel Valley. As a result of such expansion, Pacific Clinics' staff of 325 persons under the direction of Dr. Susan Mandel now serves an area with 2.2 million residents. Thus, Pacific Clinics stands as not only the largest non-profit mental health care center in the San Gabriel Valley but one of the largest mental health care providers in the Los Angeles region.
All information in this history comes from material found in the collection.