Celebrating 75 Years of Caring for Our Community

Tahoe Forest Hospital born out of tragedy and a commitment to philanthropy

Up until the formation of the Tahoe Forest Hospital District in 1949, Truckee was served only by a small, insufficient clinic in Brickeltown. Four years prior, recognizing this shortfall, the Rotary Club of Truckee proposed backing “some kind of hospital or first aid station with a bed” at the Truckee Fire Station. However, further discussion revealed the need for a “decent, fair-sized hospital,” and support grew behind forming a hospital district to build and operate a 12-bed hospital.

Read the original letter from Hobie Snider detailing the formation of the Hospital District (PDF)

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A growing community in need of a hospital

In need of a site for the new hospital, the club approached Richard “Dick” Joseph, one of Truckee’s prominent landowners, who had recently lost his wife Margaret in childbirth. Joseph agreed to donate land in memory of his son Levon, who was killed in World War II.

Joseph was an Armenian immigrant who arrived in the U.S. in 1906. He fell in love with Truckee during a short stop on a train ride from Sacramento to Colorado, and eventually, he and Margaret settled there. By the 1920s, Joseph had become a prominent figure in town, purchasing much of the land that is now Gateway and running businesses like Manstyle Barbers, the Donner Hotel, and the Pastime Club.

But tragedy struck when complications arose during Margaret’s pregnancy and Joseph was forced to rush Margaret to Reno, where she died shortly after giving birth to twin girls. Joseph believed that if a full-service hospital had existed in Truckee, Margaret’s life could have been saved.

Joseph family at the Tahoe Forest Hospital dedication ceremonyTahoe Forest Hospital District created

To facilitate the land donation, the Tahoe Forest Hospital District was formed in April 1949, and a bond was passed to finance its construction cost of $400,000 ($5.2 million in 2024 dollars). Tahoe Forest Hospital opened to patients on April 14, 1952, with two doctors and 15 beds.

In 1965, the hospital saw its first expansion with the opening of the North Wing, a 42-bed acute care center. Throughout the 1970s and 80s the hospital continued to grow, adding a new emergency department, x-ray and laboratory, physical and respiratory therapy, minor surgery, intensive care unit, and an alternative birthing center. Much of this expansion was a supported by additional land and monetary donations by Dick Joseph and his sisters, Roxie and Azad.

Continued expansion of facilities and services

The early 2000s saw even greater growth, with the opening of the Western Addition in 2006, which included an intensive care unit, a medical surgery unit, an MRI facility, and a new lab. This was followed shortly thereafter by the passage of the 2007 Measure C General Obligation bond with 72% of the vote, providing $98.5 million for renovation and expansion. Construction began the following year, and the next eight years saw the opening of a new emergency department, a long-term care center, the Gene Upshaw Memorial Cancer Center, and the Joseph Family Center for Women and Newborn Care.

The Tahoe Forest Health System is deeply grateful to the Rotary Club of Truckee’s initial organizing efforts and to Dick Joseph's original land donation, as well as to the Joseph family and our community's continued support throughout the years. The Tahoe Forest Health System is honored to have served the Truckee-North Tahoe community for the past 75 years and is committed to providing exceptional healthcare in the years to come.

Video: Joseph Family Legacy

Our Community's Hospital: A Timeline

                        Richard 'Dick' Joseph fishing

Richard “Dick” Joseph arrives in the U.S. at 16 years old

wife Margaret

Dick Joseph moves to Truckee with wife Margaret

Levon Joseph in army uniform with dad Dick Joseph

Levon Joseph killed in Okanawa in WWII

                 handwritten letter

Rotary Club of Truckee proposes backing “some kind of hospital or first aid station”

Group of people form the Tahoe Hospital District

Tahoe Forest Hospital District formed

historic first building of Tahoe Forest Hospital

Hospital opens with 2 doctors and 15 beds

Tahoe Forest Hospital vintage postcard

North Wing opens with a 42-bed acute care center

old black and white photograph of the hospital annex

Hospital Annex opens, doubling the size of the hospital

Tahoe Forest roadway sign

New Wing opens with ER, Xray, Lab, PT, Respiratory Therapy, Minor Surgery, Trauma


Alternative Birthing Center opens

Old black and white photo of intensive care unit

Intensive Care Unit opens

old black and white photo of lakeside community hospital in Incline

Lakeside Community Hospital opens in Incline Village (not part of TFHD)

old black and white photo of ramp to mammography building

Mammography Screening comes to Tahoe Forest

color photo of Incline Village hospital entrance

Lakeside Hospital acquired by TFHD and becomes Incline Village Community Hospital

color photo of new western addition to Tahoe Forest Hospital

Western Addition opens with a new intensive care unit, a medical surgery unit, an MRI facility, and a new lab

'Yes on C' poster

Measure C passes with 72% of vote; providing $98.5M for expansion/renovation

Cancer Center entrance at sunset

Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center opens

emergency room entrance

Renovated Emergency Department opens

interior room of orthopedics and sports medicine clinic

Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Clinic opens

entrance of Joseph Center for Women and Newborn Care

Joseph Center for Women and Newborn Care opens

remodeled entrance of Incline Village Community Hospital><br />
<br /><h3 class=Incline Village Community Hospital remodeled                 
hospital entrance with a heart superimposed


recent photo of Tahoe Forest Hospital

Tahoe Forest Hospital District celebrates its 75th anniversary and looks to the future…