As young Prem Reddy walked to school through the rice paddies of rural
India, he dreamed big. Undaunted by the lack of electricity and potable
water, he was first in his family to go onto college, and later he and
his wife immigrated to the United States pursue their dream of a better life.
Dr. Reddy completed his education in the U.S. becoming double board certified
in internal medicine and interventional cardiology. He then moved to California
to set up a practice in the High Desert, where he worked as a cardiologist
for more than 30 years.
Not content to rest on his laurels, Dr. Reddy was determined to give back
to the country that had allowed him to succeed. He had noticed over the
years how many California hospitals were struggling for survival—especially
in underserved communities. Having grown up in a Third World Country without
access to important resources, he became committed to ensuring that struggling
hospitals—many in underserved communities—remained open and
To this end, Dr. Reddy founded Prime Healthcare Services. In 2001, he purchased
the failing operations of Desert Valley Hospital and Desert Valley Medical
Group and was able to turn them into successful entities.
"He is a visionary and he wants to make a difference,” said
Luis Leon, former chief executive officer of Paradise Valley Hospital
in National City and now Prime Healthcare chief operating officer. Prime
Healthcare then acquired Chino Valley Medical Center in Chino in 2004.
The hospital was in bankruptcy and was purchased through the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court. Prime Healthcare was able to not only pull the hospital out of
bankruptcy within a year, but also transformed the hospital into a financially
Similarly, Prime has since acquired 15 other distressed acute care facilities
to help ensure essential healthcare services remain available to their
communities, mostly in Southern California, but also in Northern California,
Texas, Pennsylvania and most recently Nevada.
In San Diego County, Alvarado Hospital in San Diego and Paradise Valley
Hospital were financially stabilized when purchased by Prime Healthcare
(Alvarado in 2010 and Paradise Valley in 2007). Following the acquisition,
Prime Healthcare poured millions of dollars into the two facilities to
upgrade the infrastructure and to purchase new technology and information systems.
Not only does Prime Healthcare turn around financially strapped hospitals,
but the quality of care is consistently recognized by outside organizations,
most recently being named among the 2012 "Top 15 Health Systems in
the Nation” by Thomson Reuters, the only hospital system in California
to receive this designation. Many of the Prime hospitals are annually
named among the "Top 100 in the Nation.”
Throughout his career, Dr. Reddy also has been committed to giving back
to the communities in which he operates hospitals through the Prime Healthcare
Services and Dr. Prem Reddy Family foundations. "Look at where I
came from,” Dr. Reddy said. "I came from a very poor family
in a poor village in a Third World Country with barely a school and, from
there, I went on to become a doctor and a cardiologist. Now, I currently
have 17 acute care hospitals and I am able to give back to the various
causes and contribute my share to the country that made me what I am today.”
It is because of his lifetime of achievements and his philanthropic efforts
that Dr. Reddy was honored with the 2012 Golden Achievement Award by the
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego on April 19. "The mission
of the Boys & Girls Clubs helping children to become healthy, caring
and productive citizens is an ideal one,” Dr. Reddy said. "These
programs offer more nurturing for these young hearts so they can grow
and flourish; I strongly support that and encourage the kids to nourish
these three qualities.”
Dr. Reddy spent an afternoon at the National City Boys & Girls Club
and encouraged the children. "You have to believe in yourself; there’s
nothing wrong in dreaming. Dream as high as you can dream. You just have
to dream, work hard and keep the hope and, one day, you will achieve your
dream!” In addition to the Golden Achievement Award, the City of
San Diego proclaimed April 19 Dr. Prem Reddy and Prime Healthcare Services Day.
PHOTO: Dr. Prem Reddy receiving the Golden Achievement Award from Allie
Pruitt, board member, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego.