Mission & Vision

Tichenor Clinic maximizes children’s abilities by providing therapy & parent support to those with limited access. 

We envision a world where every child who struggles early in life will receive the care that allows them to live to their full potential – and where every parent feels empowered with the knowledge and resources to be their child’s best advocate.

 

Tichenor Clinic History

Adelaide Tichenor was an influential civic leader in Long Beach. As a child, she wasn’t able to receive treatment for clubfoot. While she became very involved in city affairs, helping found the Women’s Club, Ebell Club, Long Beach Public Library, and Long Beach Day Nursery, her dream was to open a free clinic for children. She gathered her closest friends, including:

Clyde Doyle, the first president of the Long Beach Kiwanis Club
C.H. Windham, former Long Beach Mayor and City Manager
and Florence Bixby of Rancho Los Alamitos

to carry out this wish upon her death. 

Adelaide Tichenor passed away in 1924, and these friends began their tenures as founding trustees of the Adelaide Tichenor Hospital-School which opened two years later in 1926. Today we operate as Tichenor Clinic for Children, steadfastly furthering Adelaide’s vision to serve children with disabilities regardless of the family’s ability to pay

In 1938, Tichenor Clinic moved from its original location in the basement of Community Hospital into our new Art Moderne building next door where we still are today. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who like Adelaide had great compassion for children with disabilities, sent a letter of congratulations.

Adelaide stated in her will: 

Adelaide’s wish was certainly carried out in multiple ways throughout the years. Tichenor Clinic:

  • Quickly transformed into an emergency room during the 1933 earthquake
  • Became the first polio and infantile paralysis treatment center for children in the South Bay during the polio epidemic 
  • Opened the first school in Long Beach for children with physical disabilities 
  • Opened and operated the city’s first bone bank 
  • Helped start what is today the Children’s Dental Health Clinic 
  • Developed some of the first metal implants for joint replacement in children

While we opened as an orthopedic clinic and relied for years on the volunteer service of excellent orthopedists and pediatricians, most orthopedic doctors did not specialize in pediatrics. Recognizing the acute need, Tichenor Clinic helped create a collaborative pediatric orthopedic clinic together with the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital based at Miller Children’s Hospital. This resulted in the Tichenor-Lowman Medical Group, helping to support and attract the first pediatric orthopedists to Long Beach. That today operates as Pediatric Orthopedics at MemorialCare Miller Children’s Hospital.  

This has allowed Tichenor Clinic to offers a wide range of services to meet the changing needs of children with disabilities in our community:

  • physical therapy
  • occupational therapy
  • speech-language therapy
  • an early intervention program
  • the Rich Kempster Swim Program 
  • parent support program

Thanks to Adelaide’s vision, over 40,000 children and families have received the support of a dedicated team of therapists — to this day, at no cost or very low cost, thanks to the generosity of individuals and funding partners. 

Like Adelaide, we believe that all children deserve the opportunity to live lives to their fullest potential.