Sep 5, 2019

Practicing internist Harold Seifer, one of Lakewood Regional Medical Center’s founding members, is celebrating his 90th birthday this summer.

LAKEWOOD, Calif. — Dr. Harold Seifer, a founding member of Lakewood Regional Medical Center and a true pioneer of internal medicine, is celebrating a major milestone this summer: his 90th birthday.

A model for any patient or physician who hopes to be physically and mentally fit at any age, the 90-year-old Boston native remains as active as ever — continuing to practice medicine and see generations of clients visit his office at Lakewood Regional Medical Center.

One of the best things about his job, Seifer emphasized, is that a couple dozen of his patients have been with him since he moved to California in the mid-1950s. Their children and grandchildren are some of his patients too.

“It’s become a social thing for me, knowing their families,” Seifer said. “I’m proud to have that connection with my patients — and that’s really not something doctors getting into medicine today experience.”

Looking back on nine decades of life experience, Seifer reflected that he has watched the world of medicine significantly evolve since Lakewood Regional was born in 1972, an era when he said physicians were working more rigorous schedules with less technology and fewer resources.

He said the role of a doctor has become less prestigious through the years, but it’s no less important.

“Hospitals are better today, and the level of medicine is higher and more scientific, and people are living longer,” he said. “There’s a satisfaction in improving public health, and that hasn’t changed. The new technology and medicine available today means better treatments.”

Seifer said he is proud of how far Lakewood Regional has come in the 45 years since he helped found it with a group of about 18 other doctors.  Together, with a healthcare company, they built what was initially called Doctors Hospital of Lakewood, which would later become Lakewood Regional Medical Center.

Today, the award winning community hospital is an acute-care facility with 172-beds. A team of more than 500 physicians, 700 employees and 90 volunteers have pushed the hospital to be at the forefront of innovation in medicine.

“Lakewood is the only hospital in the area, and it’s a real asset to this community,” Seifer said.

Chief of Staff Dr. Ronald Fischman said he is proud of the service that Lakewood Regional has provided for the past 45 years, and he said Seifer’s role in that success cannot be overemphasized.

“We owe our founders, such as Dr. Seifer, a great debt of gratitude,” Fischman said. “They are the keepers of our history and the heart of this institution, and we are so honored to have Dr. Seifer remain on our staff, practicing medicine here as he celebrates his 90th birthday and many more to come.”

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