By Les Besser

Have you ever used the facilities at Scripps Clinic or Hospital in Encinitas? Our regions is lucky to have access to such high-level health care, and you may be surprised to find out that one of our residents, Dr. Dwight Cook, was one of the early founders of these fine facilities.

After completing his medical studies, Dr. Cook served as a Navy flight surgeon. His early association with flying stuck with him; he later built and owned several planes and enjoyed years of being “up in the air.”

Looking to the future, a former classmate approached Dr. Cook with a partnership idea. Together they bought the practice of a retiring California physician, and in 1959 the two friends hung up their shingles in a small building in Encinitas. Alternating tasks, they saw patients in their office and make rounds at Scripps La Jolla Hospital.

Their practice grew, and within two years, they built a small clinic. In 1963, adding more doctors to their staff, they decided to build a hospital. Within the year, the 60-bed Encinitas Convalescent Hospital (renamed Encinitas Hospital, and later San Dieguito Hospital) opened its doors with Laboratory, X-Ray, and Physical Therapy services. By 1975, further expansion included Intensive and Surgical Care and a full-service Emergency Department. He served as Chief of Staff.

In 1977, Scripps Health purchased their operation and maintained their original dedication to excellence; Dr. Cook worked with them until his retirement in 2010. He and his wife, Sandy, moved into LCG in 2015, where his experience and wisdom has benefited the Plan Operations Committee.

Besides being a skilled physician and entrepreneur, Dwight is an active tennis player and dotes on his wife and their large extended family.

You just never know what your neighbor has been up to around here!