Hoag never directly solicited applications from workers at competing hospitals, such as Kaiser Permanente Irvine, which is across the street, according to Braithwaite.

“We just didn’t feel that was appropriate, professional and ethical,” he said.

Employees who were recruited were a mix of experienced workers and recent graduates from area schools, including those who got started working at Hoag’s Newport Beach campus.

The bulk of Hoag Newport’s hiring took place last May through August.

Hoag Irvine faced some of the hiring challenges that other California hospitals have seen—they had no problems finding nurses and “plenty” of pharmacy applicants, but struggled early on with finding late-shift pharmacists, Braithwaite said.

Hoag generally ranks among the top three Orange County hospitals in terms of net patient revenue, logging $719.8 million in the 12 months ended last September.

Orthopedic Focus

Hoag Irvine’s cornerstone is its orthopedic institute, which accounts for about half of the hospital’s 154 beds.

The area’s aging population brought Hoag Irvine’s focus to orthopedics, Braithwaite said.

“There’s a lot more arthritis, a lot more worn-out knees, a lot more worn-out hips and shoulders,” he said.

Not every service is available at Hoag Irvine.

Patients with severe head wounds or in need of open-heart surgery would be sent to the Newport Beach campus, Braithwaite said.