HISTORY & TIMELINE
1980 - Two physicians, Joel Weisman ("J.W.")(left) and Eugene (Gene) Rogolsky(right), decided to branch off from the small private group they were partnered with in the San Fernando Valley to open a new practice, offering care for the Gay community. The new practice was called Weisman and Rogolsky. Shortly after the doors to their practice opened, the first case of Pneumocystis Pneumonia (PCP) was reported by several doctors, one of whom was Joel Weisman.
1981 - Suddenly, people began having increasingly severe, infectious illnesses and were dying. The illness, which was more like a syndrome of many illnesses, progressed rapidly. It had multiple names and it claimed larger and larger numbers of people. Many of these people were friends of the physicians and caring for them was that much more painful.
1982 - The disease was ultimately named Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and a virus, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), was identified as the culprit. Literally hundreds of patients at the group were tested and found to be HIV+.
1984 - The AIDS epidemic was now annihilating the gay community. Over another few years, the group opened two AIDS Units, at Sherman Oaks Hospital in the Valley and at Midway Hospital in the city.
1986 - Doctors Anthony Scarsella, Scott Hitt, Paul Rothman, James Thomas and Dan Bowers joined the group over the next several years. Tony and Paul renamed the group Pacific Oaks Medical Group (POMG) to establish an identity and to avoid sounding like a law firm. The size of the group grew to over fifteen doctors.
Dozens of people died from AIDS every day, both in and out of the hospital. Friends and neighbors died. For the POMG founding fathers, it was a time that cannot be described without opening wounds.
1989 - Early HIV treatments began to develop in the late 1980s, but were unsuccessful until the advent of medications called Protease Inhibitors and Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors in the 1990s. Now, people who were on the brink of death, began to improve and go home from the hospitals.
1996 -POMG consolidated in Beverly Hills. As even better medications emerged, the AIDS epidemic began to ease. The AIDS units reduced in size and ultimately closed. HIV became a manageable disease and the care of HIV+ persons became more routine. The physicians at POMG could now care for their patients without fear of imminent death.
2011 - Today, after 31 years of practice, Pacific Oaks continues to treat a diverse patient population and remains a nationally recognized leader in HIV medicine and care. The group also continues to be on the forefront of new HIV treatment modalities, engaged in numerous ongoing clinical trials, seeking a perfect HIV medication or perhaps even a vaccine.