Special Issue 3.0

Some notable hospitals in the United States

Michael Reese Hospital, Charles M. Shapiro
  • In the 1840s Jews poured into Chicago. The emigration continued for several decades. Those coming from Eastern Europe tended to settle on the west side of the city where land was cheaper. They were relatively educated in the affairs of the day. Educational efforts focused on the study of the Talmud and other Jewish texts. Rabbis were their teachers. Slow to learn English, they spoke Yiddish; they cleaved to …… Continue Reading


Freedman’s Hospital, Yanglu Chen
  • The name itself, Freedmen’s Hospital, betrays a sense of bitter conflict: that there existed men unfreed, and they were not treated here – and that even the freed men had only this hospital. In fact, Freedmen’s Hospital in Washington D.C. was the first of its kind because it provided medical care to former slaves, eventually becoming the major hospital for neighboring African American communities.1 It opened … Continue Reading


The 8076th: a hospital with marching orders, Abigail Cline
  • November 22 was an unusually cold day at the American hospital in Kumchon County. Otherwise, it was business as usual in the sixty-bed facility. The doctors were scrubbing for surgery, nurses were moving patients among the wards, X-ray technicians were developing radiographs, and the pharmacy was dispensing prescriptions. There was nothing out of the ordinary. By the end of the day, the entire … Continue Reading


Maynard-Columbus Hospital, Erin K. Crouch
  • Finding gold in 1898 transformed a stretch of tundra just four degrees south of the Arctic Circle into a cabin city of tents, logs, and 20,000 prospectors, including claim jumpers, men of fortune, saloon keepers, and women of ill repute. That marshy patch became Nome, the largest town in the northern territory of Alaska.
    Fifteen years later, a narrow-gauge railroad and telephone line from Nome to nearby … Continue Reading


The hospital on profanity, Josephine Ensign
  • When Harborview Hospital in Seattle opened its doors to patients in 1931, advertising posters portrayed the striking fifteen-story Art Deco building as a shining beacon of light, the great cream-colored hope on the hill overlooking the small provincial town clinging to the shores of Puget Sound. “Above the brightness of the sun: Service” is what one poster proclaimed; in the bright halo behind the drawing … Continue Reading


The Massachusetts General Hospital, Andy H. Hung
  • The performance was about to begin. The great glass dome lit up the open center stage with bright skylight. It was October 16, 1846, a time in history when surgeons performed their art before spectators, and the audience was about to witness a historic performance. William Morton, a 25-year-old dentist, asked Edward Abbott if he was afraid. “No.”1 For a young printer about to endure a scalpel to his neck … Continue Reading


Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Carolyn Lipchik
  • The dean of the College of Medicine recalled Dr. Mitchell looking over blueprints and declaring, ‘We’ll have something here. There’ll be nothing like it in the world.’”1 Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) has a long history of commitment to medical research. Leadership in the 1920s modernized the hospital and infused it with a pioneering and innovative culture that … Continue Reading


Carville, Michelle Lott
  • The old Indian Camp plantation in southern Louisiana was going to be an ostrich farm—at least that’s what folks were told, so as not to cause alarm. No ostriches ever came. Instead, it would become a home to those ostracized by society because they had a disease that struck a primal chord of fear in many and was believed by some to be a curse or punishment. Though it would hold several official designations over the … Continue Reading
The unique journal of the USS Red Rover, Emily L. Moore
  • The USS Red Rover was commissioned on December 26, 1862, by the Union as the first US Navy hospital ship. It had been built in 1859 as a commercial use wooden side-wheel river steamer and purchased in 1861 by the Confederate States of America. In 1862 it was bombarded and captured on the Mississippi River by a Union gunboat and later refurbished as a floating summer hospital, this at a time when… Continue Reading


Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Krutika Parasar
  • In February 2007 a highly damaging scandal shook the renowned Walter Reed Army Medical Center to its very foundations. In a series of articles about the facility, the Washington Post reported deplorable infrastructure and unsanitary conditions in outpatient rooms and bureaucratic delays resulting in inefficiency and abandonment of soldiers.1 The revelation of dilapidated and Walter Reed … Continue Reading


The public hospital of Williamsburg, Brian Andrew Sharpless
  • Although it is widely known that the first hospital in the United States was the Pennsylvania Hospital (founded in 1751 in Philadelphia), few may realize that the first American hospital devoted exclusively to treating the mentally ill was built in Virginia. The Public Hospital of Williamsburg (also known as Eastern State…Continue Reading


The $84.77 Hospital – St. Vincent, Terri L. Sinnott
  • What in the United States could be purchased with $87.44 in 1881? In that year Bishop Francis Silas Marean Chatard and four Daughters of Charity1 took that sum and funded the first Catholic hospital in Indianapolis. Chatard had been born in 1834 in Baltimore and his initial calling was medicine. He graduated from Maryland’s Mount St. Mary’s College [now University] … Continue Reading


Ellis Island Hospital, quarantine to freedom, Annabelle Slingerland
  • The recent news and concerns about immigration into Europe and other parts of the world bring to mind similar events and fears prevailing in the years during which millions of people immigrated into the United States of America. During that period, under the benevolent gaze of the Statue of Liberty in the Port of New York, over twelve million immigrants were inspected and processed before being …Continue Reading


Montefiore: instrument for social good, Grace Sotomayor
  • At this time in the United States, there is heated debate and rancor about whether health care is a right or a privilege and how and if our country should pay for healthcare. However, some members of one American institution, the hospital, have been quietly continuing to innovate, contribute to advances in patient care, and serve people in their communities regardless of ability to pay or whether they are …Continue Reading


The Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, Samantha L. Williamson
  • The direct ophthalmoscope debuted in Germany in 1851, ushering in the modern era of ophthalmology. Seven years later, the introduction of the laryngoscope allowed direct visualization of the airway. In 1858, on the heel of these discoveries, Edward Holmes, a Massachusetts native who had trained in Vienna and Berlin, opened the doors of the Chicago Charitable Eye and… Continue Reading


Hillman Hospital A.J. Wright
  • Alabama’s first operating medical school, the proprietary Graefenberg Medical Institute in the small town of Dadeville, opened in 1852. That school closed at the beginning of the Civil War. The Medical College of Alabama had been chartered by the state in 1856, but no funds provided; a charter from the city of Mobile and private fundraising followed in 1859. The state finally provided some funds, and the school … Continue Reading