Our History

Learn more about St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children’s history, from its 1870 founding, its many pioneering firsts and position as a national leader in pediatric healthcare.

 

150 Years of Big Hearts Helping Little Patients

Founded in 1870 in Manhattan by The Sisters of the Community of St. Mary, the then 15-bed St. Mary’s was New York City’s first hospital for acutely ill children—a mission we have continued for 150 years.The Sisters of the Community of St. Mary had an idea to establish a facility to provide free care for sick and needy children. Founded in Manhattan in 1870 with just 15 beds and limited funding, St. Mary’s hospital was the first private medical institution in New York dedicated to the care of acutely ill children. In 1951, St. Mary’s flagship facility was moved to a nine acre campus in Queens where it currently operates a 124-bed inpatient program. In 1983, St. Mary’s added a family-centered home care program to care for children with the highest levels of medical complexity.

St. Mary’s Hospital for Children has seen tremendous growth, yet we’re still committed to giving the same loving care to children that the sisters of St. Mary’s provided children in the 1870s. Through our strong commitment to patient care and education, we continue to turn children with the most complex medical conditions into happier, healthier, and stronger kids.

Historic Photo
Historic Photo

1870

 Founded in 1870 in Manhattan by The Sisters of the Community of St. Mary, the then 15-bed St. Mary’s was New York City’s first hospital for acutely ill children—a mission we have continued for 150 years

1951

Flagship facility moves to our current 124-bed, nine-acre campus in Queens.

1936

Training school for nursery nurses was started, increasing St. Mary’s ability to care for children and infants,.

1960

Breakthrough department of therapy and rehabilitation program launches; remains center for state-of-the art approaches and technology.

1983

St. Mary’s pioneers New York’s first long-term home care program for children and young adults with disabilities and medically complex conditions.

1984

We initiate the nation’s first pediatric palliative care program.

2001

St. Mary’s introduces New York’s first—and only—intensive day patient program specializing in the evaluation and treatment of pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders.

2011

St. Mary’s home care for kids becomes a special needs certified home health agency (CHHA).

2012

The children’s pavilion opens and children move in. This total-healing environment for both patients and their families features patient neighborhoods, treatment rooms and the Dr. Burton Grebin rehabilitation center.

2013

Opening of the education and family pavilion, home to PS23Q, an on-site public school for inpatients and the Queens Borough President Helen Marshall Early Education Center, a preschool for community children with medical complexities.

Luke

2017

One of the most recent additions to our programs is the Locomotor Training Program, which began in 2017 and provides rehabilitation to children with spinal cord injuries.

2019

St. Mary’s completed a 10,000 square-foot expansion of the hospital’s pediatric facilities. The completion of this project provided 27 vent-equipped beds in a total-healing environment to address the critical shortage of ventilator equipped beds so our city’s sickest children—and their families—can breathe easier.

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