The U.S.A is filled with historical landmarks like the Washington Memorial, Statue of Liberty, and Mount Rushmore, just to name a few. However, many people might not know that the U.S.A is also home to one of the oldest and most prestigious hospitals in the world. That being the Bellevue Hospital, formally known as the NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue.    


The history of the Bellevue Hospital stretches all the way back to 1736, when a six-bed infirmary opened on the second floor of the New York City Almshouse. Amazingly, this took place just 40 years after George Washington was first born, and 40 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence happened.


In a bid to expand the hospital, in 1798, the city of New York purchased Belle Vue farm, a property near the East River which had been used to quarantine the sick during a series of yellow fever outbreaks. The hospital was then formally named Bellevue Hospital in 1824.


A list of firsts for the Bellevue Hospital


By the year 1873, the nation’s first nursing school based on Florence Nightingale’s principles opened at Bellevue, followed by the nation’s first children’s clinic in 1874 and the nation’s first emergency pavilion in 1876. The list of first achievements for Bellevue doesn’t end there. 


The nation’s first pathology and bacteriology laboratory, known as the Carnegie Laboratory, was founded in 1884, followed by the nation’s first men’s nursing school in 1888. 

Bellevue opened the nation’s first ambulatory cardiac clinic in 1911, followed by the Western Hemisphere’s first ward for metabolic disorders in 1917.


Bellevue Hospital, reserved for the rich and famous


In 1962, Bellevue established the first intensive care unit in a municipal hospital, and in 1964, Bellevue was designated as the stand-by hospital for treatment of visiting presidents, foreign dignitaries, injured members of the city’s uniformed services, and United Nations diplomats. This helped to significantly increase the status of the hospital as one of the most trusted in the U.S.


More than just a hospital


In 1988, the building that formerly served as the hospital’s psychiatric facility was transformed into a homeless intake center and a men’s homeless shelter. The Bellevue Hospital can also lay claim to having the first literary magazine to arise from a medical center, called the Bellevue Literary Review


Modern-day Bellevue Hospital


Bellevue has not fallen behind its modern-day equivalents. Bellevue features a state-of-the-art Emergency Room, Level I Trauma Center delivers who complete around-the-clock care in adult, pediatric, psychiatric and pediatric psychiatric emergencies. Bellevue also features a Geriatric Ambulatory Care Program which is among the largest in the nation, caring for more than 5,000 seniors annually.


With such a long and illustrious history, it is easy to why Bellevue Hospital is so respected in the medical field. If you would like to check out our other blog articles, click the link below!