Carney Hospital

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Carney Hospital
Steward Health Care System
The Carney Hospital, Dorchester, Massachusetts (87927).jpg
LocationDorchester, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Care systemPrivate
FundingFor-profit hospital
Hospital typeTeaching
Affiliated universityTufts University School of Medicine
Emergency departmentYes
ListsHospitals in Massachusetts

Carney Hospital is a 159-bed[1] community teaching hospital in Dorchester, Massachusetts, affiliated with Tufts University School of Medicine and Tufts Medical Center. The hospital had its beginnings in 1863 in South Boston. It was the first Catholic hospital in New England. Among its first patients were American Civil War soldiers. In 1892 a Carney Hospital team performed the first abdominal surgery in Boston.


Andrew Carney (1794-1864), founder of the Carney Hospital[2]
Relief of the Miraculous Medal on the facade of Carney Hospital (2006)

Carney Hospital was established in 1863 in South Boston by Andrew Carney with a $75,000 donation and with Sister Ann Alexis Shorb, Carney's choice for its first administrator and a member of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. It was located on the former Hall Jackson Howe estate on Old Harbor Street on Telegraph Hill. The hospital was designed by Boston City Architect Charles Bateman.[3]

The 40-bed hospital was the first Catholic hospital in New England.[4] In 1877, the first outpatient department in Boston was established by the hospital in two adjacent houses, followed by the first skin clinic in Boston in 1891.[4] The first abdominal surgery in USA was carried out in the hospital by John Homans in 1882.[5] The same year, the first ovariectomy in Boston was carried out in Carney by Henry I. Bowditch.[5] The first Catholic nursing school in New England was opened in 1892.[4]

In 1920 the hospital introduced its Residency training programs. In 1950 the first plastic hip operation in the United States was performed by Dr. W.R. MacAusland at Carney Hospital.[4][5] In 1953, the hospital moved from South Boston to its present location in Dorchester. The hospital became one of the first in USA to establish community health centers in 1973. Next year, Carney Hospital provided the first medical emergency rooftop helistop in Massachusetts.[4] The hospital celebrated 125 years of service in 1988.[6] After several months of deliberations,[7] In 1997 the hospital became a member of the non-profit Caritas Christi Health Care group, the second largest health care system in New England, and was christened "Caritas Carney Hospital."[4] Caritas Christi has since been purchased by Cerberus Capital Management and makes up the majority of the Steward Health Care System, the Cerberus affiliate formed by this purchase.

Carney Hospital is mentioned in Philip Roth's alternative history novel The Plot Against America. While speaking to a crowd "at South Boston's busy Perkins Square," journalist Walter Winchell narrowly survives an assassination attempt and is "driven to Carney Hospital on Telegraph Hill," where he is treated "for facial wounds and minor burns."


  1. ^[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Forest Hills Cemetery. Arcadia Publishing, 2009
  3. ^ Sammarco, Anthony Mitchell, South Boston, Volume 2, Arcadia Publishing, 2000. Cf. p.83-90, chapter on Carney Hospital
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Yesterday and Today". History. Caritas Christi Health Care. Archived from the original on 2014-09-19. Retrieved 2007-06-23.
  5. ^ a b c Sammarco, Anthony Mitchell (February 21, 2000). "Six". Dorchester Volume 2 (MA). Images of America. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 109–110. ISBN 0-7385-0336-3. Retrieved 2007-06-24.
  6. ^ Negri, Gloria (May 30, 1988). "CARNEY HOSPITAL TURNS 125". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-06-24.
  7. ^ Pham, Alex (November 5, 1996). "CARNEY HOSPITAL WILL BE SOLD TO CATHOLIC HEALTH CARE NETWORK". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-06-24.

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Coordinates: 42°16′39″N 71°03′55″W / 42.2774°N 71.0653°W / 42.2774; -71.0653