Boston Children's Hospital

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Coordinates: 42°20′14″N 71°06′22″W / 42.33727°N 71.10600°W / 42.33727; -71.10600

Boston Children's Hospital
Boston Children's Hospital logo.svg
Longwood Avenue main entrance
Location300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Care systemPrivate
Hospital typeTeaching
Affiliated universityHarvard Medical School
Emergency departmentLevel I Regional Pediatric Trauma Center
Beds404 licensed beds (as of October 2016)
SpecialityPediatrics and pediatric subspecialties
ListsHospitals in Massachusetts

Boston Children's Hospital (called Children's Hospital Boston until 2012)[1] is a 395-licensed-bed children's hospital in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area of Boston, Massachusetts. At 300 Longwood Avenue, Children's is adjacent both to its teaching affiliate, Harvard Medical School, and to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dana-Farber and Children's jointly operate Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Care, a 60-year-old partnership established to deliver comprehensive care to patients and survivors of all types of childhood cancers. Children's was ranked #1 in 8 out of 10 clinical specialties by the U.S. News & World Report, and as the nation's number one pediatric hospital for 2018/9.[citation needed]


In 2015, for the 26th year in a row, U.S. News & World Report rated Boston Children's Hospital one of the nation's top hospitals specializing in pediatric care.[2] (Children's ranked in the top three of all pediatric specialty categories and number one cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology & GI surgery, nephrology, neurology & neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology, and urology.[3]) Children's was the first stand-alone pediatric hospital in New England to be awarded Magnet status by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.[4]

One of the largest pediatric medical centers in the United States,[5] Children's offers a complete range of health care services for children from birth through 21 years of age. Its Advanced Fetal Care Center can begin interventions at 15 weeks gestation,[citation needed][6] and in some situations (e.g., congenital heart disease and strabismus) Children's treats adults.[7] The institution is home to 40 clinical departments and 225 specialized clinical programs.[citation needed]

From October 1, 2007, through September 30, 2008 (Children's fiscal year 2008), the hospital recorded:[citation needed]

  • 492,698 outpatient visits
  • 58,329 emergency department visits
  • 24,460 inpatient and day surgical cases
  • 5.81 day average length of stay
  • a 1.97 average case mix

The hospital's clinical staff includes approximately 1,026 active medical and dental staff, 384 associated scientific staff, 922 residents, fellows and interns, 1,596 full-time nurses, and about 9,000 other full and part-time employees. A trained team of more than 800 volunteers devote thousands of hours each year to support the hospital staff and patients. Sandra Fenwick is the current[when?] president and COO, having replaced urologist Dr. James Mandell on October 1, 2013.[8]

The International Center at Boston Children's Hospital serves patients from more than 100 countries including coordination of visits, medical records, travel, accommodation, and immigration. The hospital offers a global medical second opinion program in partnership with Grand Rounds.[9]

Children's operated its own Critical Care Transport Team, staffed by a team of two critical care transport registered nurses and a Critical Care Paramedic. Children's is part of the consortium of hospitals that operates Boston MedFlight as a flight resource for transports needing a helicopter or jet. Several neighborhood air quality studies have been planned, and some completed, citing the environmental impact of hospital traffic from an array of motor vehicles.

At the center of the Children's hospital campus is the Prouty Memorial Garden and Terrace, which since its creation in 1956,[10] has been a place of solace for children and their families. Despite vigorous neighborhood protest against the demolition of the Prouty Garden,[11][12][13] the hospital has planned more buildings in the location currently occupied by the garden.[14][15]


Children's was founded on July 20, 1869, by Dr. Francis Henry Brown, a Civil War surgeon, who traveled to Europe in 1867 to study the pioneering specialized approach to treating children. Brown was impressed with the treatments he witnessed and he wanted to bring that level of care to Boston. Brown opened a 20-bed facility in a small townhouse at 9 Rutland Street in Boston's South End.

Approximately one year after opening, the hospital was moved to the corner of Rutland and Washington Streets. Children's Hospital stayed at this location until 1871 when the hospital moved to Huntington Avenue before its final move to what would become the Longwood Medical and Academic Area.[16]

Children's became affiliated with the Harvard Medical School in 1903.

Below is a partial list* of historic milestones:

1891: Children's establishes the nation's first laboratory for the modification and production of bacteria-free milk.

1920: Dr. William Ladd devises procedures for correcting various congenital defects such as intestinal malformations, launching the specialty of pediatric surgery.

1938: Dr. Robert E. Gross performs the world's first successful surgical procedure to correct a congenital cardiovascular defect, ushering in the era of modern pediatric cardiac surgery.

1947: Dr. Sidney Farber, pediatric pathologist, requested Dr. Yellapragada Subbarow (of Lederle lab and his friend and colleague at Harvard Medical School) to supply Aminopterin and later Amithopterin (Methotrexate) to conduct trials on acute leukemic children. He achieves the world's first partial remission of acute leukemia. He went on to co-found the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 1950.

1954: Dr. John Enders and his colleagues win the Nobel Prize for successfully culturing the polio virus in 1949, making possible the development of the Salk and Sabin vaccines. Enders and his team went on to culture the measles virus.

1971: Dr. Judah Folkman publishes "Tumor angiogenesis: therapeutic implications" in the New England Journal of Medicine. It is the first paper to describe Folkman's theory that tumors recruit new blood vessels to grow.

1983: Children's physicians report the first surgical palliation of hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a defect in which an infant is born without a left ventricle. The procedure is the first to palliate what had been a fatal condition.

1986: Children's surgeons perform the hospital's first heart transplant. Later in the year, a 15-month-old patient becomes the youngest person in New England to receive a heart transplant.

1989: Researchers in neurology and genetics discover that beta amyloid, a protein that accumulates in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease, is toxic to neurons, indicating the possible cause of the degenerative disease.

1997: Endostatin, one of the most potent inhibitors of angiogenesis, is discovered by Drs. Michael O'Reilly and Judah Folkman. In mice, endostatin has shown promise in slowing some cancers to a dormant state. Phase I clinical trials began at three centers in 1999.

1998: Dr. Evan Snyder clones the first neural stem cells from the human central nervous system of a fetus,[17], offering the possibility of cell replacement and gene therapies for patients with neurodegenerative disease, neural injury or paralysis.

1999: Children's establishes its Advanced Fetal Care Center to provide diagnostic services, genetic and obstetrical counseling, and prenatal or immediate postpartum intervention for fetuses with complex birth defects.

1999: Larry Benowitz, PhD grows nerve cells in the damaged spinal cords of rats, a significant step in the treatment of spinal cord injuries. The next year, Benowitz discovers that inosine is important in controlling axon regeneration in nerve cells.

Since 2000[edit]

2000: Children's performs its 100th heart transplant.[citation needed]

2001: Children's performs the world's first successful fetal repair of hypoplastic left heart syndrome in a 19-week-old fetus.[citation needed]

2002: Dr. Scott Pomeroy and Dr. Todd Golub use microarray gene expression profiling to identify different types of brain tumors and predict clinical outcome. This allows radiation and chemotherapy to be tailored to kill cancer cells while leaving healthy tissue alone.[citation needed]

2003: Dr. Heung Bae Kim and Dr. Tom Jaksic develop, test and successfully perform the world's first serial transverse enteroplasty (STEP) procedure, a potential lifesaver for patients with short bowel syndrome.[citation needed]

2004: Children's surgeons perform New England's first multivisceral organ transplant when 11-month-old Abdullah Alazemi receives a stomach, pancreas, liver, and small intestine from a single donor.[18]

2005: In the best-documented effort to date, Felix Engel, Ph.D., and Dr. Mark Keating successfully get adult heart-muscle cells to divide and multiply in mammals, the first step in regenerating heart tissue. They are now investigating whether their technique can improve heart function in animal models of cardiac injury.[citation needed]

2006: Dr. Dale Umetsu, Dr. Omid Akbari and colleagues report that a newly recognized type of immune cell, NKT, may play an important role in causing asthma, even in the absence of conventional T-helper cells. Moreover, NKT cells respond to a different class of antigens than are currently recognized to trigger asthma.[citation needed]

2006: Dr. Larry Benowitz and colleagues discover a naturally occurring growth factor called oncomodulin that stimulates regeneration in injured optic nerves, raising the possibility of treating blindness due to optic-nerve damage and the hope of achieving similar regeneration in the spinal cord and brain.[citation needed]

2007: Norman Spack co-founds Boston Children’s Hospital's Gender Management Service (GeMS) clinic; it is America's first clinic to treat transgender children.[19][20]

2012: Dr. John Kheir and Dr. Tahir Saleem N. Jutt (Cardiac) develop particles that can be injected into a bloodstream in order to oxygenate it.[21]

2013–4 (diagnosis dispute): Boston Children's Hospital became part of a dispute between medical doctors, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, and the parents of a teenager, Justina Pelletier. The doctors and psychologists at Boston Children's Hospital diagnosed her with (somatic symptom disorder),[22][23] a different diagnosis than the one she had previously received from Tufts University School of Medicine Hospital doctors (mitochondrial disease). Boston Children's Hospital requested that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Children and Families protect and remove the patient from her parent's custody, due to concern for a situation of "medical child abuse." At the request of the Department of Children and Families and Boston Children's Hospital officials, the girl was made a ward of the state of Massachusetts.[24] Justina Pelletier was held in Boston Children's Hospital's psychiatric ward, Bader 5, from February 14, 2013, until January 2014, when she was transferred to Wayside Youth and Family Support Network, a residential treatment center in Framingham.[25][26][27][28] On June 17, 2014, the same Massachusetts judge who issued the initial ruling dismissed the case against her parents and returned Justina to her family.[29]

2013—5 (lab spin out):[30] In January 2013, the hospital spun out its genetic diagnostic lab, in collaboration with Life Technologies, to a new firm called Claritas Genomics. The goal of the partnership was to develop genetic and genomic tests for inherited pediatric diseases. Five years later, in January 2018, Claritas ceased operations. The hospital remained Claritas' majority shareholder during its existence, and a Series B funding round was completed in 2015, raising at least US$15 million.

2016: The hospital received approval by the Massachusetts Public Health Council for a $1 billion expansion to the Longwood Medical and Academic Area. The hospital plans to build an 11-story building with 71 new beds, renovate part of the current campus, and build a new outpatient clinic in Brookline, Massachusetts.[31]

2018: Five months before the November election when Massachusetts was scheduled to vote on the existing anti-discrimination state laws that protect transgender people, the hospital endorsed keeping the laws, adding its support to the Freedom For All Massachusetts political coalition.[32]


With more than 680,000 square feet (63,000 m2) of state-of-the-art laboratory space,[citation needed] the hospital's research enterprise is the larger than any other pediatric medical center in the world.[33] Its discoveries have benefited children and adults since 1869.[citation needed] As of 2017, the hospital's research staff consisted of over 1,100 scientists; these included members of the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute.[33] The hospital's $225 million in research funding includes the most federal research support awarded to a single children's hospital.[33]

Laboratory facilities[edit]

John F. Enders Pediatric Research Laboratories
Named in honor of John Franklin Enders, the Boston Children's Hospital researcher and Nobel laureate who cultured poliovirus and the measles virus.[33]
Karp Family Research Laboratories
This 295,000-square-foot (27,400 m2) building opened in 2003 and increased the hospital's research space by over 60%.[33]

Informatics program[edit]

The Computational Health Informatics Program (CHIP) at Boston Children's Hospital was founded in 1994.[34] The program's research includes several free and open-source software projects.[35]

Stem cell program[edit]

In an effort to support the research community, Children's Stem Cell Program investigator George Q. Daley, M.D., Ph.D., has made dozens of iPS lines developed at Boston Children's Hospital available for use by other scientists through the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. To date, cell lines have been distributed to over 65 laboratories worldwide.[citation needed]

In 2010, a drug that boosts numbers of blood stem cells, originally discovered in zebrafish in the Boston Children's Hospital laboratory of Leonard I. Zon, M.D., went to clinical trial in patients with leukemia and lymphoma.[citation needed]

Nobel Prizes[edit]

Children's Hospital scientist Dr. John Enders and his team were first to successfully culture the polio virus and were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1954.[36]

Dr. Joseph Murray, chief plastic surgeon at Children's Hospital Boston from 1972 to 1985 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1990 for his research on immunosuppression, specifically his "discoveries concerning organ and cell transplantation in the treatment of human disease".[37]

Lasker Awards[edit]

Dr. William Lennox received the Lasker Award[38] in 1951 for his work researching epilepsy.[39] Dr. Lennox organized the American Epilepsy League and the Committee for Public Understanding of Epilepsy.

Dr. Robert Gross received the Lasker Award in 1954 for performing the first operation for patent ductus arteriosus, a congenital heart defect, in 1938.[40] He received an additional Lasker in 1959 for being the first surgeon to graft artery tissue from one person to another in 1958.[41]

Dr. John Enders was awarded the Lasker in 1954, the same year he was awarded the Nobel Prize, for "achievement in the cultivation of the viruses poliomyelitis, mumps, and measles".[42]

Dr. Sidney Farber received the Lasker in 1966 for his 1947 discovery that a combination of aminopterin and methotrexate, both folic acid antagonists, could produce remission in patients with acute leukemia, and for "his constant leadership in the search for chemical agents against cancer".[43]

Dr. Porter W. Anderson, Jr. received the Albert Lasker Clinical Medical Research Award with Dr. David H. Smith in 1996 for groundbreaking work in the development and commercialization of the Hemophilus influenza type B vaccine.[44]


  1. ^ Chelsea Conaboy (May 16, 2012). "Children's Hospital takes a new name – sort of". Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  2. ^ Avery Comarow (January 17, 2015). "Best Children's Hospitals 2014-15: The Honor Roll". U.S.News & World Report. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
  3. ^ "Best Hospitals 2010: Ranking for Children's Hospital Boston". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
  4. ^ "Magnet Recognition Program® Overview". Retrieved August 7, 2016.
  5. ^ Rodak, Sabrina. "25 Largest Children's Hospitals". Becker's Hospital Review. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  6. ^ "About us". Children's Hospital Boston. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  7. ^ "Strabismus and Amblyopia in Children". Adults with Strabismus Service, Children's Boston. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
  8. ^ Boston Children’s Hospital names next CEO
  9. ^ "Boston Childrens Hospital partners with Grand Rounds to offer expert second opinions | Boston Children's Hospital". Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  10. ^ Children's Hospital News, The History Trail: A Walking Tour of Children's Hospital Boston, August 2007.
  11. ^ Save Prouty Garden
  12. ^ Goodnough, Abby (June 20, 2016). "A Boston Hospital's Dilemma: Save a Garden for Sick Kids, or Bulldoze It to Serve More Patients". New York Times. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  13. ^ Lalwani, Nikita (August 1, 2013). "Prouty Garden at Boston Children's may soon be no more". Boston Globe. Retrieved August 6, 2016.
  14. ^ McGrory, B. (2012). Children’s Hospital progress may mark end for Prouty Garden, Boston Globe August 3, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2013 from
  15. ^ "Beloved Garden at Center of Children's Hospital Building Dispute", CommonHealth news story WBUR-FM (Boston). Retrieved July 26, 2013 at
  16. ^ Huffman, Zack (2014-07-25). "Children's Hospital's Humble Beginnings". The Boston Courant. Courant Publications, Inc. pp. 9, 14.
  17. ^ Cromie, William. "Nerve Cell Clones Repair Brain Damage". The Harvard University Gazette. Archived from the original on 3 October 1999. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  18. ^ Mishra, Raja (6 December 2004). "Four new organs, one birthday". Boston Globe. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  19. ^ Transgender At 10. (2014-08-06). Retrieved on 2015-04-26.
  20. ^ "New clinic addresses intersex and gender issues". Pediatric Views. April 2007. Retrieved 21 December 2008.
  21. ^ "Injecting Life-Saving Oxygen Into a Vein". ScienceDaily. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  22. ^ Wen, Patricia (25 March 2014). "Mass. granted permanent custody of Justina Pelletier". Boston Globe.
  23. ^ Larimore, Rachael (27 March 2014). "The Sad, Scary Saga of Justina Pelletier". XX factor. The Slate Group LLC.
  24. ^ Balcells, Cristy (7 January 2014). "Understanding mito". Boston Globe.
  25. ^ James, Susan Donaldson (25 February 2014). "Mom of Sick Connecticut Teen 'Collapses' in Court After Judge Sends Kid to Foster Care". ABC News.
  26. ^ Swidey, Neil; Wen, Patricia (16 December 2013). "Frustration on all fronts in struggle over child's future". Boston Globe.
  27. ^ Weir, William (10 January 2014). "Dispute Between Family and Hospital Over Custody Of Daughter Continues". Hartford Courant.
  28. ^ Weir, William (3 March 2014). "Care Of West Hartford Teen Will Be Transferred To Tufts". Hartford Courant.
  29. ^ Swidey, Neil; Wen, Patricia (17 June 2014). "Justina Pelletier heads home after judge ends state custody". Boston Globe.
  30. ^ "Claritas Genomics Ceases Operations, Five Years After Spinout". ClinicalOMICs. 23 January 2018. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  31. ^ Crary, David (2016-10-19). "Record high 60 percent of Americans back legal pot, poll finds". PBS NewsHour. Associated Press. Retrieved 2016-10-21.
  32. ^ "Boston Children's Hospital Endorses Freedom For All Massachusetts Campaign!". Freedom For All Massachusetts. 1 June 2018. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  33. ^ a b c d e "About Us". Boston Children's Hospital. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  34. ^ "Computational Health Informatics Program". Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  35. ^ "Research". Computational Health Informatics Program. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  36. ^ "John F. Enders - Facts". Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  37. ^ "Joseph E. Murray - Facts". Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  38. ^ "The Lasker Awards". Albert And Mary Lasker Foundation. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
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  41. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-09. Retrieved 2013-05-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
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  43. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-09. Retrieved 2013-05-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  44. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-01-16. Retrieved 2014-01-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]