St. Louis Children's Hospital

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This article is about St. Louis Children's Hospital. For other similarly named hospitals, see Children's Hospital (disambiguation).
St. Louis Children’s Hospital
BJC HealthCare
St. Louis Children's Hospital Logo.png
The entrance to St. Louis Children's Hospital.
Location 1 Children’s Place, St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Care system Non-Profit
Hospital type Pediatric
Affiliated university Washington University School of Medicine
Emergency department Yes
Beds 280
Founded Founded in 1879, St. Louis Children’s Hospital is the oldest pediatric hospital west of the Mississippi River and the 7th oldest in the United States.
Lists Hospitals in Missouri

St. Louis Children's Hospital provides a full range of pediatric services to the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area and a primary service region covering six states. As the pediatric teaching hospital for Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Children's Hospital offers nationally recognized programs for physician training and research. The hospital has 258 licensed beds, 3,000 employees, 700 medical staff members and 1,300 auxiliary members and volunteers.


St. Louis Children’s Hospital admitted its first two patients in 1879. It was located in a small rented house at 2834 Franklin Avenue.[1] It was the first children’s hospital west of the Mississippi River and the seventh oldest in the country. In 1878, Appoline Blair, the widow of Civil War general and U.S. Senator Frank Blair conversed with friends about the need for a hospital dedicated to the care of poor children. Knowing that women assumed most of the care for children, they knew keeping children healthy would improve women's health as well.[1] Blair encouraged her friends to support the hospital and a female Board of Managers was formed. They supported the daily administration of the hospital and a "gentlemen's advisory board" was responsible for the financial and legal side. After occupying the rented house for a year, the organization raised funds to buy a building on Franklin Avenue. With accommodations limited to fifteen beds, patients with chronic, incurable, or infectious diseases were not admitted. The hospital served patients between two and fourteen years. Eventually the hospital could not turn away children with infectious diseases and the hospital added an isolation ward.[1]

The hospital outgrew its space within a few years and more money was raised to build a new hospital, which opened in 1884 at Jefferson Avenue and Adams Street. The new space could accommodate sixty patients and had a separate ward for infectious cases. A kindergarten was established in the hospital in 1894. A dispensary treated outpatients. The dispensary treated African American children, but it is likely the hospital did not.[1]

In 1907, the hospital started a training program for nurses. Three years later, the nursing school was moved to Washington University. Children's Hospital's relationship with Washington University would prove useful for both institutions. Washington University's Medical School was given a poor rating during a review in 1909 and was told it could improve by including full-time faculty and teaching hospitals. Mrs. Robert Jones, president of the Board of Managers of Children's Hospital saw this as an opportunity. Mrs. John Fowler donated $125,000 to build a new hospital. Washington University's contributions would help solve staffing issues at Children's, and the orthopedic and pediatric hospitals together would meet Washington University's need for an affiliated teaching hospital.[1]

Today, St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s clinical and community outreach programs serve more than 250,000 patients annually.


Pediatric polysomnography patient
Children's Hospital
Kidsflight 1 is a MBB/Kawasaki BK 117 helicopter operated by the SLCH transport team
  • The hospital offers comprehensive services in every pediatric medical and surgical specialty. It extends its services to children and families in the community through numerous health workshops and educational partnerships. Advocacy efforts have included programs on nutrition and fitness, childhood immunizations, injury prevention, firearm safety, car seat and helmet safety, and smoking prevention and cessation.
  • St. Louis Children's Hospital has the world's largest pediatric lung transplant program, and also offers transplant programs for heart, liver, kidney, and bone marrow. The hospital has performed more than 400 lung and lung-heart transplants [2] in its history. It is one of the top pediatric transplant centers in the country.[citation needed]
  • Having one of the country’s largest programs for heart failure treatment, St. Louis Children’s Hospital was the first hospital in Missouri to implant the Berlin heart,[3] a ventricular assist device that serves as a bridge to transplant by supporting cardiac function. Through its cardiac catheterization lab, St. Louis Children’s Hospital provides surgical alternatives to repair heart defects; more than 600 cardiac catheterization procedures are performed each year. St. Louis Children's Hospital is the first hospital in Missouri to use a new heart valve that can eliminate the need for open-heart surgery.
  • The hospital's Center for Cerebral Palsy Spasticity performs more selective dorsal rhizotomy surgeries than any facility in the United States. In July 2010, Dr. T.S. Park performed his 2,000th selective dorsal rhizotomy procedure.[4]
  • St. Louis Children's Hospital offers comprehensive EEG/Epilepsy[5] services. The Epilepsy center consists of a 4-bed outpatient clinic, and a state-of-the-art 9-bed EEG-Video Monitoring Unit. The Epilepsy Center has the facilities to utilize a variety of diagnostic techniques (e.g., SPECT, fMRI, 3T MRI, DTI, PET, MEG, WADA, and ECoG) when evaluating patients for epilepsy surgery.

Research: St. Louis Children's Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine[edit]

In 2006, St. Louis Children's Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine collaborated to establish the Children's Discovery Institute with a goal of accelerating cures for childhood disease in four areas: congenital heart disease, cancer, lung and respiratory disorders, and musculoskeletal diseases.

As one of the country's top recipients in research grants, the School of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics received more than $24 million for pediatric research in 2005, ranking it in the top seven in the country. When combined with grants awarded to other pediatric disciplines, grants exceeded $30 million, placing the medical school's pediatric services as a consistent leader in National Institute of Health funding.[citation needed] An example of one of their studies was "Determining of Sodium 'Space' In Infants, Children, and Adults" where the doctors were able to identify necessary sodium levels for children of certain age groups.

Awards and accomplishments[edit]

Child magazine has named St. Louis Children's Hospital to its list of the nation's '10 Best' pediatric hospitals four consecutive times. St. Louis Children's is the only hospital in Missouri, Illinois and the surrounding eight-state region to achieve this elite ranking. In 2008, the magazine ranked Children's newborn medicine and orthopedics program #3; pulmonary medicine and emergency medicine ranked #4; and cardiac services ranked #6.[6]

U.S. News & World Report has also repeatedly named St. Louis Children’s Hospital on its list of the Best Pediatric Hospitals in America. In 2008 the magazine ranked St. Louis Children's 6th in neurology and neurosurgery, 11th in neonatal care, 12th in respiratory disorders, 17th in general pediatrics, cancer care, heart and heart surgery, and 23rd in digestive disorders.[7] In 2009, St. Louis Children's Hospital was one of 10 hospitals to make the U.S. News Honor Roll by ranking in all 10 specialties evaluated. Hospitals were ranked in cancer, diabetes and endocrine disorders, digestive disorders, heart and heart surgery, kidney disorders, neonatal care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, respiratory disorders, and urology.[8] In both 2010[9] and 2011,[10] the hospital was once again named to the U.S. News Honor Roll.

In October 2005, Children's Hospital received the nation’s highest honor for nursing excellence, the Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). To date, only 170 of almost 5,000 hospitals nationwide – 3 percent – have Magnet status. In January 2010, St. Louis Children’s Hospital was redesignated as a Magnet hospital by the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program.[11] Only 2 percent of hospitals nationally have achieved Magnet redesignation.

Year U.S. News & World Report Rank Child Magazine Rank
2003 21st[12] 6th[13]
2004 19th[14] (not published)
2005 13th[15] 10th[16]
2006 14th[17] (not published)
2007 15th[18] 7th[19]
2008 17th (general pediatrics)[20] 5th[21]


  1. ^ a b c d e Corbett, Katharine T. (1999). In Her Place: A Guide to St. Louis Women's History. St. Louis, MO: Missouri History Museum. 
  2. ^ "Lung Transplant Program Statistics" St. Louis Children's Hospital, accessed April 23, 2013
  3. ^ "Baby is First Patient in Missouri to Receive Berlin Heart". St. Louis Children's Hospital, accessed August 31, 2012.
  4. ^ "Dr. T.S. Park Performs 2,000th Rhizotomy for Cerebral Palsy". St. Louis Children's Hospital (August 12, 2010), accessed August 31, 2012.
  5. ^ "Pediatric Epilepsy Center". Washington University School of Medicine, Department of Neurology, accessed November 16, 2011.
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  12. ^ U.S. News & World Report - Monday, JULY 28 - AUGUST 4, 2003
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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°38′15″N 90°15′54″W / 38.6375°N 90.2651°W / 38.6375; -90.2651