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Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

This article is about Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. For other similarly named hospitals, see Children's Hospital (disambiguation).
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
File:Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.jpg
The newly renovated facade of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Location 3402 Civic Center Blvd., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Emergency department Pediatric Level I
Beds 516
Founded 1855
Lists Hospitals in Pennsylvania

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is a children's hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with its primary campus located in the University City neighborhood of West Philadelphia next to the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. It is one of the largest and oldest children's hospitals in the world, and United States' first hospital dedicated to the healthcare of children. CHOP has been ranked as the best children's hospital in the United States by U.S. News & World Report and Parents Magazine in recent years. As of 2012, it was ranked number one in the nation by U.S. News for six out of ten specialties.[1] The hospital is located next to the University of Pennsylvania and its physicians serve as the pediatrics department of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

CHOP has 516 beds, almost 40 percent of which are allocated to neonatal, cardiac, and pediatric intensive care. Each year the hospital admits more than 28,000 children and more than 1,167,000 are seen in the emergency and outpatient departments.[2]


In 1855, Philadelphia had a population of about 460,000, and recorded 10,507 deaths. Leading causes of death were smallpox, typhoid, and scarlet fever. In the worst month of 1855, 300 children under 12 years old died, primarily of infectious diseases. A Philadelphia physician, Dr. Francis West Lewis, inspired by a visit to the new Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in London (founded 1852), enlisted Drs. T. Hewson Bache and R.A.F. Penrose to found the first children's hospital in North America.

First hospital 1855–66

On November 23, 1855 the following small advertisement appeared in the Philadelphia Public Ledger:

The Children's Hospital—located on Blight Street, running from Pine to Lombard, below Broad, is now open for the reception of Patients. Children suffering from Acute Diseases and Accidents will be received free of charge. A dispensary, for sick children, is also attached to the Hospital and will be open at the same place every day, (Sundays excepted from 11 to 12 o'clock, when advice and medicine will be given free of charge.)

The first location of the original Children's Hospital was a small building on Blight Street (now Watts St). The hospital consisted of 12 beds and a dispensary. That year they recorded 67 inpatient admissions and 306 outpatient visits.

Second hospital 1866–1916

Children’s Hospital was relocated to 22nd Street between Locust and Walnut Sts after the American Civil War. This hospital consisted of 35 beds and a dispensary.

  • Surgery was being performed by 1870.
  • The first resident physician was appointed in 1873
  • Formal medical teaching in medical and surgical clinics began in 1877.
  • A long-term care ("convalescent") facility was opened as a County Branch near Overbrook.
  • Capacity was increased to 94 beds by 1892.
  • A nursing school, the Ingersoll Training School, was opened in 1894.
  • In 1899 the County Branch convalescent facility was closed and the program and patients transferred to the Seashore House near Atlantic City, New Jersey.
  • In 1900 the Catherwood Milk Laboratory was established.
  • In 1914 the first Department for the Prevention of Disease in the nation was established.

Third hospital 1916–74

Construction adjacent to the 2nd hospital was begun in 1913 and the first unit was opened in 1916 extending toward 18th and Bainbridge Sts. In 1919 the hospital became affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. The affiliation became steadily closer over the next 17 years, with the Children's Hospital becoming identical to the pediatric department of the school of medicine, with most of the attending physicians appointed jointly to both institutions.

  • In 1925 the hospital became affiliated with the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic.
  • Whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine was first developed.
  • The first formal allocation of funds to research was recorded in 1937.
  • The first closed incubator for newborns was used.
  • The nursing school was disbanded in 1945 and converted into an affiliate training center.
  • A six-story research building next to the hospital was dedicated in 1954.
  • In 1962 under Dr. C. Everett Koop the first neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in the nation was opened, along with a new neonatal surgical unit.
  • In 1965 the first home care program for children was established.
  • A Clinical Research Center under the auspices of the National Institutes of Health was opened in 1965.

Fourth hospital 1974–present

Construction of the new hospital at a new site on the west side of the Schuylkill River at 34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard, adjacent to the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, was begun in 1969 and the first building was opened in 1974. This present Children's Hospital complex occupies part of the site of the old Philadelphia General Hospital and Blockley Almshouse.

  • A helicopter transport system for critically ill and injured children was inaugurated in 1973.
  • CHOP celebrated its 150th anniversary on November 18, 2005.

Milestones and advances in pediatric care pioneered at CHOP include the first formal medical training in pediatrics, techniques for the correction of congenital heart malformations, incubators for newborn intensive care, home ventilator care, and vaccine development.

Colket Translational Research Building, under construction in 2009

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is in Philadelphia's University City neighborhood, and since 2001 has been undergoing a $1.5 billion expansion that has doubled the hospital's size, while also building more than one million square feet of new research and outpatient facilities on a large, eight acre site south of the main hospital on Civic Center Boulevard. The South Campus expansion includes the eleven-story Colket Translational Research Building, which will provide lab space for the Center for Childhood Cancer Research and the Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics. The new South Campus will also include an underground parking garage and an ambulatory care building with outpatient services.[3]

This South Campus expansion adjoins the University of Pennsylvania Health System's construction of the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine and Roberts Proton Therapy Center.

On May 14th, The Board of Trustees of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia announced that Madeline Bell will transition from President and COO to President and CEO of the hospital. The current CEO, Steven M. Altschuler, MD, will be retiring and the transition will be completed on July 1, 2015. Bell will be the first female CEO of the hospital.[4]

Expansion by 2017

According to several sources, three 26-story towers are planned on Schuylkill Avenue to be completed in phases by 2017. The current plan is to remove the JFK Vocational School and Springfield Beer Distributor on Schuylkill Avenue. The hospital has hired a consultant for the planning of traffic in the area as the location is not suitable for a high volume of traffic.

Children's Seashore House

Children's Seashore House, current location

Children's Seashore House was founded in 1872 near Atlantic City, New Jersey as a place for children to receive rehabilitation treatment.[5] In 1990 the hospital moved to its current location next to CHOP and in 1998 it was acquired by CHOP. As of 1998, the hospital had 45 beds.[6] It currently provides inpatient and outpatient care for children with developmental disabilities and chronic illnesses.[7]


The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has been ranked the best hospital for children for the fifth consecutive year by U.S. News & World Report.[8] A detailed ranking of pediatric facilities in the United States is printed in the publication's first stand-alone "America's Best Children's Hospitals" issue.[9]

See also

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External links

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