Newswise — One hundred and twenty-five years ago, on a sunny, pleasant May 7, 1889, a large crowd gathered in the rotunda beneath the great dome of The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
They were there to celebrate the opening of a brand-new facility. They listened to Johns Hopkins’ first president, Daniel Coit Gilman, and the hospital’s designer, John Shaw Billings, as they spoke of their aspirations for what was then believed to be the most innovative hospital in the country. It was the realization of the vision of its benefactor, philanthropist Johns Hopkins, to give Baltimore a place of healing that served rich and poor.
“Now, 125 years later, we can look back on an astounding history that has had a profound impact on health care not only in Baltimore and Maryland, but across the nation and around the world in ways Mr. Hopkins probably couldn’t have imagined,” says Ronald R. Peterson, president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine.
That May day when Johns Hopkins Hospital opened was only the beginning. It would become the principal teaching hospital for students and graduates of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, which opened four years later in 1893, a collaboration that revolutionized how medicine is practiced and taught, which lives on to this day.
“As we celebrate our 125th anniversary, we are proud of the rapid application of advances in medical research, education, patient safety and patient care that have been our hallmarks. This milestone and the success of the hospital are first and foremost a result of the incredible contributions of our employees, including nurses, attending physicians, researchers and trainees,” Peterson continues. “They are the reason we have been able to realize and sustain our founder’s vision, decade after decade. And, in this age of patient-centered care, patient safety, and non-stop advances in clinical medicine, they are the reason we continue to innovate and deliver the promise of medicine."
What was once a stand-alone hospital is now an integrated health system with six hospitals, community physicians, home health care services, a managed care component, community outreach and international programs.
In 1997, university and health system trustees enabled The Johns Hopkins Hospital to reaffirm its partnership with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine through the creation of Johns Hopkins Medicine. This major re-structuring created a formal alliance between the health system and the school of medicine, establishing one combined top leadership post: Dean/CEO. Under the inaugural leader, Edward Miller, M.D., for its first 15 years, and now under his successor, Paul Rothman, M.D., Johns Hopkins Medicine ensures the continued growth and vitality of The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
“We are thankful for the revolutionary vision of our founder,” says Rothman, dean of the medical faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Our faculty and staff members work every day to understand the complexity of diseases and genomics. These efforts have a profound effect on the way we practice and teach medicine. Rather than dwelling on disease and the anatomy of illness, we’re more attuned than ever to each patient’s unique situation and needs — aiming for patient-focused care in and out of the hospital.”
The 1,123-bed Hopkins Hospital has been at the top of the U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” list for 22 of the 24 years of the list’s existence, and its nursing has consistently earned national Magnet designation for its services.
The hospital is renowned for its specialty services and institutes, notably in the delivery of care for cancer, neurological disorders, urology, ophthalmology, gynecology and obstetrics, cardiovascular disease, pediatrics, psychiatry and infectious diseases. In 2013, the departments of neurology and neurosurgery, geriatrics, otolaryngology, rheumatology and urology were named No. 1 by U.S. News.
Over the years, Hopkins Hospital has been at the forefront of many clinical innovations, dating back to 1903, with the first prostate removal. Surgeons pioneered certain antiseptic practices, including the use of rubber gloves, small, fine silk sutures, and the gentle handling of tissues. A Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon performed the first successful surgery to separate conjoined twins at the head in 1987. In 2012, one of the most complex double arm transplants ever done was performed at Hopkins Hospital. More innovations can be found here.
Beginning in 1992, Hopkins Hospital undertook and completed a near-total reconstruction and renovation of its hospital facilities, complementing the historic structures on Broadway that opened in 1889. These facilities include the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center; the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building, devoted to cancer care; the Hackerman-Patz Patient and Family Pavilion; the David Rubenstein Child Health Building; the Robert H. and Clarice Smith Building of the Wilmer Eye Institute; the Armstrong Medical Education Building; and the $1 billion, 1.6 million-square-foot Sheikh Zayed Cardiovascular and Critical Care Adult Tower and The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center.
Video: Johns Hopkins Hospital celebrates 125 years
Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM), headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, is a $6.7 billion integrated global health enterprise and one of the leading health care systems in the United States. JHM unites physicians and scientists of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with the organizations, health professionals and facilities of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System. JHM's vision, “Together, we will deliver the promise of medicine,” is supported by its mission to improve the health of the community and the world by setting the standard of excellence in medical education, research and clinical care. Diverse and inclusive, JHM educates medical students, scientists, health care professionals and the public; conducts biomedical research; and provides patient-centered medicine to prevent, diagnose and treat human illness. JHM operates six academic and community hospitals, four suburban health care and surgery centers, and more than 30 primary health care outpatient sites. The Johns Hopkins Hospital, opened in 1889, was ranked number one in the nation for 21 years in a row by U.S. News & World Report.