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  • Milestones

    • 1853—The initial capital campaign is developed to establish a hospital.
    • 1863—Rhode Island Hospital is founded.
    • 1868—The hospital's first patient is admitted.
    • 1877—A children's ward is added.
    • 1882—Sarah Gray, the first chief of nurses, is appointed and opens a nursing school.
    • 1895—The Department of Orthopedic Surgery for the prevention and cure of deformities in children and adults opens.
    • 1915—Rhode Island Hospital becomes the first hospital in the region and the third in the United States to offer an EKG machine.
    • 1922—A tumor clinic is established by Herman Pitts, MD, and George Waterman, MD.
    • 1931—The Joseph Samuels Dental Center opens at Rhode Island Hospital to provide comprehensive dental care services to Rhode Island's underprivileged children and individuals with special needs.
    • 1941—The Potter Building opens to care for children.
    • 1945—Modern research begins when the Rhode Island Medical Society approves the creation of an institute of pathology within the hospital to make laboratory services more available.
    • 1948—Trustees approve "dedicated to the care of the sick, education and research" to Rhode Island Hospital's statement of purpose.
    • 1955—The new Rhode Island Hospital is dedicated and opens; it is one of the first ten-story patient care buildings in the country.
    • 1959—George Clinic opens for cancer treatment and research.
    • 1966—Rhode Island Hospital opens the Child Development Center, a state-wide referral program with a multi-disciplinary approach to mental retardation and multiple handicaps in children.
    • 1969—Groundbreaking for Ambulatory Patient Center.
    • 1972—The Coronary Care Unit for treatment of the acute heart attack opens.
    • 1973—The Ambulatory Patient Center opens after ten years of planning.
    • 1986—Henry Randall, MD, receives a Bronze Medal, the highest volunteer award presented by the National American Cancer Society.
    • 1992—Rhode Island Hospital is one of the first centers in the United States and one of two in New England to offer Gamma Knife radiosurgery. The gamma knife is an instrument that targets brain tumors with a large number of finely focused radiation beams, a technique referred to as radiosurgery.
    • 1994—Hasbro Children's Hospital opens. Designed in collaboration with doctors, nurses and other health care professionals, as well as parents and children, it has earned worldwide recognition for its family-centered environment and expert staff and has won numerous architectural and health care related awards.
    • 1998
      • Rhode Island Hospital performs the first pediatric kidney transplant in the state.
      • Rhode Island Hospital is the first in the state to treat Parkinson's patients with deep brain stimulation.
      • Rhode Island Hospital establishes the state's first Injury Prevention Center, which develops community outreach, education and research programs aimed at preventing injuries before they occur.
    • 1999—The state's first cartilage transplant is performed at Rhode Island Hospital.
    • 2000
      • Rhode Island Hospital is the only hospital in the state with magnetic resonance spectroscopy capability.
      • Rhode Island Hospital is the first on the East Coast to offer cardiac CT scans.
    • 2001—Rhode Island Hospital opens two electrophysiology labs, the only ones in southeastern New England.
    • 2002
      • Rhode Island Hospital patents a cardiac valve replacement.
      • The Rhode Island Hospital Medical Simulation Center opens, one of a few centers in the country to offer high fidelity medical simulation. The center is a custom designed training and assessment facility to promote excellence in clinical care, advance patient safety initiatives, and improve multidisciplinary team performance.
      • Rhode Island Hospital is the first in the state to offer digital mammography at the Anne C. Pappas Center for Breast Imaging.
      • Rhode Island Hospital is the first site in New England to offer Mammosite treatment for breast cancer, a direct result of the related breast brachytherapy treatment developed here.
      • The first pancreas transplant is performed; Rhode Island Hospital is the only facility in the state to offer the transplant.
      • Rhode Island Hospital receives an $8.4 million grant from the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) to establish the state's first laboratory-based cancer research center.
      • Rhode Island Hospital's medical intensive care unit is named one of the best in the country by the National Coalition on Health Care and the Institute of Healthcare Improvement.
      • A new procedure known as Kyphoplasty is performed for the first time in the state at Rhode Island Hospital by Phillip Lucas, MD, orthopedic surgeon-in-chief in the division of spine surgery, for the treatment of osteoporotic vertebral fractures.
      • Georges Peter, MD, director of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at Rhode Island Hospital and its Hasbro Children's Hospital, is named the Distinguished Physician of the year by the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.
      • Rhode Island Hospital's David Williams, MD, performs a groundbreaking cardiac procedure for the first time in the Northeast, designed to prevent stroke from atrial fibrillation by inserting an "occluder" into a portion of the patient's heart.
    • 2003
      • Rhode Island Hospital is the first in the state to offer the Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan, a non-invasive, nuclear medicine procedure that is able to detect certain diseases before other imaging procedures, such as CT scan and magnetic MRI scan.
      • Hallett Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology opens. It is the first comprehensive, academic diabetes and endocrinology center in Rhode Island and is structured to integrate programs on diabetes and the full spectrum of endocrine disorders.
      • Rhode Island Hospital performs a first-of-its-kind combination of treatment for recurring lung cancer by combining High Dose Rate brachytherapy with radiofrequency ablation.
      • Rhode Island Hospital begins performing cardiac MRI—the first in the state to offer the technology.
      • Rhode Island Hospital provides care to 63 patients from The Station nightclub fire.
      • Rhode Island Hospital orthopedist, Arnold Peter Wiess, MD, patents artificial finger joints.
    • 2004
      • The new Comprehensive Cancer Center opens.
      • Rhode Island Hospital is the first in the country to use new microwave ablation technology to treat cancer and leads the national clinical trial of the new technology.
      • Rhode Island Hospital's Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) is named a Circle of Life Award honoree by the American Hospital Association.
      • Rhode Island Hospital is included in Modern Healthcare's listing of the busiest emergency departments in the country. (Ranked 23rd)
      • The Picture Archival Communications System (PACS) system is implemented, converting radiology films to digital images.
      • A new multidetector CT scan is installed in Rhode Island Hospital's emergency department; it is the first of its kind to be used in a New England emergency department.
    • 2005
      • New emergency department opens, along with 10 new operating rooms, in the Bridge Building.
      • Rhode Island Hospital becomes the first in New England to offer the newest image-guided radiation technology for cancer treatment, the Trilogy stereotactic system.
      • Rhode Island Hospital is the first in the state to offer robotic prostate brachytherapy.
      • The state's first 64-slice CT scanner is installed in Rhode Island Hospital's diagnostic imaging department; the fastest machine available allows imaging of the heart to be done for the first time in the state using CT scan technology.
      • Rhode Island Hospital is one of only nine sites in the country to begin offering Xoft brachytherapy, a cutting edge technology that delivers localized, non-radioactive radiation treatment directly to cancer sites.
      • A dental residency program at Rhode Island Hospital is approved by the American Dental Association.
      • Rhode Island Hospital orthopedist Christopher DiGiovanni, MD, patents an artificial ankle and begins testing the technology in clinical trials.
      • The Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders Clinic is established. The clinic is the largest memory assessment program in Rhode Island and offers a full range of diagnostic and treatment services including cutting edge brain imaging, genetic tests and neuropsychological evaluations.