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  • Rhode Island Hospital's First 150 Years


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    1863

    Rhode Island Hospital charter is enacted by the General Assembly on March 10. Nearly $400,000 subscribed by people of the state for construction of hospital.


    1868

    Hospital opens on October 1, with 60 beds. Cost of construction: $421,000. 6,000 visitors the first day.

    1874

    North Wing of the Main Building is completed.


    1877

    Department for treating diseases of women and children is established.

    1882

    Training School for Nurses opens; 17 students enroll.

    1891

    Taft Building for care of outpatients opens. Gift of Thomas P.I. Goddard. "Poor Only" sign above the door.

    1892

    Ambulance service is established.

    1893

    Chace Home for Nurses is completed.

    1895

    Department of Orthopaedic Surgery for the prevention and cure of deformities in children and adults opens.

    1896

    The "City Ward" for contagious diseases opens.

    1896

    Hospital is wired for electricity. X-ray equipment is installed.

    1898

    Treatment is provided for 125 Spanish-American War veterans, most for malaria, some for typhoid fever.

    1900

    Southwest Pavilion opens with ward and playroom for children and wards for women. It is also home of the first pathological laboratory.


    1902

    First x-ray department is set up.

    1907

    Crawford Allen Memorial Hospital for summer care of sick and crippled children is established near East Greenwich on Narragansett Bay.

    1913

    Medical Social Service Department is established.

    1914

    Training School for Nursery Maids opens for training of pediatric nurses.

    1915

    The "Heart Station" is established by Dr. Frank Fulton, and is equipped with the first electrocardiograph (EKG) machine in the region and the third in the United States.

    A teaching seminar is held each Friday in the Heart Station to discuss results of the latest diagnostic methods."
    -excerpted from Rhode Island Hospital's 1957 Annual Report

    1917

    Navy Base Hospital No.4, with personnel largely from Rhode Island Hospital, is established for war service at Queenstown, Ireland. Metcalf addition to outpatient department opens.

    1918

    Influenza epidemic; 1,373 flu patients in three and one half months.

    1922

    Rhode Island Hospital is the first in the nation to open a tumor clinic for cancer patients, established by Herman Pitts, MD, and George Waterman, MD.


    Jane Brown Building for private patients is built at cost of more than $700,000. No longer content to receive care in their own homes, the wealthy want the same modern medical care that the hospital provides the poor. Described by experts as one of the finest, most modern nursing units in the nation.


    1924

    Grosvenor Building opens.

    1927

    Aldrich Home for Nurses is completed.

    1931

    Joseph Samuels Dental Clinic for Children opens. More than 2,000 youngsters are treated in the first six months.


    The Great Depression marks the end of the building boom.

    1933

    Outpatient clinics are swamped as a result of the Great Depression, with nearly 112,000 patient-visits during the year.

    1938

    Hurricane strikes New England. The hospital has its own generator and newspaper reports: "Rhode Island Hospital ablaze with lights and all departments functioning."

    1941

    Potter Memorial Building for children is placed in service. Gift of Josephine E. Potter.

    1942

    Rhode Island Hospital becomes a World War II U.S. army hospital.

    Volunteers replace deployed physicians and nurses. A state decontamination center is set up at the hospital for use in the event of a poison gas attack.

    1944

    Rhode Island Hospital's 48th Evacuation Hospital Unit (750 beds) is cited by Chinese military command for service in China-Burma-India theater. Malaria, dysentery and typhus are commonplace.

    1945

    Institute of Pathology is established to provide laboratory service for six other area hospitals.

    1947

    The Great Depression and World War II have taken their toll on the hospital, which is in poor condition and inadequate to post-WWII needs. $4,360,000 subscribed by public for expansion program.

     

    1951

    Fee for the Outpatient Department is raised to $1.50; charges are levied for drugs and laboratory and diagnostic services for the first time; the "Poor Only" sign is removed from the entrance.

    1954

    Full-time director of medical education is appointed.

    1955

    The new Main Building is completed at cost of more than $9,500,000. The Rhode Island Hospital Guild is formed. Intensive care unit is established with an $84,000 grant from the Hartford Foundation.

    1958

    Crawford Allen Memorial Building for extended care of children opens. A three-year study of uses of artificial kidney begins with a $54,000 grant from the Hartford Foundation.

    1959

    George Cancer Research Center opens with a full-time director. A three-year research program in open-heart surgery is undertaken with a $192,000 grant from the Hartford Foundation.

    1960

    The Hodges-Lawton unit for crippled children is established by the Shriners of the Palestine Temple.

    1961

    The Physicians Office Building is completed, with offices for 60 doctors.


    1962

    A full-time chief for the department of surgery is appointed.

    1963

    • A full-time chief for the department of medicine is appointed. Brown University appoints the hospital's chiefs of medicine and surgery Brown University professors of medicine and surgery.

    • Five building projects involving a total cost of more than $3 million are underway. The Centennial Convocation is held in September, with several thousand participating in scientific programs and social reunions. Gerry House is dedicated as the new nurses' residence.

    1964

    Review of educational and research programs shows hospital approved for 21 internships and 61 residencies in 16 specialties, and 180 research projects have been undertaken since 1956 with grants totaling about $880,000 from governmental and private agencies. Second Century Fund is inaugurated.

    1969

    Formal affiliation between Brown University and the Rhode Island hospitals, enhancing Rhode Island Hospital's ability to attract top chiefs and physicians.

    1970

    The Stroke Unit opens.

    1971

    • The Hemodialysis Unit opens on the top floor of the Jane Brown Building.

    • The Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery is established.

    • The Coronary Care Unit for treatment of acute heart attack opens on the fourth floor of the Main Building.

    1973

    The Ambulatory Patient Center opens.


    1978

    Rhode Island Hospital is ready to treat, house, feed and help citizens in the grip of the year's great blizzard.

    1983

    The Davol Building for Emergency and Surgical Services opens.

    1986

    Helipad opens.


    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.

    1994

     

    • Hasbro Children's Hospital opens. Designed in collaboration with doctors, nurses and other health care professionals, as well as parents and children, it earns worldwide recognition for its family-centered environment and expert staff and wins numerous architectural and health care related awards.
    • The Cooperative Care Center, sometimes referred to as the "Co-op," opens at 2 Dudley Street. The 200,000 square foot structure includes eight ambulatory surgery operating rooms and a 120,600 square foot medical office building.

     

    1998

    • Rhode Island Hospital performs the state's first pediatric kidney transplant.

    • 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

    • Rhode Island Hospital is named one of the nation's top hospitals by U.S. News and World Report.

    • Rhode Island Hospital performs the state's first cartilage transplant.

    2000

    • In utero fetal surgery is performed for the first time in the Northeast at Hasbro Children's Hospital.

    • Rhode Island Hospital becomes an international leader in the use of radiofrequency ablation.


       
    • Rhode Island Hospital becomes the first on the East Coast to offer cardiac CT scans.

    2001

    • Rhode Island Hospital purchases the Coro Building to provide space for biomedical research and ambulatory care.

    • In response to a recognized, urgent need for a directed program on diabetes mellitus, Rhode Island Hospital opens the Hallett Center: the first comprehensive, academic diabetes and endocrinology center in the state. In its first full year of operation, the Hallett Center records 3,000 patient visits. That number doubles in just three years.

    • Rhode Island Hospital opens the only electrophysiology labs in Southeastern New England.

    • Hasbro Children's Hospital opens the pediatric Asthma and Allergy Center.

    2002

    • Rhode Island Hospitals receive $50 million in National Institutes of Health bioresearch funding, including a five-year $8.4 million grant from the Center for Biomedical Research Excellence to establish laboratory-based cancer research, a five-year $7.5 million grant from the center for AIDs research, a five-year $3.3 million grant focusing on asthma trends among Latino children, and an $8.4 million grant to establish a cancer research center.

    • Physicians from Hasbro Children's Hospital and Women & Infants Hospital perform a pioneering procedure on twins with twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.

    • Rhode Island Hospital opens the simulation center, one of a few centers in the country to offer high-fidelity medical simulation.

    • Rhode Island Hospital performs the first successful pancreas transplant in the state.

    • A groundbreaking cardiac procedure designed to prevent stroke from atrial fibrillation by inserting an "occluder" into a portion of the patient's heart is performed for the first time in the Northeast at Rhode Island Hospital.

    • The Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) at Rhode Island Hospital opens its doors. Located within the Ambulatory Patient Center, the CCC offers complete care for patients who have been diagnosed with cancer or blood disorders including a radiation therapy department and a multidisciplinary team including surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, hematologists and pathologists.

    • Rhode Island Hospital is the first in the state to offer digital mammography at the Anne C. Pappas Center for Breast Imaging, and is the first site in New England to offer Mammosite treatment for breast cancer.

    • Rhode Island Hospital's medical intensive care unit is named one of the top in the country by the National Coalition on Health Care and the Institute of Healthcare Improvement.

    2003

    • The fourth deadliest fire in American history engulfs a West Warwick nightclub, resulting in 100 deaths and hundreds of injuries. Sixty-three patients, including the majority of the most badly injured, are brought to Rhode Island Hospital.

    • Hasbro Children's Hospital and Bradley Hospital form the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center to promote and facilitate collaboration and joint research projects among child mental health researchers.

    • Rhode Island Hospital is the first in the state to offer PET scans.

    • Rhode Island Hospital performs a first-of-its-kind combination treatment for recurring lung cancer by combining High Dose Rate brachytherapy with radiofrequency ablation.

    • Rhode Island Hospital is the first in the state to offer cardiac MRI.

    2004

    • Rhode Island Hospital is the first in the world to use microwave ablation to destroy tumors.

    • Rhode Island Hospital's emergency department is the first in New England to use a multidetector CT scanner.

    • Hasbro Children's Hospital opens the Pediatric Heart Center.

    • Rhode Island Hospital is named one of the nation's top 100 performance leader hospitals by Solucient. It is the only hospital in Rhode Island to be included in the listing, featured in Modern Healthcare. The hospital is recognized for developing consistent and effective performance improvement over five consecutive years at a faster rate than other hospitals in the country.

    2005

    • Rhode Island Hospital constructs its new Bridge Building and opens the Andrew F. Anderson Emergency Center, which includes 4-slice and 16-slice CT scanners, a chest pain unit, a critical care unit and state of the art surgical suites.


    • Rhode Island Hospital is the first in the state to offer robotic prostate brachytherapy.

    • Rhode Island Hospital's surgical intensive care unit undergoes an $8.5 million renovation and expansion, including the hospital's cardiothoracic, neurosurgical and trauma intensive care units.

    • Rhode Island Hospital becomes the first in New England to offer Trilogy, the world's most powerful and precise image-guided radiotherapy system.   


    • Rhode Island Hospital's diagnostic imaging department acquires the state's first 64-slice CT scanner, allowing imaging of the heart to be done for the first time in the state using CT scan technology.

    • The Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders Clinic, the largest memory assessment program in Rhode Island, is established.

    2006

    • Hasbro Children's Hospital opens the state's first imaging center exclusively for children.

    • Rhode Island Hospital acquires PET/CT, an innovative technology for the diagnosis and staging of a variety of cancers.

    • Rhode Island Hospital launches a transfusion-free medicine program that offers the option of bloodless medicine in most clinical areas.

    2007

    • Rhode Island Hospital is the first in New England to open a cardiac catheterization laboratory in an emergency department.

    • Rhode Island Hospital receives an $11.1 million grant from the National Center for Research Resources, part of the National Institutes of Health, to study the prevention and treatment of skeletal joint diseases and to establish the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence for Skeletal Health and Repair.

    • Rhode Island Hospital receives the Five-Star Hospital ranking in the Community Value Provider listing, a proprietary index created by the private firm Cleverley + Associates. The ranking indicates the measure of the value that a hospital provides to its community; Rhode Island Hospital is among the best in the country for low costs and low charges and using a strong financial position to reinvest in its facility to improve overall care.

    • Rhode Island Hospital receives a $5 million emergency preparedness grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and is one of only five hospitals in the country selected for the 2007 Healthcare Facilities Emergency Care Partnership Program.

    • The Legacy Garden is completed, offering Rhode Island Hospital's supporters a place to pay tribute to their loved ones in a new and meaningful way. It quickly becomes an area enjoyed by hundreds of people each day.

    2008

    • Rhode Island Hospital receives a $19.6 million federal grant to fund research on reducing heart attack and stroke in kidney transplant patients.


    • Rhode Island Hospital opens the three-story Bridge Building expansion that includes three floors featuring 94 private patient rooms and is dedicated to cardiac, medical and surgical patients.


    • Rhode Island Hospital is the first in the world to use the Axxent Electronic Brachytherapy system to treat endometrial cancer and is one of ten centers in the nation to use it to treat early-stage breast cancer.

    • Rhode Island Hospital opens the first emergency psychiatric unit in the region that is integrated into a hospital setting.

    • The Anne C. Pappas Center for Breast Imaging opens a center for women requiring routine screening mammograms, enabling faster access to care and shorter wait times.

    • Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital are named Blue Distinction Centers for Complex and Rare Cancers by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island. They are the only two hospitals in the state to be recognized.

    • The Rhode Island Hospital/Miriam Hospital/Alpert Medical School diagnostic imaging residency training program is ranked number one in the country.

    • Thomson Healthcare names Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital among the nation's top 100 hospitals for cardiovascular care.

    • Rhode Island Hospital is designated a UnitedHealth Premium surgical spine specialty center.

    • The Samuels Sinclair Dental Center of Rhode Island Hospital receives the Maxwell J. Schleifer Distinguished Service Award from Exceptional Parent magazine. The award recognizes the center for its advocacy on behalf of people living with disabilities and special needs.

    2009

    • Rhode Island Hospital is the first in the nation to treat an inoperable kidney tumor using NanoKnife technology, which employs pulses of electricity to destroy tumor cells.

    • Rhode Island Hospital is the first hospital in the region to offer intraperitoneal hyperthermic chemoperfusion for abdominal cancer.

    • Rhode Island Hospital implements an electronic clinical documentation system, eClinical Works, in medicine and pediatrics.

    • In partnership with 21st Century Oncology, Rhode Island Hospital is the first in the state to offer CyberKnife robotic radiosurgery, which delivers highly focused beams of radiation to destroy tumors.

    • Rhode Island Hospital receives an $11 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund research on stem cell biology.

    • Hasbro Children's Hospital is ranked among the top 30 children's hospitals in the nation by Parents magazine.

    • Rhode Island Hospital receives an $11 million renewal of a National Institutes of Health grant to fund its Center of Biomedical Research Excellence for cancer research development.

    • Rhode Island Hospital is recognized by Nursing Professionals magazine as one of the "Top 100 Hospitals" for which to work.

    • Rhode Island Hospital launches the state's first and largest home hemodialysis program, enabling dialysis patients to remain at home for treatment using a portable dialysis machine. 

    2010

    • Rhode Island Hospital is designated the principal teaching hospital of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.


    • Rhode Island Hospital receives a $15 million gift from the Frederick Henry Prince 1932 Trust to develop and support a neurosciences institute. The gift is used to establish the Frederick Henry Prince Memorial Fund at Rhode Island Hospital and to create the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute. It is the largest gift in Rhode Island Hospital history.

    Rhode Island Hospital announces a $15 million gift from the Frederick Henry Prince 1932 Trust to develop and support The Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute in August 2010. From left, Dr. G. Rees Cosgrove, chief of neurosurgery at Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital; Diana Oehrli; Regis de Ramel; Guillaume de Ramel; Elizabeth Prince; Dr. Edward J. Wing, dean of medicine and biological sciences at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University; Dr. Timothy J. Babineau, president and CEO of Lifespan and president of Rhode Island Hospital; Lawrence Aubin, chair of the Rhode Island Hospital Board of Trustees; and Alfred J. Verrecchia, former chair of the Lifespan Board of Directors.

    • The Food Allergy Center opens at Hasbro Children's Hospital, serving young patients with complex food allergy issues.

    • Hasbro Children's Hospital, in partnership with Women & Infants Hospital, treats its first patient with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. 

    • The Rhode Island Burn Center at Rhode Island Hospital receives designation as a verified adult and pediatric burn center by the American Burn Association and the American College of Surgeons.

    • Lifespan and its Rhode Island Hospital receive a 21st Century Award by the IDG Computerworld Honors Program, honoring the development of the rapid emergency satellite communications system.

    • Rhode Island Hospital receives the Consumer Choice Award for the fifteenth consecutive year.

    • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island awards its Blue Distinction Center status to Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital. The designations follow a comprehensive review of their spine surgery and knee and hip replacement services.

    • Rhode Island Hospital’s cardiothoracic intensive care unit receives the Beacon Award for critical care excellence, the most prestigious award for critical care nursing. It is the only adult unit in Rhode Island and the Boston area to be honored.

    • The Rhode Island Burn Center at Rhode Island Hospital receives designation as a verified adult and pediatric burn center by the American Burn Association and the American College of Surgeons.

    • Rhode Island Hospital is certified a primary stroke center by The Joint Commission.

    2011

    • Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals announce a combined open heart surgery program, expected to be one of the largest volume open heart surgery programs in New England. A program of the Cardiovascular Institute, it is located at Rhode Island Hospital.

    • Rhode Island Hospital acquires the state’s first MRI with functional imaging for neurosurgery.

    • Rhode Island Hospital opens a new ambulatory surgery center in Providence.

    • Rhode Island Hospital’s surgery center at Wayland Square expands the hospital’s endoscopy procedures and outpatient surgery services, providing patients with more flexible scheduling at a convenient location.

    • Hasbro Children’s Hospital creates a first-of-its-kind program for parents who serve as organ donors for their children. The Together Through Transplantation program makes it possible for pediatric patients and their parent-donors to stay in the same hospital room while recovering from organ transplant surgery.

    • The Comprehensive Cancer Center earns the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons, recognizing the center’s significant commitment to providing high-quality cancer care, as well as to meeting and exceeding the standards set by the commission.

    2012

    • Rhode Island Hospital is the first hospital in the world to acquire the BodyTom CT scanner, a portable, intra-operative, multi-slice CT body scanner. The new technology will be used in the surgical treatment of patients with neurological disorders such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, cerebral palsy, and brain and spine tumors.

    • Rhode Island Hospital launches the state’s first home hemodialysis program, enabling dialysis patients to remain at home for treatment using a portable dialysis machine.

    • Rhode Island Hospital’s adult cardiothoracic intensive care unit receives its second Beacon Award for critical care excellence.

    • Rhode Island Hospital opens the region’s first dedicated stroke unit. Located on the neurosciences floor, the unit allows disease-specific diagnosis and treatment following admission.

    • Rhode Island Hospital’s diagnostic imaging department wins Healthcare Technology Management’s first Best Practices in Healthcare Technology Management Award, which recognizes the hospital’s effort to establish and sustain a culture of safety.