• For 100 years, the mission of Children’s Medical Center has been to make life better for children. Our beginnings in 1913 were humble, but our vision even then was big. Today, our team takes great pride in being the fifth-largest pediatric health care provider in the country, and the only academically affiliated pediatric hospital in the area.
  • In 1913, a group of nurses, led by May Forster Smith, organized the Dallas Baby Camp, an open-air clinic on the lawn of the old Parkland Hospital. The nurses recognized that children received better care when it was focused only on them. Nurse Smith wasn’t satisfied with just a camp; she wrote her vision on a chalkboard: “Someday, the Dallas Baby Camp will be a great hospital. Watch us grow!” A skeptical doctor kept erasing her prediction, but she kept rewriting it.  Read More

  • The baby camp brought attention to a big problem: the lack of adequate health care for poor children of all ages. Soon others began joining the effort to resolve the situation. In 1921, a local pediatrician and pastor established the Presbyterian Clinic, which would become the Freeman Clinic. A few years later, a Dallas businessman donated enough money to make May Smith’s dream come true: the construction of a real hospital just for babies. When the 60-bed Bradford Memorial Hospital for Babies opened, that skeptical doctor who kept erasing Nurse Smith’s chalkboard message sent her a note that read, “Kid, you win.”
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  • Doctors and nurses required special training in the health care needs of children. Medical students from Southwestern Medical College, the forerunner of UT Southwestern Medical School, trained at Bradford Hospital and Freeman Clinic, two of the four predecessors that eventually became Children’s.  Read More

  • Like Children’s Medical Center today, our predecessors were often on the leading edge of new technologies and treatments for young children. They also collaborated with other providers, recognizing that children would be better served if some efforts were coordinated. When North Texas was struck by a polio epidemic in the 1940s, Children’s Hospital of Texas worked with Parkland Memorial and Scottish Rite hospitals to conduct classes on the Kenny Treatment for polio. The treatment was named for Sister Elizabeth Kenny, who pioneered principles of muscle rehabilitation that became the foundation of physical therapy.  Read More

  • By the 1950s, a study recommending a stand-alone children’s hospital had been endorsed, and in 1954, the medical staffs of the four children’s health care providers – Bradford, Freeman, Children’s Hospital of Texas and Ivor O’Connor Morgan Hospital – aligned under one chief of staff. Soon talks were under way about building a new medical center that would house all four.  Read More

  • Working together, Children’s, UT Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Hospital made the new campus possible through a land swap and an agreement that Children’s would be the teaching hospital for UT Southwestern’s pediatric training program. Officially opened in 1967, Children’s Medical Center included 130 beds, an operating room for heart patients, an 18-bed mental health unit and extensive lab space.  Read More

  • To meet the needs of an increasingly complex patient population, Children’s transformed itself during the 1970s to become an academic medical center focused on excellence across a spectrum of pediatric health care specialties and professional disciplines. In collaboration with UT Southwestern, the medical center expanded its physician training program, increasing the number of residents and specialty rotations.  Read More

  • Children’s was the first pediatric-only liver transplant program in the nation, established in collaboration with UT Southwestern.  Today, Children’s has one of the busiest organ transplant programs in the country. Read More

  • Until the 1990s, children needing emergency care were treated with adults at other area hospitals. In 1991, the Charles E. and Sarah M. Seay Emergency Referral Center opened at Children’s.  Read More

  • During the early 2000s, increasing numbers from Dallas’ northern suburbs made the long drive to Children’s. The center’s board approved the construction of a second hospital in Plano, and Children’s Medical Center at Legacy opened in 2008. Surgical advances were also happening in this decade, including the separation of conjoined twins.  Read More

  • A century ago, Nurse May Smith’s vision put a focus on the smallest of the small. That vision propelled a baby camp to become one of the world’s most renowned children’s medical centers. Today we celebrate our first 100 years, with a focus on the possibilities of tomorrow.

    We’ll be holding celebrations throughout the year for employees, physicians, patients, families, donors and friends. So check this site often for details and stories as they unfold.  Read More

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