Milestones at Mott
Fifty years ago this month, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital opened its doors for the first time. The hospital was created thanks in part to a $6.5 million grant from the foundation led by Charles Stewart Mott, a philanthropist, businessman and former mayor of Flint, Michigan.
The new hospital had 200 beds and treated 3,500 patients during its first year.
However, U-M had been treating pediatric patients long before Mott came into being. In fact, the first children’s “hospital” run by the university began in 1903 — a 75-bed ward that was one of the first in the nation to treat only younger patients.
Here’s a closer look at that initial milestone — and many others — that have led the hospital to what it is today, a world-class destination for children and their families.
1903: Thanks to a gift from Love Palmer, widow of former U-M Medical School professor and dean Alonzo B. Palmer, M.D., the Palmer Ward for pediatric patients is opened on Catherine Street in Ann Arbor, on the site where the Taubman Health Sciences Library now stands.
1905: Thanks to the new pediatric ward, the first pediatric division within the Department of Internal Medicine is created. Additionally, the first pediatrics course is offered at the U-M Medical School.
1922: To help children learn and cope with their experience in the hospital, the nation’s first hospital school program is founded by teacher Ruby Carlton. It is now part of Child & Family Life.
1925: The “Old Main” hospital on the site of today’s Frankel Cardiovascular Center opens, with dedicated floors and open wards for pediatric patients.
1951: The nation’s third polio “iron lung” respirator center opens at U-M. Four years later, U-M makes history as the location of the announcement by School of Public Health professor Thomas Francis, Jr., M.D., that a polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk is “safe, effective and potent.”
1955: A new freestanding children’s psychiatric hospital opens on the site of the current Rogel Cancer Center parking structure.
1960: The first child in Michigan to undergo open-heart surgery is operated on by a team led by Herbert Sloan, M.D. Over the decades since, the Michigan Congenital Heart Center has become one of the most renowned in the world.
1964: C.S. Mott Foundation gives a $6.5 million gift to U-M to help build a state-of-the-art children’s hospital.
1969: The new 200-bed C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital debuts, allowing the organization to move pediatric inpatients out of Old Main. The building contains one of the first neonatal intensive care units in the country, at the time called the Holden Neonatal Unit and today the Holden Neonatal ICU.
1981: A team led by U-M’s Robert Bartlett, M.D., saves the life of the first baby at Mott to be treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO. A life support system used on critically-ill infants, children and adults, ECMO oxygenates blood outside the body, allowing underdeveloped or ailing lungs to rest and grow stronger. It also provides crucial blood pumping functions to aid failing hearts.
1990: The Maternal Child Health Center, an addition to the original Mott hospital building, opens, providing a brand-new location for children’s and women’s services and offering expanded space for the Birth Center, the Holden NICU and other essential areas.
2005: The C.S. Mott foundation gives another generous gift — this time $25 million — to help construct a cutting-edge building for children’s and women’s health services. Other donors contribute to the campaign, including the Ted and Jane Von Voigtlander Foundation.
2011: The new 348-bed C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital opens its doors. This state-of-the-art facility has allowed inpatient and specialty pediatric and women’s health services to come together under one roof, leading to world-class care and greater collaboration.
2016: Denver the facility dog becomes the first full-time canine employee at Mott. He makes the rounds in the pediatric ICU.
2018: A total of $30 million in gifts helps establish the Chad Carr Pediatric Brain Tumor Center. The initiative is designed to advance research and treatment for children with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), among the most aggressive and lethal types of brain tumors.
2018: Superheroes can be found wherever you look at Mott and in 2018, the first female superhero, Wonder Woman, was added. She can be found in the Mott lobby, to the right of the hospital’s main entrance. It has become a popular photo spot for patients and families of all ages!
2019: Mott once again was ranked the top children’s hospital in the state and among the best in the nation, all thanks to the incredible faculty and staff who provide care and services 24/7. As Pediatric Associate Chief Medical Officer Chris Dickinson, M.D., said: “We are proud of our exceptional teams of physicians, nurses and staff who are dedicated to providing world-class care to children and their families.”
Check out the photo gallery above to take a look back at pediatric care through the years at U-M!