The Early Years - An Auspicious Beginning in 19th Century Newark
New Jersey’s First Hospital is Formed
In what was to prove a groundbreaking decision, a dedicated group of women members of Grace Church and Christ Church of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark -- known as the Ladies Society of Saint Barnabas House -- establishes The Hospital of Saint Barnabas in a private home. They nurse their first patient, Eliza Titus, who has “no family or friends to care for her.” Grateful for their kindness, Miss Titus leaves her small estate to help found the Society’s first hospital on McWhorter Street in Newark.
Saint Barnabas Becomes Official
By act of the New Jersey Legislature, The Hospital of Saint Barnabas becomes the first incorporated hospital in the state on February 18, 1867.
The Hospital Finds Larger Quarters
Quickly outgrowing its original site, The Hospital relocates to a large private residence on High Street. Here it will remain for the next 90 years, eventually becoming a major 400-bed acute care medical center.
First Class of Interns is Trained
A fine tradition of over 120 years of Graduate Medical Education begins with the initial group of medical interns to undergo postgraduate training at Saint Barnabas.
Rapid Growth Requires New Building
Increasing health care needs dictate much larger quarters and Edward J. Ill, M.D., oversees the design of a new facility at the High Street site with separate wards for men, women and children. For almost four generations, physician members of the Ill Family will serve at Saint Barnabas. Dr. Archibald Mercer serves as first medical superintendent and Sister Amy Margaret becomes superintendent of Nurses.
Saint Barnabas Founds School of Nursing
On March 25, 1897, the first graduating class of nine nurses receives diplomas. Over the next 60 years, graduates of the Saint Barnabas Hospital School of Nursing are widely recognized for their training and skills.
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