Skip to Main Content

Brief History of Children's Hospital (1931-1960)


1931 Children's Convalescent Hospital opened at Wellington Place

Child Life program is created at Cincinnati Children's, as Division of Recreation

Cincinnati Children's Research Library (now Pratt Library) opens

May 20, 1931

Children's Hospital Research Foundation dedicated (and first B.K. Rachford Memorial Lecture)


Cincinnati Pediatric Society founded

Children's Hospital Thrift Shop opens (closed in 1992)

January 1, 1932

Josef Warkany, M.D., joins Children's Hospital

December 1935

Cincinnati Children's launches its first public fundraising campaign, raising over $120,000 ($2.3 million today)


Two-year pediatric residency program and first surgery residency established


First CHRF Advisory Council

Ruth Lyons begins Christmas fund for children's toys


Louise Rauh, M.D., and Robert Lyon, M.D., introduce cardiac service for children at CCHMC

September 1, 1939

Division of Home Health Care begins

July 1941

Cincinnati Children's physicians physicians Robert Lyon and Louise Rauh, together with social worker Mary Carroll, published a landmark study focusing on how children with heart disease adjusted and adapted in their lives after leaving the hospital.


A. Ashley Weech becomes third B.K. Rachford Professor of Pediatrics


First use of penicillin at Cincinnati Children's

January 1944

Katharine Dodd, M.D., becomes first woman physician to hold a full-time position at CCHMC

November 1945

Ingeborg Syllm, then a pediatric resident, joins in condemning segregation at a meeting of the Southern Medical Association being held in Cincinnati


Frederic Silverman, M.D., becomes first full-time chief of Radiology


First clinic in pediatric psychiatry established by Richard E. Wolf, M.D.

Louise Flynn, R.N., named director of Nursing


Hospital budget goes over $1 million


William Cooper Procter Wing built on east side of hospital building


Leland Clark, James Helmsworth, and Samuel Kaplan develop and perfect world’s first functional heart-lung machine for extracorporeal circulation


First open heart surgery performed at Children's Hospital

Rainbow Room opens


Children's Dental Care Foundation created


Revised constitution and bylaws for the Medical and Dental Staff


Albert Sabin's live oral polio vaccine approved by the WHO for world-wide testing

Hamilton County Diagnostic Clinic for the Mentally Retarded (later Cincinnati Center for Developmental Disorders) founded


Adolescent Clinic for treatment of mental and psychological problems founded

April 24, 1960

First Sabin Sunday