CEO of Nation’s First Children’s Hospital Documents History of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

New Book, the Latest Addition to Popular “Images of America” Series, Features Vintage Images of CHOP

Published on in CHOP News

history of chop book coverA book just published today chronicles one of the many enduring historical institutions born in Philadelphia. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, authored by the Hospital’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Madeline Bell, is the most recent addition to Arcadia Publishing’s popular “Images of America” series, and contains more than 200 never-before-published vintage photographs and stories unearthed from the Hospital’s extensive collection archived at the Historical Medical Library at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

A native Philadelphian and American history enthusiast, Bell spent hours poring over archived documents and images from the hospital’s history. “So many interesting stories remained under wraps, hidden for years. I want these stories to inspire others as they have inspired me,” says Bell, who began her career as a pediatric nurse before serving in a number of administrative roles leading up to her appointment to CEO in July. “I want others, including current and future generations of employees and families touched by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, to learn about the struggles we endured through the Civil War, World War I, the Great Depression and World War II. During the depression, for example, even Al Capone showed support for the hospital, sending a check for $1,500 to help the hospital expand. Time and time again, through incredible adversity, we continued to provide exceptional patient care, conduct breakthrough research and educate tomorrow’s doctors and nurses.”

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) opened its doors as the nation’s first hospital for children in 1855 during a turbulent time in the city. Dr. Francis West Lewis, a prominent Philadelphia physician, was appalled by the high child mortality rate in his city, a result of the poor sanitary conditions in the urban slums that arose during the Industrial Revolution. Exactly 160 years later, the hospital today enjoys international recognition and continues to advance children’s health through its three-part mission of patient care, education, and research.

Highlights of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia include:

  • The many innovations, pioneered at CHOP, such as closed incubators, life-saving vaccines and balloon catheters for infant heart surgery, that have profoundly benefited children worldwide.
  • The Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care, the newest addition to CHOP’s main campus in West Philadelphia, is a 700,000 square foot, state-of-the-art outpatient facility – the most advanced in the world.
  • Dr. C. Everett Koop, one of the country’s most celebrated physicians, was surgeon-in-chief at CHOP for 33 years, leaving in 1981 to become U.S. surgeon general.

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at 888-313-2665 or online.  Madeline Bell will donate all royalties from sales of this book to family services at CHOP.