The oldest public hospital in the United States, Bellevue has been serving patients regardless of ability to pay since 1736. With more than 750 beds, six Intensive Care Units, and a world-renowned Emergency Service and Trauma Center, Bellevue today is a major New York City provider of healthcare, both acute and long-term.
A tertiary municipal hospital and part of the South Manhattan Healthcare Network, Bellevue is also the primary teaching hospital of the New York University School of Medicine and an integral component of the NYU Medical Center Residency Programs. New York University faculty began conducting clinical instruction at Bellevue in 1847. In 1968 NYU School of Medicine assumed complete responsibility for Bellevue's clinical services.
Bellevue occupies a 25-story patient-care facility built in 1975 at First Avenue and 27th Street in Manhattan. It has an attending physician staff of 1,200 and a house staff of more than 500 residents and interns.
Each year the hospital treats some 27,000 inpatients. It also handles about 89,000 Emergency Service visits as well as 300,000 outpatient visits in more than 90 adult and pediatric ambulatory care clinics.
Bellevue's new Intensive Care Pavilion, one of the largest in the nation, opened in 2004 on the 10th floor of the Hospital Center. A state-of-the-art 208,000-square-foot Ambulatory Care Pavilion, designed by I. M. Pei, recently opened in front of the old Bellevue Administration Building on First Avenue.
The Medicine Service
The Department of Medicine's administrative offices and many of its research laboratories are located at Bellevue, and its residency program is based there. But the interrelationship between Bellevue Hospital and the Department of Medicine is about much more than just physical location.
Bellevue's tradition of service-of providing the same high-level of care to all patients, no matter who they are or what they can pay-is a defining element of the clinical and educational mission of the NYU Department of Medicine.
Conversely, the Department of Medicine plays a crucial role in the operation of Bellevue Hospital. Department attending physicians and house staff provide inpatient services for nearly 11,000 admissions per year, overseeing care of patients in the Medical Intensive Care Unit, Coronary Care Unit, Telemetry Unit, General Medicine Unit, Virology Unit, and Chest Service.
Every year, the Medicine Service handles some 130,000 outpatient visits in Bellevue's Primary Care Clinic, 12 medical specialty clinics, Dialysis Unit, Tuberculosis Treatment Program, and Survivors of Torture Program.
Department of Medicine physicians also provide services at Bellevue in interventional and noninterventional cardiology, as well as in the Endoscopy and Bronchoscopy suites.
The history of Bellevue Hospital is synonymous with the history of American medicine. From its founding in 1736 as a six-bed infirmary in New York City's first almshouse, on the site of City Hall Park, Bellevue has been the incubator of a long list of medical firsts. Following is a brief overview.
1799: The first maternity ward in the United States is established at Bellevue.
1808: Bellevue physicians perform the first ligation of the femoral artery for an aneurysm.
1861: The Bellevue Hospital Medical College, the first medical college in New York with connections to a hospital, is founded.
1866: Bellevue physicians are instrumental in developing New York City's sanitary code, the first in the world.
1867: One of the nation's first outpatient departments connected to a hospital (the "Bureau of Medical and Surgical Relief for the Out of Door Poor") is established at Bellevue.
1868: Bellevue establishes the world's first hospital-based ambulance service.
1873: The nation's first nursing school based on Florence Nightingale's principles opens at Bellevue.
1874: Bellevue inaugurates the nation's first children's clinic.
1876: Bellevue's emergency pavilion, the first in the nation, opens.
1883: Bellevue initiates a residency training program that is still the model for surgical training worldwide.
1884: The Carnegie Laboratory, the nation's first pathology and bacteriology laboratory, is founded at Bellevue.
1888: The first American nursing school for men is established at Bellevue.
1903: In the midst of a tuberculosis epidemic, the Bellevue Chest Service is founded.
1911: Bellevue opens the nation's first ambulatory cardiac clinic.
1939: Bellevue becomes the site of the world's first hospital catastrophe unit.
1940 : The world's first cardiopulmonary laboratory is established at Bellevue.
1962 : Bellevue establishes the first intensive care unit in a municipal hospital.
1971: The first active immunization of serum hepatitis B is developed by Bellevue physicians.