History of UW Children's Hospital

American Family Children's Hospital

History of UW Children's Hospital

For more than three-quarters of a century, University of Wisconsin has reflected the values of Wisconsin communities by caring in a very special way for children facing illness, disease and life-threatening trauma.

In 1920, the Mary Cornelia Bradley Hospital for the Study of Children's Diseases became the first hospital to bring together UW's medical research and academic training for health care professionals to save the lives of the area's sickest children. The Bradley hospital evolved into the Children's and Orthopedic Hospital in the 1930s, and eventually the University's facility dedicated to caring for children became University of Wisconsin Children's Hospital, a part of University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics.

Through the years, these three hospitals experimented with models of care that helped decrease infection, reduce pain, control contagious disease and increasingly found ways to allow children who stayed for long periods to live more normal lives.

UW Children's Hospital evolved into a complete 62-bed medical and surgical center which annually admits approximately 2,600 inpatients and handles 107,000 outpatient visits.
Growing Pains
Housed within the UW Hospital and Clinics facility, UW Children's Hospital began to outgrow its space, and the facility no longer matched the quality of care that its expert physicians and staff provided.
Space in the old UW Children's Hospital was seriously lacking in size and child-friendly quality, especially for those patients who are confined to their room for weeks at a time.
Inpatient rooms were very cramped. At 125 square feet in size, a typical room offered very few amenities needed by families who are staying with their hospitalized children. Moreover, because it was subsumed within the UW Hospital and Clinics building, UW Children's Hospital had very limited ability to create a unique, child-friendly atmosphere.
A Bright Future
American Family Children's HospitalIn August 2007, the state-of-the-art, $78 million American Family Children's Hospital opened its doors.
With inpatient rooms approximately double in size of UW Children's Hospital, the 60-bed American Family Children's Hospital was designed to provide patients and families from throughout Wisconsin a place to heal in a soothing, child-friendly environment.

Medical scientists - UW physicians and researchers preeminent among them - have now all but eliminated many diseases that afflicted children in the past century. Despite our medical advances, however, children continue to get sick and injured. Filled with dreams and unlimited potential, children deserve the best care in the best possible place.

Today, at American Family Children's Hospital, infants through teenagers receive specialized pediatric care from UW pediatricians who are nationally and internationally known for their clinical research, specifically in the areas of childhood cancer, pulmonology, juvenile diabetes, genetics, transplantation and asthma.