About Us Our History

1940s - Groundwork is Laid

  • Texas Medical Center in Houston, TX, is chartered. 
  • Texas Children's Foundation forms to secure support to build a children's hospital and 6 acres are set aside for the new hospital.

1950s - Texas Children's Hospital Opens

  • Groundbreaking ceremonies are held May 23, 1951. 
  • Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital establish a teaching affiliation. 
  • The 3-story, 106-bed pediatric hospital is dedicated on May 15, 1953. 
  • Dr. Russell Blattner, Texas Children's physician-in-chief from 1954 to 1977, establishes an unprecedented policy that at least one parent may be with a child during a hospital stay. 
  • Our first patient, 3-year-old Leigh Van Wagner, is admitted Feb. 1, 1954. 
  • Texas' first and, at the time, only female pediatric surgeon, Dr. Benjy F. Brooks, joins Texas Children's.

1960s - Services and Specialties Expand

  • Hospital services and specialties expand rapidly, with specialists added in cardiovascular disease, pediatric research, birth defects, learning disabilities, intellectual disability, developmental problems, social services and leukemia and other blood disorders.
  • Karen and Kimberly Webber are born joined at the chest in 1964. Texas Children's pioneering procedure to separate them establishes the hospital as a leader in pediatric care.
  • Establishing a long tradition of kid-friendly transport around the hospital, 3 red wagons are donated for patient transport.
  • Texas Children’s Hospital helps establish the Texas Heart Institute to promote knowledge and treatment of adult and pediatric cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Denton Cooley becomes its surgeon-in-chief and cardiovascular consultant to Texas Children's Hospital.
  • Texas Children’s becomes the first hospital to treat pediatric respiratory failure with home mechanical ventilation, allowing home treatment instead of prolonged years of hospital care.

1970s - Hospital Continues to Grow

  • The hospital expands to 331 beds, more than double its original 106.
  • The first play therapy room opens.
  • Neonatology service is created.
  • The maximum age for patients is raised from 15 to 19.
  • David, the Bubble Boy, born in 1971 with an immune deficiency, is placed in a specially designed bubble where he plays, sleeps, eats and attends school. Study of his condition leads to significant contributions in the study of immune system disorders.
  • Dr. Ralph Feigin succeeds Dr. Russell Blattner as physician-in-chief in 1977.

1980s - Breakthroughs and Milestones

  • Outpatient visits more than quadruple during the 1980s. 
  • Charity care increases from $3.5 million to more than $9 million. 
  • Research funding grows from less than $5 million to nearly $15 million.
  • Shannon Pillow is first patient in the world to receive biosynthetic growth hormone.
  • Texas Children’s Hospital is recognized as a leader in treating pediatric HIV.
  • Texas Children’s Emergency Center is the first in the state to have 24-hour coverage by board-certified pediatric emergency physicians.
  • Texas Children's Hospital launches Houston’s first pediatric program for liver transplants.
  • Mark A. Wallace appointed president and chief executive officer of Texas Children's Hospital in 1989.

1990s - Expansion and Pioneering Procedures

  • Texas Children's Hospital completes renovation of the Abercrombie Building (the original hospital) and construction of the Clinical Care Center (now Wallace Tower) and West Tower to become the largest freestanding pediatric hospital in the U.S. It has 456 operating beds and nearly 50 medical and surgical outpatient services.
  • The world's smallest pacemaker is inserted into a transplant child.
  • Texas Children's Hospital performs pioneering operations on conjoined twins and a 3-year-old liver transplant recipient.
  • Significant advances are made in cell and gene therapy transplants.
  • Texas Children's Hospital opens the largest bone marrow transplant unit in Texas.
  • The nation's first pediatric health maintenance organization (HMO) is established by Texas Children's.
  • The Chukwu octuplets, ranging in weight from 11.3 to 28.6 ounces, are admitted to Texas Children's neonatal intensive care unit. All of the seven surviving octuplets go home within 6 months of their birth.

2000s - Expansion Fueled by Vision 2010

  • U.S.News & World Report ranks Texas Children’s Hospital among the nation’s top pediatric hospitals from 2000-2009.
  • Parents magazine ranks Texas Children's Hospital fourth among the nation’s top pediatric hospitals in 2007.
  • Dr. Russell Blattner, founding physician-in-chief of Texas Children's Hospital, dies in 2002.
  • Texas Children's begins an extraordinary $1.5 billion expansion entitled Vision2010. It involves the expansion of the Feigin Center by seven stories, the construction of the Pavilion for Women, the construction of a full-service hospital in West Houston, and the construction of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute.
  • Dr. Ralph Feigin, physician-in-chief, passes away in 2008.
  • The Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative at Texas Children's Hospital (BIPAI) opens a new 21,000 square foot clinical care center in Kampala, Uganda, in 2008. On its opening day, it receives 6,000 transfer patients, making it the world’s largest pediatric HIV/AIDS center.
  • Texas Children's Hospital becomes the first freestanding pediatric hospital to implant two HeartMate II ventricular assist devices in adolescent patients. These devices allow patients to improve their heart health while waiting for a donor heart.
  • The 8-floor, 200,000 sq. ft. expansion of the Feigin Center is completed in 2009. The Feigin Center is Texas Children’s hub of basic science research, housing more than 200 investigators and 600 researchers who lead innovative pediatric research across many disciplines.
  • Dr. Mark W. Kline is appointed chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and physician-in-chief of Texas Children’s Hospital in 2009.
  • Mark Wallace celebrated 20 years at the helm, as President and CEO of Texas Children’s Hospital, in 2009.

2010s - Leading Pediatric Medicine Locally and Internationally

  • Dr. Charles D. Fraser is named Surgeon-in-Chief at Texas Children’s Hospital in 2010.
  • Dr. Michael A. Belfort is appointed obstetrician and gynecologist-in-chief of Texas Children’s Hospital and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine in 2010.
  • Texas Children’s Hospital opens the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute (NRI), the world’s first basic research institute dedicated to childhood neurological diseases in 2010.
  • The new Texas Children’s West Campus outpatient clinic building opens at I-10 and Barker Cypress in 2010; outpatient services become available in spring 2011.
  • Texas Children’s Hospital becomes first hospital in the world to use real-time MRI-guided thermal imaging and laser technology to destroy lesions in the brain that cause epilepsy and uncontrollable seizures.
  • The Berlin Heart EXCOR Pediatric Ventricular Assist Device is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in children in 2011. Texas Children’s Hospital was lead center in a 17-hospital national Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) study on the Berlin Heart, with surgeon in chief Dr. Charles D. Fraser serving as principal investigator for the 36-month trial. 
  • Texas Children's Pavilion for Women, which provides women, mothers and babies with a full continuum of high-quality, expert health care, opens its doors in 2011.
  • Texas Children’s electronic medical record system, Epic, reaches system-wide completion in March 2012 with the opening of Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. The two year, $96 million effort to bring Texas Children’s 100% online enhances data collection, improves safety and quality care measures and gives patients secure online access to their medical records.  
  • Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women delivers a set of sextuplets on April 23, 2012. Dubbed “The Perkins Pack,” the 3 boys and 3 girls are the first complete set of sextuplets to survive in the Houston area.
  • In FY2013, Texas Children's has 3.2 million patient encounters and performs 26,000 surgeries.
  • Dr. Dean B. Andropoulos and James Versalovic named Anesthesiologist-in-Chief and Pathologist-in-Chief at Texas Children's hospital in 2014.
  • In 2016, The Woodlands Outpatient Building, a six-floor, 209,973-square-foot facility, opens to serve children and families in The Woodlands, Kingwood, Spring, Conroe and surrounding communities.
  • In 2017, Texas Children’s opens its second community hospital in The Woodlands, the only dedicated pediatric hospital north of Houston, bringing expert pediatric care closer to home for children and families.
  • The Clinical Care Tower at Texas Children’s Medical Center Campus is renamed the Mark A. Wallace Tower in honor of Texas Children’s long-time President and CEO in 2017.
  • Dr. Larry H. Hollier Jr. is named Surgeon-in-Chief at Texas Children’s Hospital in 2018.
  • In 2018, Texas Children’s expands to Austin to reach the city’s pediatric population of half a million. Our new Welcome Center opens to create brand awareness for Texas Children’s in the Austin community.
  • Texas Children’s Pediatrics opens its first primary care site in Austin, marking another milestone in Texas Children’s path toward creating a pediatric care network for children and families in Austin in 2018.
  • In 2018, Texas Children’s marks the beginning of an exciting chapter in its history by opening Texas Children’s Urgent Care Westgate — the first Texas Children’s urgent care location in Austin.
  • Lester and Sue Smith Legacy Tower — our new home for heart, intensive care and surgery — opens at Texas Children’s Medical Center Campus to care for our most critically ill patients in 2018.
  • Dr. Thierry A.G.M. Huisman is named Radiologist-in-Chief at Texas Children’s Hospital in 2018.