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History | Ellis Hospital

The History of Ellis Hospital

Historical information is derived from Larry Hart's book, Hospital on the Hill.

From the start, the history of Ellis has been one of continued expansion and progress to meet community health needs. The Schenectady Free Dispensary, the forerunner of Ellis Hospital, opened in a two story building at 408 Union Street on Christmas Day in 1885. The five bed ward served as the city's first medical facility, motivated by a small group of concerned citizens following the death of an Erie Canal barge tender. Eight years later, a new 30-bed hospital opened on Jay Street, established through the charitable support of the community and Charles G. Ellis, president of Schenectady Locomotive Works. In 1893, a hospital school was also established offering a three year course in professional nursing, the forerunner to the Ellis Hospital School of Nursing.

A new 60 bed hospital opened on October 16, 1906 "out in the country," at Nott Street and Rosa Road. A 40 bed wing was added in 1908 and the construction of a 75 bed wing was completed in 1915. The Ellis Hospital Pathological Laboratory was established in 1917, and a three-story B-wing was completed in 1939. On August 12, 1940, the first blood bank east of Chicago was established at Ellis. In 1943, Ellis became affiliated with American Medical College for the training of senior medical students. This affiliation was expanded in 1957 for the training of house physicians and post graduate medical education.

Over the next four decades, Ellis experienced rapid technological and physical growth. Three major expansion took place in 1959, 1965 and 1972. The CT scan was introduced in 1976 followed by the opening of the A-wing in 1977 and the MacDonald Oncology Unit in 1980. During 1980, Ellis opened a cardiac catheterization laboratory, kidney dialysis center, birthing unit and a sports medicine center. The first open heart surgery was performed at Ellis in 1991. The Bruggeman Center for Diagnosis & Treatment was established in 1998.

In 2002, renovations to an expanded emergency department at Ellis were completed, marking the opening of the new Golub Center for Emergency Services. The 36 bed, two-story Beulah T. Hinkle Intensive Care Unit opened in June 2006 in the hospitals new E wing.

In a remarkably short period between November 2007 and June 2008, in the wake of New York State healthcare reform laws, the services of Ellis Hospital and the former Bellevue Woman's Hospital and the former St. Clare's Hospital were joined to create Ellis Medicine, a single, unified healthcare organization. Today, Ellis continues to expand and grow to meet everchanging community needs (click here to learn more about current projects).

To learn more about Ellis Medicine, please call 518.243.3333.