19241924: A hospital just for children

Walter Reeve Ramsey, MD, raises money to open Children’s Hospital of St. Paul. The first hospital, on the corner of Smith Avenue and Walnut Street in St. Paul, opens in 1924 and begins operating with 16 beds.


In 1928, the Children’s Hospital moves to a new building on Pleasant Avenue with the promise of free care for needy children. Children’s has 15 physicians on staff and the minimum daily rate for a hospital stay is $2.50.

In 1933, Junior League members incorporate the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA), responding to an appeal from Dr. Ramsey to make hospital care available to poor families during the Depression.

In 1953, a group of Junior League members and physicians incorporates the Children’s Hospital of Minneapolis and begins fund-raising. The Children’s – Minneapolis Association emerges from the group of Junior League supporters.

In 1959, the Lang Wing of Children’s – St. Paul is dedicated in honor of Theodora H. Lang, the first woman president of the board of trustees. Mrs. Lang served on Children’s board for more than 60 years.1967

In 1967, Arnold Anderson, MD, is named medical director and chief executive officer of the Minneapolis children’s hospital even before it is built. In 1969, ground is finally broken on Chicago Avenue.

Children’s – Minneapolis opens its doors; Children’s - St. Paul gets a new home, too

In 1973, the “Minneapolis Children’s Health Center” opens as a modern, innovative model of family-centered care.

In 1979, Children’s – St. Paul also moves into a new building, on its current site on Smith Avenue.

Children's - Minneapolis
Children's - St. Paul

St. Paul and Minneapolis children’s hospitals merge in 1994

In 1994, the Minneapolis Children’s Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of St. Paul merge, becoming the largest pediatric health care provider in the upper Midwest.

During the 1990s, Children’s opens a center for outpatient surgery and pediatric rehabilitation services in Minnetonka known as Children’s - Minnetonka. Children’s – Roseville opens as a clinic for developmental and rehabilitation services. Children’s Clinics – Woodwinds also opens, offering rehabilitation and specialty clinics.

Children's - Roseville
Children's - Minnetonka
Children's - Woodwinds

Today the organization is known as Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, and is the seventh-largest children’s health care organization in the U.S.

Focus on innovation and excellence continues

Children’s gains national recognition for its leadership in patient safety and clinical excellence:

  • In 2007, Children’s is named one of the top 8 “exceptional U.S. children’s hospitals” by the Leapfrog Group, a national patient safety organization.
  • Children’s cystic fibrosis program ranks among the top 10 programs in the nation in the key health outcomes of lung function and nutrition
  • Children’s of Minnesota treats more than two-thirds of all children with cancer in Minnesota and produces survival outcomes that are consistently superior to national averages.
  • Children’s pediatric cardiovascular program is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the region. Children’s mortality ratio is the second lowest in the nation among the top ten hospitals for cardiac surgery patients.
  • Children’s cares for 80 percent of the children ages 0 – 14 hospitalized for diabetes care in the eleven-county metro area.

Serving as Minnesota’s children’s hospital since 1924, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is the seventh-largest pediatric health care organization in the United States, with 381 staffed beds at its two hospitals in St. Paul and Minneapolis. An independent, not-for-profit health care system, Children’s of Minnesota provides care through more than 13,000 inpatient visits and more than 200,000 emergency room and other outpatient visits every year. Children’s is the only Minnesota hospital system to provide comprehensive care exclusively to children, and in 2007 was ranked as one of the 30 top pediatric hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.