1960: Joining Forces within an Academic Medical Center
In 1961, a decision was made that Children’s would move to land adjacent to UT Southwestern Medical School and serve as its pediatric teaching hospital. This decision set the stage for Children’s to become a nationally recognized pediatric academic medical center focused on patient care, research, teaching and community outreach.
The Dallas community responded quickly and positively to the idea of a new children’s hospital. The capital campaign received pledges totaling 94.4% of the $2.5 million goal within a month of the campaign’s launch. By January of 1962, contributions exceeded $2.7 million.
On July 30, 1967, the new Children’s Medical Center was formally dedicated. The first two floors of the new building were designated the Freeman Clinic and most of the third floor was called Bradford Hospital, with a portion designated the Ivor O’Connor Wing. The fourth floor would be known as the R.B. George and Cleo George Hospital (formerly Children’s Hospital of Texas). Most, of course, simply referred to it by the name “Children’s.”
Children’s Medical Center included 130 beds, an operating room for heart patients, an 18-bed mental health unit and extensive lab space. With air conditioning, elevators, an emergency power system, a supply conveyor system and pneumatic tubes designed to streamline communications, the five-story medical center was declared a “modern wonder” by local media.
The nation’s first pediatric day surgery program began at Children’s in 1968. Annual treatments in the program tripled within the first 10 years.
Top: At the opening of the 1967 campus, Joe Dealey, Jim Farnsworth (the administrator), and a young patient turn a huge key.
Middle: Working together, Children’s, UT Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Hospital made the new campus possible through a land swap and an agreement that Children’s would be the teaching hospital for UT Southwestern’s pediatric training program.
Bottom: On July 30, 1967, the new Children’s Medical Center was formally dedicated.