Hartford Hospital, founded in 1854, one of the largest teaching hospitals and tertiary care centers in New England with perhaps the region’s busiest surgery practice, has been training physicians for over 160 years. It is a member of Hartford HealthCare, a large, diversified health care system.

Old Peoples Home
The Old People's Home (built 1884), circa 1890 on Hudson Street was razed in 1965 to make way for the Hartford Hospital School of Nursing Complex

The hospital is an 867-bed regional referral center that provides high-quality care in all clinical disciplines. Among its divisions is The Institute of Living, a 114-bed mental health facility with a national and international reputation of excellence. Jefferson House, a 104-bed long-term care facility, is also part of Hartford Hospital.

The hospital’s active medical staff includes more than 1,000 physicians and dentists within 18 departments. In 2015 the hospital had more than 43,000 discharges and more than 107,000 emergency department visits. It performed more than 42,000 surgeries and delivered more than 3,700 babies that year.

The hospital garners numerous awards and recognition including being ranked #1 in U.S. News & World Report's regional ranking.

Major centers of clinical excellence include cardiology, oncology, emergency services and trauma, mental health, women’s health, orthopedics, bloodless surgery and advanced organ transplantation. The hospital is at the forefront of robotic surgery and was one of the first to use da Vinci surgical robots. Hartford Hospital owns and operates the state’s first air ambulance system, LIFE STAR.

Responding to Tragedy

On the afternoon of March 2, 1854, a steam boiler exploded at the Fales and Gray railroad-car factory, located near Dutch Point in Hartford. Nine men died at the scene, ten would die later of their injuries and 23 others were seriously injured.

Hartford, a city of 15,000 inhabitants at the time, had no general hospital. City doctors visited the injured in their homes. The disaster underscored the city’s inability to treat serious injuries.

The physicians of the Hartford Medical Society, community leaders and the editorial voice of The Hartford Courant combined to urge legislation creating a general hospital for Hartford and to raise the necessary funds from private donations.

The hospital was founded out of humanitarian concern for all of the citizens of Hartford, and was envisioned as a place where the finest medicine would be made available to those in need.

The hospital that was founded in 1854 celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2004. Hartford Hospital today is both a place that its founding fathers would recognize, and a place where they would encounter medical marvels not even dreamt of in their lifetimes.