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Sun, 04.18.1897

Harlem Hospital Opens

Harlem Hospital 1912

*Harlem Hospital opened on this date in 1897 in Harlem, NYC.  Now called Harlem Hospital Center and branded as NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, it originated in a three-story building that housed 54 beds.

The hospital was originally served as a center for patients waiting to be transferred to Bellevue Hospital. Harlem Hospital was founded under the control of the Department of Public Charities and Corrections. The hospital’s initial 54 beds proved to be lacking, especially after the wave of African Americans who traveled to New York after World War I.

The Harlem Hospital served as a sense of pride for the Black community. As the Black community started to grow in New York, they attempted to gain control over aspects of the community that had a direct impact on them, healthcare being one of them. City bureaucracies, such as the police force and firefighters, were dominated by white communities.  African Americans had a tough time getting these positions and advancing in society. After many obstacles, African Americans were able to work as physicians in the 1930s. The hospital soon became a fixture in the community.   

Currently it is a 272-bed, public teaching hospital affiliated with Columbia University.  It is located at 506 Lenox Avenue in Harlem, Manhattan, New York City.      

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