The earliest roots of the hospital go back to nineteenth century Manhattan. Around that time, the medical community’s latest breakthrough was the discovery of the x-ray. The hospital started out in 1892 as a haven for unmarried mothers in a humble house on East 123rd Street in Manhattan. It was named the Rescue Home for Women and was operated by the Salvation Army. The facility was one of the Salvation Army’s first installations in the United States.
During World War I, the facility opened a free medical service for the dependants of enlisted men. With the recession of the war, the name of the facility was changed to become Booth Memorial Hospital. It relocated twice in Manhattan before landing permanently in Flushing, Queens. For nearly 60 years, the facility operated on East 15th Street. The idea to move to Queens was spurred by the baby booming, post-WWII 1950s, when the Salvation Army noticed a shortage of local general hospital facilities in the vast farmland communities located to the east of the East River: Queens.
Even as Booth Memorial Hospital prospered in Manhattan throughout the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, more change was on the horizon. By the 1950s, the New York metropolitan area had transformed. In particular, there was a desperate need for medical services to support the rapidly growing population in Queens. With that being the case, the Salvation Army made the bold choice of uprooting from Manhattan and building a modern medical facility on an empty parcel of overgrown brush in Flushing, Queens.
That facility was built on the site where the hospital resides to this day. The hospital opened to great fanfare on February 14,1957, with 210 beds and 45 bassinets. In addition, a 35-bed unit called the Williams Residence was designed for elderly patients. Another wing housed the Salvation Army’s program for unmarried mothers. It was called the Perkins Pavilion.
From the beginning, the Salvation Army instilled a great sense of service and patient-centered care at the hospital, a spirit that lives on in the institution to this day. By the early 1990s, the Salvation Army decided to discontinue its management of acute care hospitals across the United States to focus on other charitable endeavors.
In 1992, the hospital became an affiliate of the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. The following year – after a long history as Booth Memorial in both Manhattan and Queens – the hospital was renamed The New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens. Several years later, while retaining this name legally, for ease of use it was shortened to NewYork-Presbyterian/Queens.
In 1997, The New York Hospital and The Presbyterian Hospital merged, creating the New York Presbyterian Hospital Care Network. These entities became what are now known, respectively, as the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System. The system is now one of the largest healthcare systems in the country. Today, NewYork-Presbyterian/Queens,with its own leadership and charter – and as a proudmember of the NewYork-Presbyterian HealthcareSystem and affiliate of the Weill Cornell Medical College – has grown to become a comprehensive and innovative institution. The hospital maintains community medicine facilities and physician practices throughout the borough of Queens and offers world-class health care services in almost every specialty area.
NewYork-Presbyterian/Queens has grown to become a 535-bed acute care hospital, that last year admitted more than 32,000 patients, had more than 162,000 outpatient visits, and treated 124,000 people through the emergency department. Over time, this hospital has dramatically expanded and refined the expertise it offers, but still retains its founder’s guiding principle of service.