Our History

All Children's Hospital Timeline

1926-27: Civic leaders and members of American Legion Post 14 rally the community to create a special place for children who suffer from the effects of polio and other crippling disorders. The American Legion Hospital for Crippled Children opens its doors in St. Petersburg.

1936: A second building is added to the Hospital. Many of the patients stayed for months at a time, with physical therapy and educational therapy becoming integral parts of their hospital care.

1950-1960: A larger facility opens to accommodate the nearly 500 patients being admitted each year. Surgical facilities are a new feature, and soon a full-time schoolteacher joins the staff to help meet the needs of the whole child during an extended stay and convalescence. At the decade's end, more than 5,000 additional square feet are added for rehabilitation and occupational therapy, a library and additional school facilities.

1961-1965: As the threat of polio ebbs, Hospital leaders and trustees plan for a new future providing specialized services for children with a diverse range of healthcare needs. Construction begins in 1965 on land acquired from the City of St. Petersburg next door to its then public hospital (now Bayfront Medical Center).

1967: The new $4.25 million All Children's Hospital opened its doors on October 1, with a staff of 143, including 65 nurses, for 70 beds. At the dedication, trustees quote the poet Carl Sandburg to explain the Hospital's new name: "There is only one child in all the world, and that child's name is All Children." Within a few years, all 113 of the facility's licensed beds would be operational.

1968-1969: Pediatric anesthesiology and pediatric cardiology become ACH's first pediatric subspecialties, and a cardiac catheterization laboratory opens.

1971: ACH opens its first intensive care unit, providing care for newborns through teens.

1973: ACH teams up with the University of South Florida College of Medicine to create a pediatric physician training program and establish research labs in pediatric endocrinology.

1976-77: ACH opens a new Neonatal Nursery that is designated by the State of Florida as one of eight Level III neonatal units (Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Center). Two neonatologists join the staff during this first year. The Hospital expands its pediatric open heart surgery program.

1979: The Children's Health Center opens to provide outpatient services across the street from ACH. New programs include pediatric hematology-oncology and pediatric infectious disease.

1980: A Ronald McDonald House opens on the ACH campus to provide a "home away from home" for the families of young patients. ACH acquires its first custom-built neonatal ambulance, which includes two incubators, cardiac monitors, oxygen monitors and respirators, to keep tiny patients stable during their trip to St. Petersburg.

1985: ACH opens a Medical Intensive Care Unit, led by its first fulltime pediatric critical care specialist. A new 40-bed Neonatal Nursery opens to accommodate the growing number of premature and critically ill newborn patients. A bone marrow transplant unit opens.

1989: All Children's performs its first kidney transplant.

1991: A $20 million expansion to ACH adds more inpatient units and operating suites, a Short Stay Unit for the growing number of outpatient surgeries, a sleep laboratory, Special Procedures Unit, pediatric dialysis unit, and expanded occupational and physical therapy areas. ACH teams up with the National Safe Kids Campaign to sponsor the Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition, dedicated to promoting child passenger safety and preventing unintentional childhood injuries such as drowning and pedestrian bicycle accidents.

1995: The ACH Pediatric Emergency Center opens, providing a front door to the Hospital that is open 24 hours a day. The Emergency Center is especially important for children from throughout the region who have chronic illnesses or other special medical needs and have their "medical home" at All Children's. All Children's performs its first pediatric heart transplant. The first All Children's Specialty Care Center (now Outpatient Care Center) opens in New Port Richey, offering visits with pediatric subspecialists as well as lab, x-ray, diagnostic testing and rehab services to a convenient outpatient setting.

1996-98: New Outpatient Care Centers in Sarasota, Tampa, Ft. Myers and Lakeland offer key diagnostic and rehab services plus visits with pediatric subspecialists for children in these communities.

1999: ACH and its next-door neighbor, Bayfront Medical Center, create an innovative joint Pediatric Trauma Program, which is named a State-Approved Pediatric Trauma Referral Center (and is now the busiest pediatric trauma program in Florida).

2000: The $12 million, 50,000 square foot Children's Research Institute opens, uniting the Hospital and the USF College of Medicine in renewed efforts to understand, treat and ultimately prevent many childhood diseases.

2002: ACH establishes a pediatric minimally invasive surgery program, investing more than $1 million in laparoscopic and robotic surgical equipment for a dedicated surgical suite.

2004: The ACH pediatric cancer program is honored by the American Society of Clinical Oncologists for its outstanding work in furthering advances in cancer research and treatment. The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute names All Children's its only pediatric affiliate.

2005: All Children's breaks ground for construction of a brand new 240-bed hospital and adjoining outpatient medical facility. At the time, it was the largest healthcare construction project in the Southeast.

2006: The Greater St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and the Tampa Bay Business Journal both recognize ACH as Outstanding Business of the Year.

2010:  All Children's Hospital opens a new facility consisting of a ten-floor new hospital and five-floor outpatient care center. In July, All Children's Hospital announces its intention to join the Johns Hopkins Health System as a fully integrated member of John Hopkins Medicine.

2011: All Children's Hospital joins the Johns Hopkins Health System as a fully integrated member of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

2011: Jonathan Ellen, MD, Professor of Pediatrics with The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine,  is named Vice Dean and Physician in Chief, All Children's Hospital.  Chad Brands, MD and Raquel Hernandez, MD, PhD, are named Director and Associate Director of Medical Education.

2012: Jonathan Ellen, MD is named President of All Children's Hospital in addition to his ongoing role as Vice Dean.  The new ACH JHM pediatric residency program slated to begin July 2014 is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Neil Goldenberg, MD, PhD joins ACH JHM as Director of Research and Chief Research Officer. The Johns Hopkins Children's Heart Surgery program at All Children's Hospital formalizes the collaborative relationship among pediatric heart surgeons in St. Petersburg and Baltimore.

2012: Anthony Napolitano, MD is appointed Chair of Pediatric Medicine and Paul Colombani, MD is appointed Chair of Pediatric Surgery at ACH JHM.  

2013: Newly expanded programs for pediatric thrombosis (clotting disorders) and pediatric stroke begin at ACH JHM. The ACH JHM Clinical and Translational Research Organization (CTRO) launches programs to enhance and support the design, implementation and oversight of clinical and translational research programs to advance the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of pediatric-onset diseases and their adverse outcomes.