History

Greenwich Hospital is rooted in visionary philanthropy and community benevolence. We are proud of our enduring legacy to advance healthcare services because of the generosity of our donors.

The Office of Development has always supported excellence at Greenwich Hospital. It opened in 1906, thanks to foresight and commitment of local philanthropists and leaders. See below for milestones throughout our history.

April 2024 COVID WALL

Greenwich Hospital commemorated giving to our Covid-19 Support and Disaster Relief Funds with a wall of recognition, listing the names of the many people who supported the hospital during the height of the pandemic. It is located along the stone wall of The Carl and Dorothy Bennett Community Garden.

October 2023 ARC OF CARE CAMPAIGN

The Benefit for Greenwich Hospital was held on Friday, September 22, 2023, at Greenwich Country Club. Our Board of Trustees and Campaign Leadership joined talented physicians, prominent civic leaders, philanthropic supporters and new friends to celebrate the public launch of the $125 million Arc of Care Campaign for Greenwich Hospital

Diane Kelly and Dr. Hollister Jr. at The Benefit 2023

Diane Kelly and Dr. Hollister Jr. at The Benefit 2023

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August 2023 CAREER PROGRAM FOR STUDENTS

Greenwich Hospital launches program for high school students who may face barriers to pursuing careers in health care. The Greenwich Hospital Youth Access Medical Explorers Program is an innovative, immersive, and interactive five-day introduction to the field of health care, with teaching sessions and hands-on activities at Greenwich Hospital.

June 2023 PEDIATRIC AMBULATORY SURGERY CENTER OPENS

Greenwich Hospital, in partnership with Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital (YNHCH), opened its new Pediatric Ambulatory Surgery Center, thanks to local philanthropists. Located inside the hospital, it has pediatric and child-life specialists.

March 2023 BEHAVIORAL HEALTH EXPANSION

Greenwich Hospital has raised $4 million in a matter of months toward its expansion of behavioral-health services for adolescents, young adults, and older adults. Developments include a new Intensive Outpatient Program for patients 19 years and older and an intensive adolescent outpatient program. 

2021 PINNACLE OF EXCELLENCE AWARD

Greenwich Hospital received four Pinnacle of Excellence Awards for maintaining high levels of excellence over three years in Patient Experience in Ambulatory Surgery; Inpatient Services; Outpatient Services; and the federal Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems. It received two Guardian of Excellence Awards for reaching the 95th percentile for an entire year in Patient Experience in Ambulatory Surgery and Outpatient Services.

2015 GREENWICH HOSPITAL INTRODUCES "KISSES"

Greenwich is the first hospital in Connecticut to introduce "Kisses," a security initiative in the Labor and Delivery Department that adds an extra layer of protection for new mothers and their babies. The Kisses band is a special sensor worn on the wrist of the new mother that works in tandem with the Hugs security band placed on her newborn's ankle and linked to the department's monitoring system.

2014 "FAMILYTOUCH" LAUNCHED

To improve the patient experience, Greenwich Hospital becomesthe only hospital in the Northeast to offer "FamilyTouch," a communications service allowing ambulatory surgery patients to keep loved ones updated on their status via secure, one-way text messages from the patient healthcare team.

2013 EXCLUSIVE ONCOLOGY TREATMENT

Greenwich becomes the only hospital in the New York City, Westchester, and Fairfield counties to offer Xofigo, commonly referred to as Radium 223, a new radiation oncology therapy for patients with stage 4 hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC).

2013 SMILOW CANCER HOSPITAL OPENS

The Greenwich Hospital Campus of Yale New Haven’s Smilow Cancer Hospital opens, heralding a new era in cancer care that expands treatment options for patients and strengthens collaboration among physicians allowing leading oncologists and specialists from Greenwich Hospital to work collaboratively with Yale Cancer Center specialists in the Bendheim Cancer Center’s advanced and newly renovated facilities.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2013 Smilow Center

Ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2013 Smilow Center / Credit: Greenwich Time

2011 AWARDED GOLD SEAL OF APPROVAL

The Spine Institute and The Center for Joint Replacement receive the Joint Commission’s “Gold Seal of Approval” for excellence in spinal fusion and total hip and knee replacement surgery. Greenwich Hospital is the first hospital in Connecticut, and one of the first six in the nation, to achieve certification.

2010 OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Greenwich Hospital’s Bendheim Cancer Center is given an Outstanding Achievement Award for excellence in patient care from the American College of Surgeon’s Commission on Cancer. The hospital is one of only three institutions in Connecticut to receive the award established to recognize programs that provide the best in cancer care.

2008 EXCLUSIVE PROCEDURE FOR CANCER

Greenwich Hospital becomes the only medical facility in Connecticut and Westchester County to offer patients endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS), a less invasive procedure for the diagnosis and staging of lung cancer.

2007 ACQUIRES DA VINCI SURGICAL SYSTEM

Greenwich Hospital becomes one of the first hospitals in Connecticut to acquire the da Vinci surgical system. The system enables surgeons to use advanced robotic technology to perform minimally invasive surgery with nerve-sparing precision.

2007WINS "EXCELLENCE IN GERIATRICS"

The American Geriatrics Society’s first “Excellence in Geriatrics” award is given to Greenwich Hospital for its wide range of programs for older adults and their families.

2006 FIRST TO OFFER NEW IMAGING

Greenwich Hospital is first hospital in Fairfield County to offer diagnostic imaging with a Lightspeed VCT (volume computed tomography) 64-slice scanner. With the ability to produce detailed images of the body in seconds, this scanner expands the non-invasive cardiovascular and neurological imaging services offered by the hospital.

2004 LEADER IN GERIATRICS

An Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) Unit, the first in Fairfield County and one of only two in Connecticut to serve hospitalized patients meeting certain age criteria or having age-related medical issues, opens at Greenwich Hospital.

1999 ADOLESCENT MEDICINE PROGRAM OPENS

Greenwich Hospital opens the first and only comprehensive adolescent medicine program in Fairfield County to meet the broad medical and mental needs of young people aged 12 to 22. A board-certified adolescent specialist along with a professional team that includes a nutritionist, nurse practitioner, and psychologist provide a multidisciplinary program for teenagers.

1998 AFFILIATES WITH YNHHS

To stay competitive in a changing healthcare market, Greenwich Hospital affiliates with the Yale New Haven Health System. Greenwich becomes a regional teaching hospital allied with the Yale University School of Medicine and representing all medical specialties.

1997 NEW CANCER PROCEDURE

Stereotactic radiosurgery, a procedure that may save lives and reduce side effects from treatment for brain cancer and that is available at only 200 hospitals worldwide, is added to cancer services at Greenwich Hospital.

1996 NEW RADIATION SYSTEM

Greenwich Hospital becomes the first hospital in Connecticut equipped with a Pinnacle 3-D treatment planning system, which transforms two-dimensional CAT scan X-rays of tumors into three-dimensional images thus allowing the delivery of radiation pinpointed to the exact area of malignancy.

1992 LAUNCH OF $60 MILLION CAMPAIGN

Due to the requirements for new services and changing community needs, Greenwich Hospital launches a $60 million capital campaign for a new building. With the opening of the Leona and Harry B. Helmsley Medical building in 1999, and the Thomas and Olive C. Watson Pavilion in 2006, Greenwich Hospital enters a new era of caring and service

1992 NEW HOSPITAL OPENS

In 1992, with new services and changing community needs, Greenwich Hospital launched a $60 million capital campaign for a new building. The Leona and Harry B. Helmsley Medical Building opened in October 1999, and the Thomas and Olive C. Watson Pavilion in October 2006. Greenwich Hospital entered a new era of caring and service, and continues to serve the lower Fairfield and Westchester County region.

1991 FIRST WITH MAMMOGRAPHY SERVICE

Greenwich Hospital is first in the state and one of the first hospitals in the country to offer stereotaxic mammography, a state-of-the-art diagnostic procedure that permits doctors to perform non-surgical biopsies on breast masses.

1990 SMOKE FREE

Greenwich Hospital becomes the first hospital in Fairfield County to establish a “clean air” environment by going smoke free.

1990 NEW ENGLAND LASER CENTER OPENS

A leader in the use of laser technology, Greenwich Hospital establishes The New England Laser Center and is the first hospital in Fairfield County to acquire a lithotripter laser for the fragmentation of kidney stones.

1990 CONNECTICUT EYE BANK OPENS

The Connecticut Eye Bank is established at Greenwich Hospital as the only satellite in the state to complement the Eye Bank in New Britain Hospital.

1988 HEADACHE TREATMENT PROGRAM

The New England Headache Treatment Program, one of only four such programs in the country, is established at Greenwich Hospital to provide comprehensive treatment and support for chronic and acute headaches sufferers.

1984 FIRST SURGICAL LASER INSTALLED

Greenwich Hospital installs the state’s first Neodymium Yttrium-aluminum-garnet (YAG) laser. An alternative to major surgery, this laser is able to destroy polyps, seal bleeding vessels and remove obstructing tumors.

1983 FIRST WHOLE-BODY SCANNER

Greenwich Hospital is the first community hospital in Connecticut to acquire a 9800 Computed Tomography Whole Body Scanner. The new scanner combines an advanced x-ray scanning system and microcomputer to pinpoint the precise locations of disease and abnormalities deep within the body.

1981 BIRTHING ROOM INTRODUCED

Greenwich Hospital becomes one of the first in Connecticut to introduce the birthing room in response to prospective parents’ wishes for labor and delivery in a less clinical setting. This radical new feature is the vanguard of a new approach to maternity and childbirth and one of the most significant healthcare trends of the late 20th century.

1978 "OPERATION UPDATE" FUND DRIVE

Medicine had advanced at a remarkable pace by 1978. A successful $10.5 million community fund drive enabled the hospital to build a Northwest Wing and met new standards of state and national accrediting agencies. It was the third time since 1906 that the community had generously responded to the hospital's needs.

1977 FIRST CT SANNER IN COUNTY

The first Computed Tomography (CT) Scanner in Fairfield County is installed at Greenwich Hospital. The scanner performs swift cross-sectional diagnostic images and adds a vital new dimension to the diagnostic capability at the hospital.

1967 PORTABLE CARDIAC DEVICE ACQUIRED

Greenwich Hospital acquires a portable cardiac monitoring device that can be attached to a patient to provide continuous EKG readings of a patient’s heart over a span of several hours. It is one of only two such systems in the state.

1964 SUCCESSFUL PRENATAL TRANSFUSION

One of the first successful prenatal transfusions to treat Rh incompatibility carried out anywhere in the world is performed at Greenwich Hospital.

1963 SOUTH WING CONSTRUCTION

In 1963, the pressure for more patient rooms and expanded facilities spurred construction of the South Wing, quietly financed by a few supporters of the hospital. Dedicated in November 1965, it added 80 patient rooms to the existing 245 and larger space for radiology, physical medicine and social services.

1954 ARTHRITIS CLINIC OPENS

An arthritis clinic, the first in southeastern Connecticut, opens at Greenwich Hospital. The clinic is designed to help staff recognize the symptoms of arthritis in its early stages and to begin treatment.

1952 DISASTER PLAN DEVELOPED

Greenwich Hospital’s disaster preparedness plan is among the first developed by a hospital in Connecticut.

1951 5 PERRYRIDGE ROAD DEDICATION

By the end of the war, astonishing advances in medicine made an even larger and more complex hospital necessary. Despite spiraling inflation that boosted the new building's cost to $4.75 million, a loyal community saw it through to completion. They broke ground in 1949 and the hospital was dedicated on May 5, 1951.

1950 GREENWICH HOSPITAL AUXILIARY STARTED

A corps of volunteers has consistently worked at Greenwich Hospital since it opened in 1906. The history of the hospital is inseparable from that of its original Women's Committee (1907-1910) and its successors, the Women's Board (1911-1949) and the Greenwich Hospital Auxiliary, which started in 1950.

1949 WOMEN'S BOARD JOINS AUXILIARY

Volunteer activities changed dramatically over a period of 30 years. By the late 1940s, it was apparent that recruitment of volunteers should be opened to the entire community. In January 1950, the Women's Board was folded into the new Greenwich Hospital Auxiliary, which offered membership to all.

1940 5 PERRYRIDGE ROAD CAMPAIGN

A generous gift of $500,000 from Mrs. Henry Walker Bagley initiated a new campaign for a much larger hospital. The next year, 1941, the community matched Mrs. Bagley's contribution and preparations were made to construct a new building. World War II, however, put an end to these plans.

 

1923 GREENWICH HOSPITAL LABORATORY

Greenwich Hospital’s laboratory is the first in Connecticut inspected by the State Department of Health’s Inspection and Approval Program. It passes unconditionally and remains to this day the oldest approved continuously operated laboratory in the state.

1921 AUXILIARY THRIFT SHOP OPENS

Dr. Harriet Hyde led the legendary "Nine Determined Women," the core of the original Women's Committee and subsequent Women's Board. These volunteers dedicated themselves to the efficient upkeep of the hospital and later raised money for the general maintenance fund. The Board started a thrift shop in 1921, which made a profit in its first year of operation.

1920s NURSES' QUARTERS MOVE

During the 1920s, the nurses' quarters moved to a new campus location to release needed space for patients. More operating rooms were added in 1930 and an outpatient center in 1934. Expansion continued in 1932 and again in 1940 to meet patient demand. By 1940, with 3,127 admissions, the hospital finally outgrew its building.

1917 BENEDICT BUILDING

Construction delays caused by the advent of World War II postponed the opening of the new hospital until October 1917. In 1918, however, it was ready to offer critically needed service during the nationwide flu epidemic, demonstrating its value to Greenwich in its very first year of operation.

1914 BENEDICT PURCHAES LAND

Greenwich's steadily growing population topped 16,000 in 1910. In August 1914, Commodore Elias C. Benedict purchased land on Perryridge Road and announced that he would donate $250,000 to construct a new hospital. His proposed 90-bed facility would include 23 private rooms, 3 semi-private wards, a 10-bed maternity ward, a nursery, two fully equipped operating rooms, a dispensary, library, laboratory and X-ray room.

1907 NURSING SCHOOL OPENS

Dr. Harriet Hyde proposed a solution for hiring a reliable corps of nurses. She suggested creating a nursing school, an idea the board readily endorsed. By July 1907, the school would offer a first-rate education while providing the region and the hospital with a constant supply of well-trained nurses. The first graduating class of two students received diplomas on May 1, 1909. (The school closed in 1975.)

1906 SERVICE BEGINS

The first year saw the treatment of 170 patients, most occupying multi-bed wards. Included in that first-year total were 47 private-room and ten maternity patients. These modest beginnings gave little indication of the shape and size of things to come.

1906 GREENWICH HOSPITAL OPENS

The new 24-bed hospital on Milbank Avenue opened its doors on Sept. 12, 1906. Formally named Greenwich Hospital, it became known as the Milbank Avenue Hospital. In addition to the Hydes, Drs. Charles Smith and John B. Solley comprised the attending medical staff. The hospital's professional team also included a head nurse, a matron, ten consulting doctors, a graduate assistant and seven volunteer student nurses.

1905 OCTAGON HOUSE PURCHASED

Within days, the Connecticut General Assembly granted the GHA a charter of incorporation. The legislature also granted $25,000 payable once the hospital had raised $75,000 privately. In the spring of 1905, the GHA paid $52,250 for the "Octagon House" on Milbank Avenue, which eventually became the new hospital.Historic Image

1903 GREENWICH HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION

The Greenwich Hospital Association dates from a meeting on March 2, 1903, to discuss building a hospital in the heart of the borough. Presiding was A. Foster Higgins, a founder of the Greenwich Gas & Electric Lighting Company, and four other prominent citizens: Edward Brush, William Hall, Herbert B. Stevens, and George Lauder.Portrait of Higgins

1900s OUR FOUNDING

Drs. Fritz and Harriet Baker Hyde were the driving force behind the founding of Greenwich Hospital. Graduates of the Medical Department of the University of Michigan in 1900, both settled in Greenwich, where Harriet's mother lived. They married in 1901 and established private practices in town. The Hydes' skills and determination set the hospital on a path of excellence that guides it to this day.