- Corporate body
The Woman’s Hospital of Texas was founded in 1976 and specializes in care focused on the needs of women.
The Woman’s Hospital of Texas was founded in 1976 and specializes in care focused on the needs of women.
The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center is operated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and is located in the Texas Medical Center. It serves Harris and 27 surrounding counties and is one of the Department’s biggest hospitals. Baylor College of Medicine has been a partner since 1949 but the VA is also staffed by the UT Health Science Center at Houston and by students and residents from the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy.
The VA campus began as a U.S. Navy hospital in 1946; when it was completed it had 39 buildings, 943 beds, and was one of the biggest and most modern hospitals in the Southern United States. During World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt declared that certain military hospitals, including the Navy hospital in Houston, would be transferred to Veterans Affairs after the war. After some delay, the hospital officially became the Houston Veterans Affairs Hospital in April 1949. Paul Manguson, MD, was appointed director in 1948. He found the hospital understaffed and was responsible for establishing the partnership with what was at the time the Baylor University College of Medicine. Around this time, Michael DeBakey, who served in the US Army Medical Corps, realized that the medical data accrued from such a large pool of patients during the war could be invaluable research material and proposed “a follow-up system to determine the natural and post-treatment history of such diseases and conditions as might be selected for study”.
In 1952, a former barracks was converted into a radioisotope laboratory for the study of cancer. Building 203 eventually housed eight laboratories, two culture rooms, a constant temperature instrument room, a preparation room, sterilization room, and cold room. There were also facilities for work on animals, and glassblowing, sheet metal, electronic, and machine shops for maintaining and fabricating laboratory equipment and experimental devices. Dr. DeBakey was working in Building 203 when he started his early vascular surgery studies and experiments with Dacron grafts. The first surgery using a Dacron graft was performed at the Houston VA on September 2, 1954.
The VA was designated a medical center in 1978 to reflect the broad range of treatments it offered. IT officially joined the TMC as its 33rd member institution in 1985. Efforts to modernize the growing hodgepodge of buildings on the 118-acre campus proved impractical so the decision was made to replace them; the current building was completed in 1992.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is named for Monroe Dunaway Anderson who, with his brother-in-law Will Clayton, operated what came to be the biggest cotton company in the world by the earliest years of the Twentieth Century. When he died in 1939, his MD Anderson Foundation received $19 million from his estate. In 1941 when the Texas Legislature set aside $500,000 for a cancer hospital and research center, the Anderson Foundation agreed to match funds if the institution were located in Houston, in the new Texas Medical Center, which was also an Anderson Fund project, and if it were named for their benefactor.
The M.D. Anderson Hospital for Cancer Research at the University of Texas opened in 1944 and operated out of surplus World War II army barracks; the converted mansion The Oaks, of the James A. Baker estate near Rice University; and 46 beds leased from a local hospital (which hospital?) before moving into the original building of its current location in 1954. TMC co-founder R. Lee Clark served as the first full-time director. The world’s first cobalt-60 radiotherapy unit, designed by UTMDA’s Dr. Gilbert H. Fletcher and Dr. Leonard Grimmett, began treating patients in the underground (for safety) clinic on February 22, 1954. The rest of the patients were transferred to the new building three weeks later and the hospital was formally dedicated on October 23. The name was changed to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute in 1955. The hospital and its capabilities expanded rapidly over the next decades; it installed the first high-voltage Sagittaire linear accelerator for radiation therapy in 1970 and began the US’s first interferon trials in 1978. The name was changed to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in 1988.
The Texas Medical Center is a comprehensive medical community located south of downtown Houston. It comprises 54 institutions, including four medical and seven nursing schools, 21 hospitals, three level-I trauma centers , eight specialty institutions, and academic and research institutions for many other health-related disciplines. The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center is among the top-ranked cancer hospitals in the country. As of 2017, it is one of the largest medical centers in the world.
The Texas Medical Center was proposed by Horace Wilkins, Col. William Bates, and John H. Freeman, the trustees of the M.D. Anderson Foundation. Established by cotton magnate Monroe Dunaway Anderson in 1936, the Foundation supported a variety of small causes until Anderson’s death in 1939, at which point the trustees, with the encouragement of Ernst Bertner, M.D., and Frederick Elliott, D.D.S., decided the funds should be used to build a medical center on par with Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic. When, in 1941, the state legislature approved an act to create a cancer hospital, the Anderson Foundation trustees secured Houston as the location for the M.D. Anderson Cancer Hospital, which would become first component of the medical center. The Texas Medical Center would be located on a site adjacent to Hermann Hospital, which had opened south of downtown in 1925.
The Texas Medical Center was officially incorporated in 1946 and Bertner was appointed president, replaced at the Cancer Hospital by R. Lee Clark, M.D. The Cancer Hospital was quickly joined by the Dental College, by then affiliated with the University of Texas, and Baylor University College of Medicine, which moved from Waco. The Anderson Foundation made grants to Methodist Hospital, Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, a new building for Hermann Hospital, and for a library.
The Texas Medical Center grew quickly and has provided a home for innovators such as heart surgeons Michael DeBakey and Denton Cooley; William Spencer and his work on rehabilitation of paralysis patients; trauma surgeon and medevac pioneer James “Red” Duke; and Nobel Prize-winning pharmacology researcher Ferid Murad.
[1-5] TMC History 1971
 Handbook of Texas Online, Ernst W. Bertner.
 Facts and Figures, About Houston, City of Houston, 2017 July 24, www.houstontx.gov/abouthouston/houstonfacts.html
 Texas Trauma Facilities, Texas Health and Human Services, Texas Department of Health and Human Services, 2017 July 24, https://www.dshs.texas.gov/emstraumasystems/etrahosp.shtm.
 “Texas Medical Center: Houston is where the world comes for treatment”, About Houston, Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau, 2017 July 24, https://www.visithoustontexas.com/about-houston/texas-medical-center/
 Institutional profile, Facts and History, 2017 July 24, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, https://www.mdanderson.org/about-md-anderson/facts-history/institutional-profile.html.
 Handbook of Texas Online
 New York Times, 1994 May 05, online.
 Mary Schiflett obituary, Houston Chronicle online, January 19, 2007.
 Bryant Boutwell, Ph.D, Bout Time blog, 2014 January 31
 TMC History 1971, p178
 Handbook of Texas Online, University of Texas Dental Branch
 TMC News, 2014 August 19
Dr. Denton A. Cooley, the founder of the Texas Heart Institute, attended the University of Texas and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he graduated in 1944. After serving in the Army Medical Corps and studying with Lord Russell Brock in London, he returned to his hometown of Houston, Texas to teach surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in the 1950s. The Texas Heart Institute was founded on August 3, 1962 in order to research and treat cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. Among many innovations developed by Cooley and his colleagues at the Institute are the first implantation of an artificial heart, the first successful heart transplant in the United States, advances in treatment of congenital defects, and a number of prostheses and implants. The Institute is part of Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the word. CHI St. Luke’s Health – Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center is the Institute’s clinical partner. [Sources: Texas Heart Institute website; The Houston Review, vol. 2, no. 1, p.16-19]
Texas Children’s Hospital admitted its first patient in February 1954 and is among the largest pediatric hospitals in the US. It is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine and was a contributor to the establishment of the Texas Heart Institute. Over the decades, it has pioneered treatments such as in-home care for respiratory failure; separation of conjoined twins; treatment and management of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID); biosynthetic growth hormone treatment; laser therapy for seizure disorders, early diagnosis and treatment of cystic fibrosis, and pediatric HIV. It has branches all over the Houston metro area, in Austin and operates a pediatric HIV/AIDS clinic in Uganda.
St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital opened in 1945 as a private general hospital. It became affiliated with Texas Heart Institute in 1962 and Baylor College of Medicine in 2004. Catholic Health Initiatives acquired it in 2013 and the official name is CHI St. Luke's Health System.
St. Joseph’s Infirmary was established in 1887 by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and was originally housed in a frame building at the corner of Caroline and Franklin Streets. A year later, the hospital entered into an agreement with the Harris County Commissioners’ Court to care for Houston’s indigent patients. It became noted for the care it provided during the 1891 smallpox outbreak. A brick building designed by Nicholas J. Clayton was constructed in 1894 but burned soon after, killing two Sisters, when a fire started in a nearby warehouse. Donations by city residents funded a second new building at Crawford and Pierce; the site is now occupied by the Plastic Surgery Institute. A three-story brick building was completed in 1905 and by 1919, when the Bishop Byrne Annex opened (is this the one on the bus route?) the hospital had 350 beds and a wide range of medical and surgical capabilities. Like many hospitals at the time, it had its own nursing school. The maternity hospital was constructed in 1938 with donations from the George Strake family and still stands at (check address). A new hospital wing and convent building were added in 1940. The emergency department treated over 50 victims of 1947 Texas City Disaster. It was the largest hospital complex in the city until the establishment of the Texas Medical Center at the end of the 1940s. Before Texas Children’s Hospital opened in the TMC in 1954, St. Joseph’s pediatric department maintained an affiliation with Baylor College of Medicine. In 2012, a branch was opened on the site of the former Heights Hospital at 1917 Ashland.
Dr. Mavis Kelsey of the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic was on staff in the 1950s. In 1960s plastic surgeon Dr. Thomas Cronin and resident Frank Gerow, working with Dow Corning, developed silicone gel breast implants. The Bloxsom air lock device for resuscitating newborns was developed by pediatrician Allan Bloxsom in 1950, though it fell out of favor by the end of the decade. Herman Barnett, the first African-American graduate of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and the first African-American appointee to the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners, finished his anesthesiology residency at St. Joseph’s in 1968 and then joined the medical staff.
The Shriners Hospital for Children (Houston) is one of 22 hospitals in the non-profit Shriners network and is affiliated with the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and Scott and White Hospital (based in Temple, Texas). The Houston branch had its origins in the Arabia Temple Crippled Children’s Clinic, which was located at Baptist Sanitarium between 1920 and 1932. The Clinic moved to Methodist Hospital in 1932, occupying its own “Blue Bird Cottage” from 1934 to 1949; the facility was named for its sponsors, Methodist’s Blue Bird Ladies Auxiliary. Between 1949 and 1952 it borrowed space in Hermann Hospital, before reopening in its own building in 1952. It was renamed Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children in 1966. The last building was completed in 1996. In January 2020, Shriners Houston announced that it would close in 2021 and consolidate with the Shriners burn hospital in Galveston.
Methodist Hospital was established near downtown Houston in 1924. It is currently located on Fannin Street in the Medical Center and serves as the teaching hospital for Baylor College of Medicine.
Charles Fredrick (C. F.) Menninger, MD (also known as Dr. C. F. and CFM), began the Menninger Clinic in 1925. Although not initially a trained psychiatrist, he had an interest in psychiatry and is considered a pioneer in the then-emerging field. Two of his sons specialized in psychiatry at medical school and joined him in operating the clinic. Karl Augustus Menninger, who recently had graduated from medical school, joined him in the clinic late that same year. His son William Claire Menninger, Karl's younger brother, joined the clinic in 1927. Dr. Karl and Dr. Will, as the brothers were known, became leaders in the field. Dr. Karl managed the medical side of the clinic, while Dr. Will managed the finances and administration as the CEO. When Dr. Will died unexpectedly in 1966, Dr. Karl briefly took over as CEO before Dr. Will's son Roy Menninger, MD, known as Dr. Roy, was elected CEO. When Dr. Roy retired in 1993, his younger brother, William Walter (Walt) Menninger, known as Dr. Walt, succeeded him. John McKelvey succeeded Dr. Walt in 2001, and Dr. Walt was named chairman of The Menninger Foundation board of trustees. Menninger moved to Houston in 2003 after it formed an affiliation with The Methodist Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine.
Memorial Hermann Health System was formed in 1997 by a merger of Hermann Hospital and Memorial Health System. Both preceding institutions dated to the early 20th century, Hermann to 1925 and Memorial to 1907, and the merger created one of the biggest not-for-profit healthcare systems in the United States at the time. The System has branches all over the Houston area and its base location is one of two in the Texas Medical Center with a Level I trauma center.
Founded on September 1, 1907 as the Baptist Sanitarium, Memorial Hospital began as a two-story, wood-framed building at the end of the trolley line on Lamar and Smith. It had 17 beds and eight trained nurses on staff. It was the second general hospital established in Houston after St. Joseph Hospital which opened in 1887. It was also the second Baptist-supported hospital in the United States. The other was the Missouri Baptist Sanitarium in St. Louis.
In 1904 the only general hospital in Houston, St. Joseph Hospital, had 125 beds. The lack of hospital care available in Houston at the time became a discussion between two Baptist ministers, Dr. L. T. Mays (South Main Baptist Church) and Rev. D. R. Pevoto (Clark Avenue Baptist Church). They wanted to open a new hospital to serve the people of Houston regardless of race, religion, or wealth. It remained only an idea for years as discussions began to involve more people in the community, like Dr. J. L. Gross (pastor of First Baptist Church of Houston), Dr. George Truett, and George Hermann. Mrs. Charles Stewart, member of First Baptist Church of Houston gave $1,000 as a down payment to purchase the two-story Ida J. Rudisill Sanitarium for $18,000. The building had only been in use for two years since 1905. Mrs. Rudisill stayed on serving as director of nursing until about 1912. In 1910, the Baptist Convention of Texas was officially affiliated with the hospital. Pevoto, who managed the hospital until 1917, wrote, “ In those days a hospital was looked upon with apprehension as just a place where one went to die. We decided to change all that.”
Memorial Hospital expanded “piecemeal” one building or building addition at a time, adding more beds as they could. The original Rudisill Building stood for over 50 years. Becoming the nurses quarters and even moved across the street at one point. Below is a brief timeline for the early expansion of Memorial Hospital:
1911: A four-story fireproof building was built and increased capacity to 50 beds.
1915: The hospital built an eight-story building and doubled the capacity to 100 beds.
1924: “A” wing was added, increasing the capacity to 215 beds.
1942: Another addition increased capacity to almost 300 beds.
1945: H. R. Cullen gave $2 million to Lillie Jolly School of Nursing for the construction of the Professional Nurses’ Building.
Through its history, Memorial Hospital was a leader in health care in Houston, establishing many “firsts”:
First chartered school of nursing, 1909
First general hospital to offer psychiatric care, 1920s
First “fever box” in the US to resuscitate newborns, 1930s
First therapeutic tank to treat polio, 1930s
First hospital in Texas to have air-conditioned operating rooms and nurseries, 1930s
First hospital in Texas to receive penicillin shipment, 1943
First hospital to expand services into the Houston suburban areas and developed the hospital satellite system, 1960s
In the 1940s, Memorial opted not to move into the Texas Medical Center, remaining in downtown where it was closer to patients. With the same, consistent mission to provide the communities of Houston with excellent health care at a reasonable cost, Memorial developed the hospital satellite system. In the 1960s, it open three community hospitals in the Southwest (1962), Southeast (1963), and Northwest (1966). The new system allowed regional hospitals to serve the community around them while sharing services, resources, and costs with other hospitals in the Memorial Healthcare System. As W. Wilson Turner, administrator of Memorial Hospital 1958-1981 remarked, “Memorial was a pioneer of multiple health care units under one administrative management in the country.”
In 1971, in order to accept federal and community funds, Memorial Hospital broke ties with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. After 70 years, Memorial closed its downtown hospital in 1977 and moved to the Southwest location on the Southwest Freeway at Beechnut. Everything was moved patients, equipment, supplies, furnishings, and even the Bowles Chapel, which was disassembled and rebuilt piece by piece.
In 1997 Memorial Hospital merged with Hermann Hospital, becoming Memorial Hermann Healthcare System. Today, it is one of the largest non-for-profit healthcare system in Texas with roughly 19 hospitals and several specialty service points throughout the Greater Houston area.
Other notable individuals in the collection:
Lillian Irene Wilson Burnett Jolly (Lillie Jolly) was born near Louisville, Kentucky in 1877. She graduated from the School of Nursing at the Kentucky School of Medicine in 1907. Before attending school she worked in mental health institutions. In 1908, she moved to Houston to be a surgeon’s assistant and director of nurses at the Baptist Sanitarium (later Memorial Hospital). Lillie Jolly was director of the Hospital Training School for Nurses for over 30 years, 1908-1947. In 1945 the school was renamed in her honor, the Lillie Jolly School of Nursing. From 1917 to 1920, she served as superintendent, leading the hospital for two years before re-focusing her attention to the nurses and the nursing school. Robert Jolly became superintendent and served in the position from 1920-1945. Robert and Lillie Jolly were married at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day 1924. She retired in 1947. Lillie Jolly died in 1953.
Robert Jolly was born in Cave City, Kentucky in 1885. He was a Baptist minister. He became the Business Manager for the Baptist Sanitarium in 1919. In 1920 he took over as superintendent for the hospital, a position he held until his retirement in 1945. As superintendent, Jolly oversaw the development and growth of the hospital for 24 years. Jolly was a great fundraiser and worked to make Memorial Hospital one of the leaders in health care. In 1922, the American College of Surgeons awarded Memorial its hospital certification. Jolly also represented the hospital in national organizations, taking leadership positions in the Texas Hospital Association, American Protestant Hospital Association, American Hospital Association, and American College of Hospital Administrators. Robert Jolly died in 1952.
Lela Smith Hickey (Mrs. H. H.) graduated from the Lillie Jolly School of Nursing in 1933. She donated a collection of about 31 photographs that depict the nurses, nursing students, physicians, and facilities of Memorial Hospital in 1932, including the operating room supervisor “Birdie” Byrd. According to a note found in the collection, she was a distant cousin of D. R. Pevoto, founder of Memorial Hospital, and worked “CU” [perhaps, Intensive Care Unit] until early 1960s. Lela Smith Hickey died May 7, 1970.
Col. J. W. Neal and wife, Elizabeth Mitchell Neal, founders of the Cheek-Neal Coffee Co. that made Maxell House famous, were staunch Baptists who supported Memorial Hospital. He became a trustee in the 1920s, and they created two trust funds at the hospital in memory of their children Margaret Ophelia Neal for sick and disabled children and James Robert Neal for X-ray treatment of cancer. In 1944 Mrs. Neal gave Memorial Hospital the block used for their Nurses’ Professional Building in Downtown Houston. Hugh Roy Cullen provided the funds to construct the building, donating $2 million. The building was completed in 1948.
“History of Memorial Hospital Much Like city’s dynamic story” by Betty Ewing. Houston Chronicle, 1982, 11/27. Reference Files; Memorial Hospital System [Baptist Sanatorium], (Houston, Texas); John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center, Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library
“Memorial Hospital Facility to Celebrate Its 75th Anniversary at banquet Tonight” by Mary Jane Schier. Houston Post, 1982, 11/29. Reference Files; Memorial Hospital System [Baptist Sanatorium], (Houston, Texas); John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center, Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library
News clipping, Box 9, Folder 22, “Mrs. Lillie Jolly has Always Liked to Help People” by Bess Whitehead Scott, [unknown newspaper], Houston, TX. 1938, 01/09. Memorial Hospital records; IC 022; John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center, Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library
“Memorial’s 50th Year Observed” by George DeMenil. Houston Post, 1957, 08/25. Reference Files; Memorial Hospital System [Baptist Sanatorium], (Houston, Texas); John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center, Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library
Note and catalog card for P-176 in Lela Smith Hickey Collection. Memorial Hospital Photograph Collection; IC 103; John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center, Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library
Francis, Ted and Carole McFarland. 1982. The Memorial Hospital System: The First Seventy-Five Years. Special Commemorative Edition. Houston: Larksdale Press.
Memorial Hermann website, About us, http://www.memorialhermann.org/about-us/, Accessed: 10/12/2018
Handbook of Texas Online, Diana J. Kleiner, “MEMORIAL HEALTHCARE SYSTEM,” accessed September 19, 2018, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/sbm07.
Hermann Hospital was a public hospital endowed by George Hermann (1843-1914) with a fortune accumulated through investments in oil and real estate. The hospital opened south of downtown Houston in the summer of 1925. It merged with Memorial Hospital in 1999 to create Memorial Hermann Health System. The original Spanish-style building is now part of Children's Memorial Hermann in the northwest corner of the Medical Center.
The Harris County Psychiatric Center opened in 1986 and became the psychiatric wing of the UT Health Science Center at Houston in 1990; it serves as the teaching hospital for the McGovern Medical School. Except for the outpatient ECT clinic, it provides inpatient care only and runs specialized programs to address a long list of concerns. Outpatients are referred to the NeuroPsychiatric Center at Ben Taub Hospital or to a Mental Health and Mental Retardation Association clinic. It serves the community both directly and through the Harris County jail and juvenile detention systems, school districts, and many other educational, legal, and health and development-focused institutions.
The Eye Institute was formed in 1971 with a $1 million bequest from the Cullen Foundation to augment the research, education, and patient care supplied by the Baylor Department of Ophthalmology. Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Roy Cullen had been patrons of Baylor College of Medicine since 1947; Baylor’s main building is named for them. Later gifts funded a facility in Houston Methodist Hospital in 1977. Ray K. Daily, MD, was a professor in the Baylor Department of Ophthalmology until her retirement in 1974.