Our History

During an era of war, peace and politics, the 1870’s also marked the beginning of a hospital destined for greatness. The Sisters of the Community of St. Mary had an idea to establish a facility to provide free care for sick and needy children. Founded in Manhattan in 1870 with just 15 beds and limited funding, St. Mary’s hospital was the first private medical institution in New York dedicated to the care of acutely ill children. In 1951, St. Mary’s flagship facility was moved to a nine acre campus in Queens where it currently operates a 97-bed inpatient program. In 1983, St. Mary’s added a family-centered home care program to care for children with the highest levels of medical complexity.

Over three decades ago, Dr. Burton Grebin, our beloved former President and CEO walked through the doors of St. Mary’s and began the long journey towards building a bridge of hope for children with special needs. During the 140 years since its inception, St. Mary’s has continuously re-evaluated its focus and services to meet the emerging needs of new generations of children and their families as a multi-denominational organization.

Through our strong commitment to patient care and education, we have kept our commitment to the founders, the Sisters of St. Mary, to turn children with the most complex medical conditions into happier, healthier, and stronger kids.

A Total-Healing Environment
After a highly successful 5-year capital campaign, St. Mary’s Hospital for Children underwent a major modernization and expansion project. With the support of the greater New York community, St. Mary’s state-of-the art Children’s Pavilion opened in October 2012, providing a total-healing environment for children and their families to heal and thrive.  The new Pavilion houses patient neighborhoods, treatment rooms, and the Dr. Burton Grebin Rehabilitation Center. The following year, our existing building was reconstructed into the Education and Family Pavilion, which houses PS 23Q, our onsite public school for inpatients, and the Queens Borough President Helen Marshall Early Education Center, a preschool for community children with medical complexity.

St. Mary’s began our journey in the 1870s by opening the very first medical institution for children in New York City, and today, remains the city’s only post-acute hospital for children requiring long-term rehabilitation.  Learn more