A brief history of Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center
“All nations and all times have revered charity as the highest virtue. Our feelings of fellowship for all mankind incites us to help the weak, feed the hungry, and clothe the naked; but it is reverence for a human life that teaches us to nurse the sick with tenderest care.” - Jonas Weil, Founder & First President, Lebanon Hospital
New York saw a massive immigration of European Jews in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Hospitals, especially in the Bronx were crowded to their greatest capacity. Around this time, Jonas Weil, a prominent citizen of the Bronx, had the utmost difficulty in having a poor and very sick friend admitted to a hospital. He decided to set foot on a movement to establish an institution that would in a measure, enable the sick poor to receive better care. He organized the Lebanon Hospital Association, and showed his sincerity with a donation of $10,175. This gesture was reciprocated by his friends and other citizens, and in 1890, Lebanon Hospital was born.
The Bronx Hospital was founded in 1911 to meet the healthcare needs of the growing South Bronx community. Just seven years after its establishment, the institution was caring for more than 30,000 patients a year. To meet this demand,the Eichler estate was purchased, and the mansion transformed into a 110-bed hospital. Seven years down the line, a bigger hospital had to be built to accommodate the medical needs of the residents of the Bronx. By 1928, a new 310-bed hospital had been built.
Lebanon Hospital meanwhile, had moved to a newer building at Grand Concourse and Mt. Eden Parkway, and by 1946, had expanded to a 205-bed institution.
By the end of the 1950s, the boards of the two hospitals decided to share staff, equipment and facilities, in order to provide better medical care for the people of the Bronx, and the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center was born. The onward course of the Center received a fresh impetus with the “New Directions” program launched in 1981. The Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center now consists of two major hospital sites; the Concourse division, 17-story tower for medical, specialty, outpatient and emergency services; and the Fulton division with an Open Access Center, psychiatric and substance abuse program, as well as a 240 bed skilled nursing facility. The Center operates more than 30 ambulatory medical practices throughout the community through the Bronx Care network. In 2004, the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center provided more than 155,000 inpatient days of service and 754,000 emergency and outpatient visits.
In 1971, the hospital became the primary teaching hospital of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Today, it offers accredited residency programs in pediatrics, medicine, surgery, ophthalmology, psychiatry, family practice, radiology, obstetrics & gynecology, and dentistry. Medical students from the College rotate through the various departments for their clinical rotations.
One hundred years ago, Jonas Weil had a dream: to lend aid to an impoverished neighborhood so that those who were sick would receive quality medical care, regardless of their ability to pay. Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center can proudly say that the dream of its founder is alive and well. We welcome you to join us in our mission.