"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe."
Debbie Niederhoffer, VP & Chief Development Officer - 718.250.8599 or email@example.com
Allison Hagemann, Development Manager - 718.250.6544 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Brooklyn Hospital Foundation, Inc.
121 DeKalb Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11201
The year was 1839. Brooklyn was a city already 200 years old, with a population of 138,882. Cyrus P. Smith was Mayor, and except for an almshouse in Flatbush, there was no hospital in Brooklyn. One spring day, a gentleman from Buffalo broke a leg on Fulton Street, near City Hall. Mayor Smith, who witnessed the accident, realized that there was no place to take the stranger. So after having the man taken to a private house nearby and cared for at his expense, he began to talk to his friends of a new idea. Augustus Graham, Henry E. Pierrepont, A.A. Low, William Packer, and others shared the Mayor's vision and six years later, on May 8, 1845, The Brooklyn City Hospital was incorporated--the first voluntary hospital in Brooklyn.
Getting started was not easy. One account tells of a fundraising meeting at the Brooklyn Institute where $95 was collected. Nonetheless, the need for a hospital was so severe and the resolve of its founders so sure that, in 1846, Augustus Graham and other trustees purchased a two-story frame house on Hudson Avenue for $2,600, and on December 10, 1847, The Brooklyn City Hospital admitted its first patient.
By 1848, there was enough money contributed to purchase a plot of 74 lots, at $200 per lot, on DeKalb Avenue near old Fort Greene. On June 11, 1851, the cornerstone was laid by Mrs. Augustus Graham, whose husband--by then deceased--had contributed the total of $38,000 required to build the 160-bed hospital that has become The Brooklyn Hospital Center.
Some 60 years later, in 1910, a group of immigrant Scotsmen led by Donald G. C. Sinclair, similarly motivated by the spirit of voluntarism and service to their community, resolved to construct a hospital, Caledonian Hospital, to provide basic health care in Flatbush and central Brooklyn, where none existed at the time. A wood-frame mansion at Parkside Avenue and St. Paul 's Place was converted to a 25-bed hospital and Caledonian opened its doors with a dedication to serve patients regardless of race or creed.
In 1982, The Brooklyn Hospital and Caledonian Hospital merged to become one hospital and in 1990 officially became The Brooklyn Hospital Center.
For 160 years, successive generations of Brooklyn leaders have acted to address the ever changing healthcare needs of the people of their borough. Through the decades, they have extended the frontiers of medicine, kept pace with advancing technologies, built and enhanced facilities, merged existing institutions to expand services, and developed new programs to serve their neighbors. The dream of Brooklyn 's first hospital has been fulfilled in the actions of countless individuals who have understood the importance of serving the people of Brooklyn.
Today's leaders are no less committed to the dream they have inherited. Their task is to plan for health care's future even as they stand at the brink of reform. Ahead are unprecedented challenges and uncertainties for the Hospital Center. Planning for the future will require a new vision, new resources and renewed courage to remain a leader.
The 160-year-old dream is alive and The Brooklyn Hospital Center's plan for the future will create new opportunities for protecting and improving the health of Brooklyn. Now is the time to continue to dream as well as to act; to believe as well as plan. It will require the involvement and support of all who believe in The Brooklyn Hospital Center and share dreams for its future.