Our History

Learn about the history of Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital since its founding in 1926

Our History

We were founded in 1926 as the American Legion Hospital for Crippled Children to care for children with polio and other crippling disorders, without regard for race, creed or ability to pay. We have continued to grow for nine decades thanks to ongoing community support, dedicated employees and visionary leaders.

Learn more about our history and transformation into a leading pediatric academic health system, always keeping our patients and families at the center of care.

Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital Timeline


Civic leaders and members of American Legion Post 14 rally the community to create a special place for children who suffer from the effects of polio and other crippling disorders. The American Legion Hospital for Crippled Children opens its doors in St. Petersburg.


A second building is added to the Hospital. Many of the patients stayed for months at a time, with physical therapy and educational therapy becoming integral parts of their hospital care.


A larger facility opens to accommodate the nearly 500 patients being admitted each year. Surgical facilities are a new feature, and soon a full-time schoolteacher joins the staff to help meet the needs of the whole child during an extended stay and convalescence. At the decade's end, more than 5,000 additional square feet are added for rehabilitation and occupational therapy, a library and additional school facilities.


As the threat of polio ebbs, Hospital leaders and trustees plan for a new future providing specialized services for children with a diverse range of healthcare needs. Construction begins in 1965 on land acquired from the City of St. Petersburg next door to its then public hospital (now Bayfront Medical Center).


The new $4.25 million All Children's Hospital opened its doors on October 1, with a staff of 143, including 65 nurses, for 70 beds. At the dedication, trustees quote the poet Carl Sandburg to explain the Hospital's new name: "There is only one child in all the world, and that child's name is All Children." Within a few years, all 113 of the facility's licensed beds would be operational.


Pediatric anesthesiology and pediatric cardiology become the first pediatric subspecialties at All Children's Hospital, and a cardiac catheterization laboratory opens.


All Children's Hospital opens its first intensive care unit, providing care for newborns through teens.


All Children's Hospital teams up with the University of South Florida (USF) College of Medicine to create a pediatric physician training program and establish research labs in pediatric endocrinology.


All Children's Hospital opens a new Neonatal Nursery that is designated by the State of Florida as one of eight Level III neonatal units (Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Center). Two neonatologists join the staff during this first year. The Hospital expands its pediatric open heart surgery program.


The Children's Health Center opens to provide outpatient services across the street from All Children's Hospital. New programs include pediatric hematology-oncology and pediatric infectious disease.


A Ronald McDonald House opens on campus to provide a "home away from home" for the families of young patients. All Children's Hospital acquires its first custom-built neonatal ambulance, which includes two incubators, cardiac monitors, oxygen monitors and respirators, to keep tiny patients stable during their trip to St. Petersburg.


All Children's Hospital opens a Medical Intensive Care Unit, led by its first fulltime pediatric critical care specialist. A new 40-bed Neonatal Nursery opens to accommodate the growing number of premature and critically ill newborn patients. A bone marrow transplant unit opens.


All Children's Hospital performs its first kidney transplant.


A $20 million expansion adds more inpatient units and operating suites, a Short Stay Unit for the growing number of outpatient surgeries, a sleep laboratory, Special Procedures Unit, pediatric dialysis unit, and expanded occupational and physical therapy areas. All Children’s teams up with the National Safe Kids Campaign to sponsor the Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition, dedicated to promoting child passenger safety and preventing unintentional childhood injuries such as drowning and pedestrian bicycle accidents.


The Pediatric Emergency Center opens, providing a front door to the Hospital that is open 24 hours a day. The Emergency Center is especially important for children from throughout the region who have chronic illnesses or other special medical needs and have their "medical home" at All Children's. All Children's performs its first pediatric heart transplant. The first All Children's Specialty Care Center (now Outpatient Care Center) opens in New Port Richey, offering visits with pediatric subspecialists as well as lab, x-ray, diagnostic testing and rehab services to a convenient outpatient setting.


New Outpatient Care Centers in Sarasota, Tampa, Ft. Myers and Lakeland offer key diagnostic and rehab services plus visits with pediatric subspecialists for children in these communities.


All Children's Hospital and its next-door neighbor, Bayfront Medical Center, create an innovative joint Pediatric Trauma Program, which is named a State-Approved Pediatric Trauma Referral Center (and is now the busiest pediatric trauma program in Florida).


The $12 million, 50,000 square foot Children's Research Institute opens, uniting the Hospital and the USF College of Medicine in renewed efforts to understand, treat and ultimately prevent many childhood diseases.


All Children's Hospital establishes a pediatric minimally invasive surgery program, investing more than $1 million in laparoscopic and robotic surgical equipment for a dedicated surgical suite.


The All Children's Hospital pediatric cancer program is honored by the American Society of Clinical Oncologists for its outstanding work in furthering advances in cancer research and treatment. The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute names All Children's its only pediatric affiliate.


All Children's breaks ground for construction of a brand new 240-bed hospital and adjoining outpatient medical facility. At the time, it was the largest health care construction project in the Southeast.


The Greater St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and the Tampa Bay Business Journal both recognize All Children’s Hospital as Outstanding Business of the Year.


All Children's Hospital opens a new facility consisting of a ten-floor new hospital and five-floor outpatient care center. In July, All Children's Hospital announces its intention to join the Johns Hopkins Health System as a fully integrated member of John Hopkins Medicine.


All Children's Hospital joins the Johns Hopkins Health System as a fully integrated member of Johns Hopkins Medicine.


Jonathan Ellen, MD, Professor of Pediatrics with The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, is named Vice Dean and Physician-in-Chief, All Children's Hospital.


Jonathan Ellen, MD is named President of All Children's Hospital in addition to his ongoing role as Vice Dean.  The new All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine pediatric residency program slated to begin July 2014 is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Neil Goldenberg, MD, PhD joins All Children’s as Director of Research and Chief Research Officer. The Johns Hopkins Children's Heart Surgery program at All Children's Hospital formalizes the collaborative relationship among pediatric heart surgeons in St. Petersburg and Baltimore.


Newly expanded programs for pediatric thrombosis (clotting disorders) and pediatric stroke begin at All Children's Hospital. The Clinical and Translational Research Organization (CTRO) launches programs to enhance and support the design, implementation and oversight of clinical and translational research programs to advance the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of pediatric-onset diseases and their adverse outcomes.


All Children's establishes four institutes that unite treatment, research, education and advocacy through multidisciplinary care. They offer comprehensive and coordinated care in key areas of child health:

  • Heart Institute
  • Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute
  • Institute for Brain Protection Sciences
  • Maternal, Fetal & Neonatal Institute


The inaugural group of All Children’s pediatric residents embarks on an innovative three-year program that unites training in clinical care with research opportunities and leadership development. The residency program is joined by new clinical and research fellowship programs that provide even more highly specialized training.


Joined by community leaders, donors and patients, hospital officials break ground for the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Research and Education Building, slated to open in 2018. The Research and Education Building will create more opportunities for physicians, nurses and scientists to accomplish pioneering research into pediatric health and disease and train clinicians to deliver predictive, preventive and precise care for the 21st century.


Ninety years after community leaders first envisioned a children’s hospital and five years after All Children’s Hospital joined the Johns Hopkins Medicine family, hundreds of employees and friends gather to celebrate another milestone.  A new name—Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital—proudly unites a history of caring for the region’s children with a bright future as part of one of the world’s leading health care systems. Johns Hopkins All Children’s continues to move forward on its journey to become a national leader for pediatric medicine, bringing hope, discovery and cures to patients here in Florida and around the globe.