Historical Information

Elizabeth General Medical Center and St. Elizabeth Hospital

Seeing a need for a health care facility in the Greater Elizabeth Area, four local physicians pooled their time, talent and resources to establish a two-room surgical clinic in 1877. That humanitarian effort flourished, leading to the founding of Elizabeth General Hospital and Dispensary two years later on May 9, 1879. Pictured is the early 20-bed hospital, which was located on Jacques Street.

St. Elizabeth Hospital
In August of 1904, the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, by approval of Bishop John J. O'Connor of Newark, took on the responsibility of planning and organizing a new hospital in the City of Elizabeth. They purchased the property and home, located at 204 South Broad Street, that had once been the residence of Dr. Charles C. Moore. The brownstone structure, on the corner of Pearl Street, was extensively renovated to care for 25 patients and opened as St. Elizabeth Hospital on May 30, 1905.

After more than 20 years of renovations and additions to the original structure that now expanded to Williamson Street, St. Elizabeth Hospital raised funds to build a new hospital that would better serve the community. The "modern" red X-Building opened in 1927. It was fireproof and boasted three operating rooms, numerous wards and patient rooms, x-ray and fluoroscopic departments, solariums and a clinic. St. Elizabeth's bed count was now at 276 beds and bassinets.

Elizabeth General Hospital and Dispensary School of Nursing
The Elizabeth General Hospital and Dispensary School of Nursing, established by the Elizabeth General Ladies Aid Society in 1891, continues to be a source of highly-trained professional nurses. Affiliated with Union College, the School was one of the first to offer weekend and evening courses of study. Pictured are students, circa 1912.

St. Elizabeth Hospital nurse
Throughout the years, the thread of the fabric St. Elizabeth Hospital has woven, in the Elizabeth community and the surrounding area, has been caring for the families it services. Nurses continue to cuddle the infants in their care just as they did in this photo taken in 1916.

Elizabeth General Hospital and Dispensary men's surgical ward
A view of the Elizabeth General Hospital and Dispensary men's surgical ward, circa 1894.

nurse with child
The nurses on the St. Elizabeth Hospital Pediatric Unit still take time to play with a child just as the nurse did in 1954 when many of the units were staffed with Sisters of Charity.

Pediatric Unit
A view of Elizabeth General Hospital's Pediatric Unit taken around 1895. The unit was called "The Daisy Bed Ward" in memory of Eliza Gracie Halsey.

St. Elizabeth's X-Building Chapel
St. Elizabeth's X-Building boasted a Chapel that seated 100 people. It served not only the Hospital family, but was attended by members of the community as well.

horse-drawn ambulance
At the turn-of-the-century, a horse-drawn ambulance stands in front of the Elizabeth General Hospital and Dispensary, located at the corner of East Jersey and Reid Streets. These original buildings were razed in the 1920's to erect the initial buildings that still stand today. Over the years, as Elizabeth General Hospital and Dispensary grew into Elizabeth General Medical Center, numerous wings and buildings were added, or replaced, as the complex expanded to an entire city block.

Patient Stories

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