St. Charles Hospital-107 Years of Excellence In Health Care
On February 27, 1907, 27 homeless children with disabilities boarded a train in Brooklyn, NY, and arrived in Port Jefferson where they were lovingly accepted into the care of four French Sisters representing the Order of the Daughters of Wisdom. A mere nine months later the Brooklyn Home for handicapped children was established to provide support, care, education, and medical and surgical treatment of blind and handicapped children. By 1910, a three-story structure designed to accommodate 250 children was built on Fairview Hill and was dedicated as St. Charles Hospital.
Stories of remarkable recoveries made by the children at St. Charles began to circulate throughout the region and helped establish a reputation for outstanding care that remains today. Breakthroughs in the treatment of polio garnered national media attention, as did the successful education of a young boy who was left both deaf and blind following cerebrospinal meningitis.
In 1915 the hospital expanded again, this time with the construction of a two-story structure to house a bakery, laundry, large auditorium and playroom. In 1917, the Helme Farm and the Price Cottage, both adjoining the hospital's property, were purchased to provide housing for the sisters. In 1921, the Weeks land, a 10-acre tract adjoining the hospital on Belle Terre Road, was purchased. A three-story brick addition to the main hospital was completed in 1923. New operating rooms, a sterilization room, anesthesiology, a recovery area, and X-ray facility were included along with playrooms, dormitories, and classrooms for academic and vocational training.
Ever on the leading edge of medical treatment, the hospital constructed a therapeutic swimming pool in 1926. Taking advantage of the buoyancy provided by hydrotherapy, therapists used the pool to help patients mobilize limbs paralyzed by polio and other conditions. In 1948, the hospital's Outpatient Orthopedic Clinic opened to provide monitoring and care for children who were able to live at home.
Much progress was made in the 1960's when the hospital received a one-million dollar federal grant to construct a new 165-bed facility. This facility would be a general hospital, providing medical, surgical, pediatric and obstetric care to patients from Huntington to the East End of Long Island. Later that year, an orthopedic resident training affiliation with Yale University School of Medicine was announced.
Inauspicious beginnings for the St. Charles Hospital that exists today - a full service, general hospital and regional rehabilitation center with 8 satellite rehabilitation centers from Albertson to Port Jefferson. Today's the hospital hosts 231 beds. Each year, approximately 1,600 babies are born at St. Charles, and a team of Board Certified neonatologists provide 24-hour-a-day coverage to ensure that special needs newborns receive the highest level of care. Recalling its roots, St. Charles Hospital continues to specialize in orthopedic surgery and rehabilitation. The hospital is a certified Traumatic Brain Injury Center, Spinal Cord Injury Center, and Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Center. It also continues to serve the community through a number of comprehensive outpatient clinics for children and adults with disabilities.
For more information on services at St. Charles Hospital, call (631) 474-6797.