Montefiore Hospital, located on Fifth Avenue in Oakland, has been offering medical services to Pittsburgh and the Western Pennsylvania region since 1898. Once primarily a hospital for the Jewish community, the non-sectarian institution grew to be one of the premier medical facilities in the area. Now a part of the UPMC Health System, UPMC Montefiore continues to offer a variety of state-of-the-art services as part of the Pittsburgh healthcare conglomerate.
In 1898, a group of seventeen Jewish women formed the Hebrew Ladies' Hospital Aid Society, later known as the Ladies' Hospital Aid Society, to administer to the medical and social needs of thousands of newly arriving Jewish immigrants, many of whom were settling in the Hill District. The society planned to form a Jewish hospital which would provide Jewish doctors the opportunity for advanced medical training and furnish hospital care for Jewish patients. The hospital would meet the cultural needs of it's patients with kosher food and a Jewish environment.
In 1907 the society purchased the Jacob Ewart mansion, located on Centre Avenue in the Hill District. After renovation, the newly incorporated Montefiore Hospital was opened to the public in May 1908. Although the hospital was founded by the Jewish community, it accepted all patients, regardless of religion or creed.
The Montefiore Hospital Training School for Nurses was founded in 1909 and an outpatient facility was opened in 1922. Expansion continued with the opening of a Preventive Health Center and a Social Service Department.
By the mid-1920s, Montefiore Hospital had outgrown it's Centre Avenue facility. Property was purchased at Fifth Avenue and Darragh Street in the Oakland neighborhood for $350,000. The University of Pittsburgh was embarking on the creation of a university medical center, and Montefiore Hospital became a major part of that plan. Construction of the hospital began in 1927, and the facility opened it's doors two years later, in 1929.
The years that followed saw continued growth of the Montefiore facility. Montefiore began operating Pennsylvania's first home care program in 1952. That same year, Montefiore became affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and began offering courses for medical students. The Liliane S. Kaufmann School of Nursing Residence opened in 1953. In 1959, Pitt began sending students to Montefiore for training in general surgery. Three years later, the Samuel and Ettie Klein Frank Building was dedicated as the house staff residence.
Montefiore Hospital joined the University Health Center of Pittsburgh (UHCP), the forerunner of the present-day UPMC Health System, in 1969. Renamed Montefiore-University, it joined Presbyterian-University, Eye and Ear, Magee-Womens and Childrens Hospitals as part of the emerging healthcare giant.
As the UPMC system grew, Montefiore Hospital struggled to maintain its individual identity within the larger health center. Finally, in 1990, the University of Pittsburgh purchased Montefiore Hospital for $145,000,000. Half of this money was used to establish the Montefiore Foundation, later renamed the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. The name of the hospital was changed to UPMC Montefiore. Today, it is part of UPMC Presbyterian.
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