Tufts Medical Center

Tufts Medical Center

The story of Tufts Medical Center and the Floating Hospital for Children encompasses the history of medicine in Boston. It was founded in 1796 as the Boston Dispensary, where district physicians provided free medical care to the poor through annual subscriptions from wealthy Boston families, including such luminaries as Samuel Adams and Paul Revere. Fueled by a huge influx of immigrants at the turn of the 20th century, the city of Boston rapidly expanded and diversified. So too did the hospital, whose growth included the addition of evening clinics to serve the working poor. The Floating Hospital for Children started in 1894 as a ship outfitted as a hospital to take the city’s sick children out on Boston Harbor to receive the benefits of fresh ocean air and the attention of a volunteer medical staff. In the 1930s, it merged with the Boston Dispensary and the Pratt Diagnostic Clinic along with Tufts University’s Medical School to form the nucleus of today’s Tufts Medical Center, a national leader in health care, teaching, and research.

Tufts Medical Center



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