NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County was founded more than 175 years ago. The hospital we know today has its origins in an institution known as the Almshouse that evolved in the 18th and 19th centuries. The hospital sits on land that was bought from the Martense family for three thousand dollars. In 1837, a hospital building was completed; this building, 86 feet long by 36 feet wide, was the beginning of the present extensive physical plant which has become one of the largest municipal hospitals in the United States.
Through the years, many projects were completed bringing physical growth and improved clinical facilities for patient care and teaching of all types and levels of health workers. The lay Advisory Board, comprising outstanding members of the community, devoted to the activities and welfare of the hospital, was established in May 1951. It has been succeeded by a Community Advisory Board officially installed May 12, 1972, and an active Consumer Council dedicated to the objective of optimum and concerned patient care.
Throughout the growth and development of NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County, devoted administrative, medical, nursing and hospital staff have generously given of their knowledge, time, and talents. The hospital has claimed many “firsts” in the field of medicine: it was the site of the first open-heart surgery performed in New York State; NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County physicians invented the world’s first hemodialysis machine, conducted the first studies of HIV infection in women and produced the first human images using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In addition, NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County was named the first Level 1 Trauma Center in the U.S.