Connecticut Children’s Celebrates 25 Years of Innovative and Compassionate Care for All Children and Families

For Immediate Release: April 2, 2021
Media Contact:

Monica Buchanan, Senior Director, Strategic Communications
Connecticut Children’s
(860) 837-5701

Hartford, CT – Connecticut Children’s is excited to mark a quarter century of outstanding contributions in the care of children and families from across the state and region with a specific focus and renewed commitment to “creating the future” of pediatric healthcare.

When Connecticut Children’s first opened its doors on April 2, 1996, it became the state’s first and only independent health system for children. It also provided the full spectrum of pediatric health care by consolidating state of the art medical services from three institutions: Newington Children’s Hospital, and the pediatric departments of Hartford Hospital and UConn Health. Designed with input from physicians, nurses, parents and children, Connecticut Children’s welcomed young patients into a new era of pediatric medicine. The hospital was the first to serve all a child’s medical needs under one roof in the heart of Hartford.

“On this day 25 years ago, Connecticut Children’s opened its doors to children and families in the Hartford area and throughout the state. As our team members and our patient families entered the state-of-the-art facility, all had high hopes for what might lie ahead, but no one could have imagined the incredible progress that would unfold over the next quarter-century,” said Jim Shmerling, DHA, FACHE, President & CEO of Connecticut Children’s. “Time and time again, our patient families share their experiences with us, describing how our team members have gone above and beyond to help them feel comfortable, calm and confident in their health choices and journey. This family-centered approach is an important reason why parents recommend us, and why our former patients now bring their own children here. It is also why our health partners send their patients our way for specialty and emergency care.”

Today, Connecticut Children’s has 39 locations across 3 different states with more than 200 highly skilled physicians who provide care in 30 pediatric specialties. Since its opening, the health system has cared for more than a million children, including:

  • 1M Emergency Department visits
  • >150,000 admissions
  • >150,000 surgeries

In addition, Connecticut Children’s has also been at the helm of many clinical firsts and medical advancements during its first quarter century, including the nation’s first glycogen storage disease gene therapy treatment in 2018, becoming the first hospital in the state to offer the new, high-tech and innovative EASE app to patients and families in 2018, opening the state’s first pediatric outpatient dialysis center in 2020, becoming the state’s first and only accredited adult congenital heart disease program and accredited pediatric bariatric surgery program in 2020 and launching the first pediatric clinically integrated network.

Now, Connecticut Children’s world-renowned researchers have their sights set on the future. Investigators in laboratories devoted to pediatric medicine are working closely with clinicians at the bedside to pioneer advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of childhood diseases. As one of the nation’s leading recipients of federal funding for research, Connecticut Children’s physician-researchers participate and lead numerous national research trials, including important COVID-19 research about early detection, diagnosis and treatment of MIS-C, a rare and potentially life-threatening pediatric condition linked to the COVID-19 virus.

“It’s this spirit of innovation and collaboration — the relentless drive to push the boundaries of what’s possible — that has drawn the leading physicians for complex conditions in the world here to Connecticut Children’s,” said Juan Salazar, MD, Physician-in-Chief and Division Head of Infectious Diseases and Immunology at Connecticut Children’s. “What we’ve been able to accomplish in the last 25 years through genomics, personalized medicine, rare bone disorders and beyond is astonishing, and will continue to impact the lives of children for generations to come.”
Connecticut Children’s 25th anniversary celebration will continue until the end of September and will feature interviews from past leaders and team members, along with timelines, wellness activities, community engagement activities and more.

For more information on how to share your own Connecticut Children’s connection visit

About Connecticut Children’s
Connecticut Children’s is the only hospital in Connecticut dedicated exclusively to the care of children and ranked one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and a Magnet® designated hospital. Connecticut Children’s provides more than 30 pediatric specialties along with community-based programs to uniquely care for the physical, social, and emotional needs of children. Our team of pediatric experts and care coordinators bring access to breakthrough research, advanced treatments for both rare and common diseases, and innovative health and safety programs to every child. Connecticut Children’s is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to improve access to healthcare for all children through convenient locations, care alliances and partnerships.

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