Innovations and Milestones

1796: The Boston Dispensary is established as the first permanent medical facility in New England and one of the first in the United States

1803: First public health vaccination campaign for smallpox beguan

1814: The Boston Dispensary became the first medical facility to assign nurses to needy patients

1856: A first of its kind permanent clinic founded at Bennett and Ash Streets

1873: The first U.S. clinic for venereal disease opened at the Boston Dispensary

1873: The first dental clinic in the country for the poor was established

1883: The first U.S. scientific use of Swedish massage and the beginnings of rehabilitative medicine begins at the Boston Dispensary

1886: The first Visiting Nurse Association established

1894: Boston Floating Hospital for Children is inaugurated

1899: The Boston Dispensary opens the first U.S. lung clinic

1908: A general admission fee of 10 cents was established

1908: The country’s second oldest medical social service department opened

1911: Floating Hospital started hospital-based human milk collection for sick babies

1913: The Boston Dispensary featured the first evening pay clinic to serve the working poor and one of the earliest examples of employer-paid clinic treatment for employees

1913: “Well Child” and preventative health clinic established

1918: The Boston Dispensary opened the first nutrition clinic of its kind in the world

1919: An artificial milk product is invented at Floating Hospital, that is later successfully marketed as Similac

1927: Modern diagnostic test for syphilis discovered at the Boston Dispensary

1930: The world’s first experiment in group psychotherapy takes place at the Boston Dispensary

1929: The Boston Dispensary begins an affiliation with Floating Hospital and Tufts University School of Medicine

1938: 100-bed Pratt Clinic, the largest diagnostic clinic in the world, is constructed at the Boston Dispensary

1947: First children’s playroom established to apply recreational therapy

1956: Cineradiographic equipment, which takes x-ray moving pictures, is installed at the Boston Dispensary; the first in Massachusetts

1958: Maurice Raben, MD a pediatric endocrinologist at Floating Hospital purified hormones from human pituitary glands to create the first growth hormone treatment

1958: The Rehabilitation Institute is established at the Boston Dispensary, the first in New England

1958: Immunosuppression therapy is developed to aid in successful organ transplants

1963: The Family Participation Unit is established at Floating Hospital, allowing parents to stay overnight with their children

1965: The first neighborhood health center is founded by Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston’s Columbia Point housing project

1965: Tufts Medical Center officially merges with Boston Floating Hospital

1981: The world's first pediatric trauma center established at Floating Hospital

1987: Staff at Tufts MC create the practice of case management, the first hospital to do so

1992: Becomes the first in New England and only one of six clinical sites in the U.S. to pioneer Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), know as the Gamma Knife. It used in conjunction with high-powered computers to customize the distribution of radiation beams. This results in the maximum possible dose to the diseased areas and minimum possible dose to the surrounding normal tissues and organs.

1992: The first, full-service private teaching hospital in Boston is created with the addition of a maternity service

1997: Neely House is established; first-of-its-kind bed and breakfast-style home within the hospital to host cancer patients and their families

1997: Rooftop helipad opened for pediatric and adult Medflight patients

2001: First-in-the-nation transplant exchange program, “Hope Through Sharing,” is established

2007: Paul Pierce Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery is established with funds from Boston Celtics great, Paul Pierce

2008: Tufts-New England Medical Center is re-named Tufts Medical Center