It was 1919. America was ending World War I, but in Dayton, Ohio a new beginning was underway. Annae Barney Gorman, a philanthropist and community activist, had purchased a building on Chapel Street and was making plans for a community center to offer health services, education and recreation for North Dayton residents. Within a year, Annae Barney Gorman opened the Barney Community Center, which provided neighborhood residents free clinics, occupational therapy classes, a milk station and lunch program.
Throughout her life, Mrs. Gorman continued to be active and interested in the progress of the community center and lived to see it develop into the only convalescent hospital in the area designed to care for polio victims. To reflect the center's expanded mission, the name was changed to the Barney Convalescent Hospital in 1947.
With the advent of the Salk and Sabin vaccines in the mid-1950s, the need for a strictly convalescent hospital diminished. About that same time, a new need emerged--the need for a pediatric hospital to care for seriously ill and injured children.
In 1957, Elsie Mead worked tirelessly to form the Children's Hospital Society, which was dedicated to raising funds for the construction of a children's hospital. The board of the Barney Convalescent Hospital also recognized the need for a full-service children's hospital and joined forces with the hospital society in 1963. As the result of their efforts, The Barney Children's Medical Center, a four-story hospital located at 1735 Chapel Street, was opened in February 1967. Elsie Mead remained the hospital's guiding light - including several years as its board chairperson - until her death in 1980.
In 1970, the medical center's name was changed to The Children's Medical Center. Dayton Children's evolved into a 155-bed private, not-for-profit hospital for infants, children and adolescents. This commitment to serving as the area's only hospital devoted to pediatric care led the way to additional construction.
In 1979, an address change was approved at that year's annual meeting. The Chapel Street address became One Children's Plaza.
The area outside Dayton Children's has undergone major changes over the years. Extensive landscaping, a parking garage directly off of Valley Street, new wayfinding elements and signage, expanded and renovated trauma and emergency center all make Dayton Children's more inviting and easier to locate. Dayton Children's has also worked with the Northeast Priority Board and other area organizations to brighten the Old North Dayton neighborhood that has been the hospital's home since its inception.
Most recent, we have expanded beyond Old North Dayton and built convenient facilities in your neighborhood. Currently, we have five outpatient centers in Beavercreek, Kettering, Springboro, Vandalia and Warren County.
We're here if you need us - providing just the right care.
We believe there are 18 ways we're just right for our region's kids! Learn more and share your story at justrightforkids.org.