Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bambino Gesù: the hospital

This last week I had the occasion to visit the Roman Children's Hospital of Bambino Gesù. One of my students was being treated for a stomach infection.

Bambino Gesù was founded in 1869, as the first children’s Hospital in Italy, by the Salviati family, at a time when children were not given any special medical consideration and were often sharing beds with adult patients. Other families of the city joined in to support the hospital, allowing it to grow from 12 beds in the center of Rome to its current location on the Janiculum Hill.

In 1924 the Salviati family decided to donate Bambino Gesù to the Holy See to ensure the future of the hospital. New buildings were created with additional operating rooms and outpatient clinics. In the 1960's, with the help of donations from the American Catholic bishops, the hospital underwent substantial rennovation.

Today the hospital has 800 beds and has an international reputation for excellent treatment and children's health research.

Here are some architectural details of the hospital environment, including a terra cotta Madonna and Child at the entrance to the John Paul II Pavilion.

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