Children's Memorial Hospital opened its doors on March 14, 1948. The hospital, located at 42nd and Dewey Ave. in Omaha, cost $850,000 to build and was funded by a community-wide penny drive and contributions made by 30,000 people in Nebraska and western Iowa.
The first child to be admitted to the new children's hospital needed surgery. Six and a-half month old John Paul Mattson was born with a hernia. He arrived at the hospital from his home in Omaha's Dundee neighborhood just minutes before Children's second patient, also an infant boy in need of surgery to repair a hernia. Both procedures went well.
Mattson returned to Children's Memorial Hospital ten years later with a ruptured appendix that almost took his life. His treatment was successful, and he went on to graduate from Omaha's Westside High School and Northwestern University. John Mattson is now a father and grandfather who says, "I'm here because of Children's."
With the polio epidemic looming, Children's would go on to play a significant role in the treatment of youngsters throughout the area.
In 1981, Children's Hospital moved west to a new location at the corner of 83rd and Dodge Streets.
A new, state-of-the-art hospital built especially for children opened September 30, 2000, at 8200 Dodge St. just one block north of Children's former home. The 292,030 square-foot facility features a total of nine floors, including three medical/surgical floors, each with 24 single-occupancy rooms. The hospital also has a 19-bed pediatric intensive care unit and a 46-bed newborn intensive care unit.
On January 8, 2009, Children's Hospital introduced a new logo and a new name. Children's Hospital & Medical Center represents the hospital's growth into a regional pediatric and specialty health care center.