Connecticut and New Haven's First General Hospital

Knight Hospital and the Civil War

Late Nineteenth-Century Expansion and the Founding of Grace Hospital

The Connecticut Training School for Nurses and the Dispensary

The Founding of the Hospital of Saint Raphael

For-Profit Private Hospitals in New Haven

New Haven Hospital, 1900-1920

New Haven, Grace, and Saint Raphael, 1920s and 1930s

Grace-New Haven Community Hospital and the Hospital of Saint Raphael, 1940s and 1950s

Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Hospital of Saint Raphael, 1960s to the Present

Cushing/Whitney Medical Library

Historical Library

Yale-New Haven Hospital

St. Raphael Healthcare System

Turn of the Century Private Hospitals in New Haven

Newhope Private Sanitarium, opened 1900

Private hospitals were typically founded by physicians and were profit-making enterprises. The founder of Newhope and physician-in-charge was Clarence E. Skinner (1868-1947), a graduate of Yale Medical College in 1891, and an expert in the new specialty of physiotherapy. Begun as the Newhope Hot Air Sanitarium and emphasizing thermotherapy, the institution soon expanded to accept all patients "except those suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis, contagious and mental afflictions, and drug or alcoholic addiction." One of the chief advantages over a public hospital, the brochure argued, is that the hospital has a permanent staff who can provide more personal attention than the visiting physicians and rotating house officers of a public hospital. In addition, other physicians could admit their patients and care for them themselves, independently of the sanitarium staff. Its successor in 1907 was the Elm City Private Hospital.

Newhope Private Sanitarium for the Treatment by Dry Hot Air, Mechanical Vibration, X-Rays, The Electrical Currents, Drugs, Etc. New Haven, n.d. [ca. 1901-1907].
Historical Library, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library.


The Elm City Private Hospital, successor to Newhope, 1907-1918

In 1907 the Newhope Private Sanitarium became the Elm City Private Hospital, presumably to emphasize that it incorporated all modes of treatment, not just physiotherapy. Clarence E. Skinner was superintendent from 1907 to 1911. This brochure claims that the hospital was founded to provide modern treatment for "arthritis deformans, rheumatism, gout, neuritis, nephritis, and other diseases resistant to ordinary methods of treatment." Also "there was demand for a place where patients requiring medical and surgical treatment could have first-class hospital treatment surrounded by such luxuries as they might desire, and at the same time could be entirely under the care of the physician or surgeon of their choice." The hospital was equipped with machines for electrotherapy, X-rays, thermotherapy, hydrotherapy, and exercise. Rates ranged from $50 to $60 a week plus charges for special treatments. The Elm City Hospital building, located on Park Street, was sold to Yale University in 1918. It was used by the Department of Public Health and later as a dormitory for the Yale School of Nursing.

The Elm City Private Hospital, New Haven, n.d.
Historical Library Cushing/Whitney Medical Library


Dr. Skinner's Private Sanatorium, 1911-1915

Skinner left Elm City Hospital in 1911 to open Doctor Skinner's Private Sanatorium at 67 York Square. Its capacity, at the time this brochure was published, was only 18 beds but the institution treated a wide range of diseases. As at Elm City, any physician could admit his or her patient to the hospital and attend the patient there. The brochure boasts that the hospital had recently acquired a "Victor Talking Machine with a goodly number of musical records" to provide concerts for the patients. Dr. Skinner's Private Sanitarium was in operation from 1911 to 1915. In 1916, Skinner moved to New York and became an examiner for life insurance companies. The page to which the brochure is opened provides an alphabetical list of the ailments of the 196 patients treated during the first six months of 1913.

Dr. Skinner's Private Sanatorium, 67 York Square, New Haven, Connecticut. Second Semi-Annual Report. New Haven, 1913.
Historical Library, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library.


Prospectus for the Physicians & Surgeons Hospital, early 20th century

This undated prospectus details the plans for a for-profit hospital to be located in the block bounded by Whitney Ave, Humphrey St., and Orange St., and Bradley Ave. "The Physicians and Surgeons Hospital is to be strictly a business proposition, hence no 'free' patients are to be received. New Haven is already fairly well supplied with charitable hospital facilities." Dividends would be paid on stock purchased and the value of the stock could be exchanged for hospital services. Staff physicians had to show evidence of publication and research, though any physician could have access to the hospital to treat his or her patients. No names of organizers are mentioned in the pamphlet. The hospital never materialized.

"Old Elms--New Ideas." New Haven, n.d.
Yale-New Haven Hospital Archives


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