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

The Founding of the Hospital of Saint Raphael


The Catholic Hospital Association

In 1907 The Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth in New Jersey responded to the request of 14 physicians to come to New Haven and start a hospital. The name they chose for this foreign mission, "Raphael," is an archangel recognized by many faiths, and when translated means "God has healed." The early physicians were predominantly Catholic, but included many non-Catholics: Drs. Henry Fleischner, Theodore Pallman, Raynham Townshend, Alexander Bergman, and Israel Kleiner. Board members included Louis Ullman and Edward Malley. Congregation Mishkan Israel was a major donor. In the charter for Saint Raphael's, March 14, 1907, the object of the hospital endeavor is set forth…
"To establish in the City of New Haven, Connecticut, a hospital to receive and care for all patients who might apply for admission without regard to creed or race: To extend charity to the sick poor and to offer the institution to those of the medical profession who desire to care for their own patients. "

This letter June 30, 1907 from Dr. John Luby, President of the Hospital Association, to the Sisters of Charity, College of St. Elizabeth, June 30, 1907, accepted the proposition of the Sisters to manage the Hospital and informed them of the choice of the name Hospital of Saint Raphael.

History box 201-H2, Sister Anne Virginie Archives Center, Saint Raphael Healthcare system


The Barnes Estate: First Building of the Hospital of Saint Raphael

On February 2, 1907, four Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth from New Jersey moved into the site of the now vanished Barnes residence at 1442 Chapel Street. They spent the rest of the year converting the Victorian home into a 12-bed hospital. The hospital was incorporated a month later on March 14, 1907.



History, RG 301, Box 118, Sister Anne Virginie Archives Center, Saint Raphael Healthcare system


First Annual Report of the Hospital of Saint Raphael, 1910

Although the first years must have been a struggle for the hospital serving largely the growing immigrant populations of New Haven, a new building was erected by 1910. This annual report lists every gift down to one dollar and also notes special appeals such as the "Hospital Sunday" at Mishkan Israel, proceeds from whist parties, concerts, and "Tag Days." Special gifts included car-fare, household articles, ice cream, and "confections."

Typhoid fever, tuberculosis, and pneumonia were recorded as the top-ranking causes of death.

History, RG 201, Box H3. Sister Anne Virginie Archives Center, Saint Raphael Healthcare system


Dr. William F. Verdi

Dr. Verdi, born in Italy and a graduate of Yale Medical College in 1894, was one of the founding physicians of Saint Raphael's. He was Surgeon in Chief at the Hospital until 1949. In a paper for the New Haven Medical Association in January, 1913, he referred to his early years as a surgeon when he was forced to operate in private houses:

"The worst drawback we had in this city and which is now entirely overcome was the lack of hospital facilities….Patients have overcome their antagonism to these institutions and are glad to enter them, for they know, that there, they can be better cared for, their affections more intelligently observed, and every possible appliance and invention can be readily instituted for their restoration to health. The younger men of the profession are no longer handicapped in their work. Hospital accommodations for their patients can be readily secured, where they can themselves administer their treatment and perform operations when required. It is no longer necessary to perform capital operations in private houses."

Dr. Verdi was a self-proclaimed shy man, who had received world-wide recognition for his skill as a surgeon when the surgeon had only a few tests and his senses to rely on in making a diagnosis. Testimonials in the archives attest to patients' confidence and their determination to come to New Haven and seek Dr. Verdi. Among Dr. Verdi's papers are numerous speeches and articles on everything from new forms of splints, to methods for applying ether, to brain surgery. He was a pioneer in cancer treatments and wrote many papers on various carcinomas. Working with Dr. Yates of the A.E.F. in World War I, he developed a technique for thoracic injuries that improved the survival rates for soldiers with open chest wounds. A man married to his work, he led the way to surgical excellence at Saint Raphael's which continues today.

This photograph shows Dr. Verdi on rounds, 1949, with Sister Columba, Ann Martin, R.N. and Dr. Orlando Pelliccia.

Quotation from speech to New Haven Medical Association, 1913, Verdi Papers. RG420-H4. Sister Anne Virginie Archives Center, Saint Raphael Healthcare system


Saint Mary Pavilion, 1910

The Saint Mary Pavilion of the Hospital of Saint Raphael opened in 1910. The fence seen in the postcard separated the grounds of Saint Raphael's from Grace Hospital next door.



Sister Anne Virginie Archives Center, Saint Raphael Healthcare system


Front entrance of the hospital, 1910

Sister Anne Virginie Archives Center, Saint Raphael Healthcare system


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