In what seems like a lifetime devoted to understanding why Minnesota medicine is the envy of so many around the world, I met many of the men and women you will discover in this celebrated history of the centerpiece of the largest health system in Minnesota. This book tells the story of our first medical school, our first school of nursing, and the evolution of every health and medical specialty that Abbott Northwestern Hospital is known for. I highly recommend it.
―Dave Durenberger, U.S. Senator (MN) 1978-95
In 1877, Dr. Amos Abbott rented a small house in Minneapolis to treat his patients. By 1902, he moved to larger accommodations—a yellow brick, three-story house that held 15 beds. Known as Abbott Hospital, patients were carried to and from the operating room on the second floor.
Meanwhile, in 1882, Minneapolis community leader Harriet G. Walker gathered ten women and rented a house they called Northwestern Hospital for Women and Children. Experiencing the same need for more space that Dr. Abbott faced, they moved to a second home in 1883. In 1887, the hospital moved to a permanent location at the corner of Chicago Ave. and 27th Street.
Just over 100 years later the two hospitals merged to become Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Today, the 627-bed quaternary hospital is the largest not-for-profit hospital in the Twin Cities and a part of the Allina Health network of hospitals and clinics. U.S. News ranked Abbott Northwestern among America’s Best Hospitals with six adult specialties ranked in the top 50 in the United States.
It is the rare and thoughtful institution that makes the effort to tell its history. We are bent on doing our work, advancing our missions, and moving our organizations forward. Sometimes this important work is deferred to a milestone anniversary or is left unfulfilled because records haven't been kept or organized and those who could best tell the story are gone. Kudos to Abbott Northwestern and Dr. Robert Scott for this comprehensive initiative. ―D. Stephen Elliott, Director/CEO, Minnesota Historical Society
Abbott Northwestern Hospital 1882 – Present: A Celebrated History is told through the recollections and stories of celebrated individuals whose contributions have helped shaped this remarkable institution. In doing so, the history of Abbott Northwestern is now preserved and documented for both historians and future generations of health care providers.
This book teaches people what it takes to create a care infrastructure that leads and lasts through an ever-changing environment. By harnessing the voices of key partners and change agents, like cardiologist Dr. Bob Van Tassel, who approached cardiovascular research and practice with the motto of “you can’t think big enough,” readers will marvel at what started in Minneapolis in the way of health care innovation. It is part history, part business, and, importantly, part human spirit.
―Kristine Fortman, PhD, CEO, Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation
Abbott Northwestern Hospital: 1882 – Present: A Celebrated History, in softcover ISBN: 978-0-9978567-1-2, published by Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation, is available now in the hospital's gift shop and will be widely available December 15 for $29.99.