St. Louis Children's Hospital

St. Louis Children's Hospital is an academic pediatric hospital providing tertiary level care in St. Louis, Missouri. SLCH is the pediatric teaching hospital for Washington University School of Medicine. It is the seventh oldest children's hospital in the United States and the first children's hospital west of the Mississippi River.


St. Louis Children’s Hospital was founded by Appoline A. Blair in 1879 at a small 15 bed hospital in downtown St. Louis. The hospital grew quickly, requiring a move to a larger 60 bed hospital with an attached kindergarten, nursing school and milk safety program. In 1912 the hospital was moved again, this time to a location near the Washington University School of Medicine near Forest Park. In 1984, the hospital opened the doors to the current location, slightly north of the 1912 hospital.

Today the hospital has 250 licensed beds including 26 PICU beds, 12 CICU beds, 75 NICU beds, a 10 bed video EEG monitoring unit and a 5 bed bone marrow transplant unit. Annually 275,000 patient's visit the hospital coming from each US state and 56 countries.

  • The hospital offers comprehensive services in every pediatric medical and surgical specialty. It extends its services to children and families in the community through numerous health workshops and educational partnerships. Advocacy efforts have included programs on nutrition and fitness, childhood immunizations, injury prevention, firearm safety, car seat and helmet safety, and smoking prevention and cessation.
  • St. Louis Children's Hospital has the world's largest pediatric lung transplant program, and also offers transplant programs for heart, liver, kidney, and bone marrow. The hospital has performed more than 350 lung and lung-heart transplants in its history. It is one of the top pediatric transplant centers in the country.
  • St. Louis Children's Hospital is recognized as a pediatric burn center by the American Burn Association. It is the only children's hospital in eastern Missouri and the Metro-East area of Illinois to earn this designation.
  • The hospital's Center for Cerebral Palsy Spasticity performs more selective dorsal rhizotomy surgeries than any facility in the United States. In July 2010, Dr. T.S. Park performed his 2,000th selective dorsal rhizotomy procedure.
  • Saint Louis Children's Hospital offers comprehensive EEG/Epilepsy services. The Epilepsy center consists of a 4 bed outpatient clinic, and a state-of-the-art 9 bed EEG-Video Monitoring Unit. The Epilepsy Center has the facilities to utilize a variety of diagnostic techniques (e.g., SPECT, fMRI, 3T MRI, DTI, PET, MEG, WADA, and ECoG) when evaluating patients for epilepsy surgery.

In 2006, St. Louis Children's Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine collaborated to establish the Children's Discovery Institute with a goal of accelerating cures for childhood disease in four areas: congenital heart disease, cancer, lung and respiratory disorders, and musculoskeletal dieases.

As one of the country's top recipients in research grants, the School of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics received more than $24 million for pediatric research in 2005, ranking it in the top seven in the country. When combined with grants awarded to other pediatric disciplines, grants exceeded $30 million, placing the medical school's pediatric services as a consistent leader in National Institute of Health funding.

Awards and Accomplishments

Child magazine has named St. Louis Children's Hospital to its list of the nation's '10 Best' pediatric hospitals four consecutive times. St. Louis Children's is the only hospital in Missouri, Illinois and the surrounding eight-state region to achieve this elite ranking. In 2008, the magazine ranked Children's newborn medicine and orthopedics program #3; pulmonary medicine and emergency medicine ranked #4; and cardiac services ranked #6.

U.S. News & World Report has also repeatedly named St. Louis Children’s Hospital on its list of the Best Pediatric Hospitals in America. In 2008 the magazine ranked St. Louis Children's 6th in neurology and neurosurgery, 11th in neonatal care, 12th in respiratory disorders, 17th in general pediatrics, cancer care, heart and heart surgery, and 23rd in digestive disorders. In 2009, St. Louis Children's Hospital was one of 10 hospitals to make the U.S. News Honor Roll by ranking in all 10 specialties evaluated. Hospitals were ranked in cancer, diabetes and endocrine disorders, digestive disorders, heart and heart surgery, kidney disorders, neonatal care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, respiratory disorders, and urology. In both 2010 and 2011 , the hospital was once again named to the U.S. News Honor Roll.

In October 2005, Children's Hospital received the nation’s highest honor for nursing excellence, the Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). To date, only 170 of almost 5,000 hospitals nationwide – 3 percent – have Magnet status. In January 2010, St. Louis Children’s Hospital was redesignated as a Magnet hospital by the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program. Only 2 percent of hospitals nationally have achieved Magnet redesignation.