Le Bonheur Children's Hospital marks 60 years of caring for kids
Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 8:00 pm
The Messenger 06.20.12
MEMPHIS — Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital — opened June 15, 1952 — celebrated 60 years of excellent pediatric health care on Friday. Nearly 2,000 Le Bonheur staff, physicians and their families gathered to enjoy an afternoon of kid-friendly games and activities, as well as a cookout, on the hospital’s front lawn.
The company-picnic style celebration honored those who have helped make Le Bonheur what it is today. Since 1952, the hospital has continued to provide excellent care for kids from the region and beyond, and it now treats more than 200,000 patients each year.
Also to commemorate its 60th birthday, the hospital wrote and published Once Upon a Heart, a book that tells the stories of 60 individuals whose lives were somehow touched by Le Bonheur.
Parents share their memories, heartaches and miracles, volunteers reminisce about Le Bonheur’s early days, employees detail decades of service and physicians discuss the evolution of pediatric medicine. Once Upon a Heart is now available at Booksellers at Laurelwood for $10. The book will also be available on the Amazon Kindle store in late June. Proceeds from all sales benefit Le Bonheur.
“Le Bonheur is today a leader in pediatrics thanks to visionary founders and Memphis pediatricians who dreamed of a place that specialized in children,” said Meri Armour, Le Bonheur president and CEO. “Sixty years ago these visionaries saw the importance of gathering the latest equipment, best practices and dedicated staff in one place.”
Le Bonheur’s roots began in 1923 with a sewing circle of women, called Le Bonheur Club, who made clothing for children at Memphis’ Leath Orphanage. The group’s dedication led them to also assist the children with their medical needs, providing transportation to and from doctors’ appointments. In 1944, when the Pediatric Society found a need for a hospital dedicated to children, Le Bonheur Club was called.
Since then, the hospital has grown in size and scope. Thanks to the generous community, a new 255-bed, state-of-the-art hospital was opened in December 2010. Still bearing the name of its founders, Le Bonheur has grown to be the premier pediatric health care facility for children throughout the region and is named as one of the nation’s best hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.
The original Le Bonheur opened in 1952 with a mission to never close its doors to those who come in need, seeking help, and now, 60 years later, the hospital is still committed to doing whatever it takes to improve child health and well-being in the community and throughout the region.
Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., treats more than 200,000 children each year in a 255-bed hospital that features state-of-the-art technology and family-friendly resources.
Nationally recognized, Le Bonheur is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a Best Children’s Hospital. Serving as a primary teaching affiliate for the University Tennessee Health Science Center, the hospital trains more pediatricians than any other hospital in the state. For more information, please call (901) 287-6030 or visit lebonheur.org.
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Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, pediatric health care