60 Years Of Exceptional Care
The Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2013. It was Feb. 25, 1953, when Moses Cone Hospital opened with 53 of its 310 beds in service.
The first patient was a toddler with a respiratory infection complicated by congenital heart disease. The hospital’s first surgery– removal of a gallbladder – occurred the next day.
The dream of building Moses Cone Hospital started long before opening day. When Greensboro textile magnate Moses Cone died in 1908, his wife Bertha established a trust to create “the most modern hospital in the South.” She wanted to memorialize her husband in the community where his family’s textile company, Cone Mills, began.
The Articles of Incorporation from May 29, 1911, state the philosophy that still holds true more than 100 years later: “No patient shall be refused admittance because of inability to pay. Following Bertha Cone’s death in 1947, her entire share of the family inheritance went toward the hospital’s construction. Gifts and bequests from other members of the Cone family helped move building plans forward, and excavation began in 1949.
There were 200 employees on the opening day. The volunteers had different roles in those days. Members of the Women’s Auxiliary entertained children who accompanied hospital visitors and supplied laundry service for patients.
Through the years, the hospital has expanded, sprawling across the Elm Street campus and soaring upward to accommodate additional beds, services and technology. It is now part of a comprehensive network with more than 100 locations, including five hospitals, two medical centers, three urgent care centers, 71 physician practice sites and multiple centers of excellence. Later this year, the six-story North Tower will open, marking the largest expansion in the hospital’s history.