In 1905, Mrs. A. Elliot left money through her will to build a university hospital in memory of her husband, Dr. A. Elliot. Four years later, a temporary university hospital featuring 24 beds opened and was used until the 108-bed Elliot Memorial Hospital, providing health care for adults and children, was completed in 1911.
During the mid 1930s, much was happening in cardiology and cardiac surgery at the University of Minnesota and Dr. Dwan established the first pediatric cardiology unit. In 1944, the Variety Club initiated a fund drive for Dr. Morse Shapiro’s rheumatic fever treatment and research program. By 1951, the Variety Club Heart Hospital was completed and provided services for both adults and children, including a 40-bed pediatric unit with a playroom, classroom and an auditorium.
University of Minnesota continued hospital care for children in the Variety Club Heart Hospital, Children’s Rehabilitation Center and the Mayo Hospital until 1986 when major hospital services were consolidated to a new, state-of-the-art building. The new hospital featured three general pediatric units, a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), a child and adolescent psychiatric unit, a pediatric bone marrow transplant unit and a full array of affiliated specialty clinics. The name of the combined clinical areas for children was University-Variety Hospital for Children.
Across the Mississippi River, Fairview was also providing quality pediatric care and opened a dedicated pediatric unit in 1955. Two years later, Fairview became the first general hospital in Minneapolis to offer special mental health and rehabilitation facilities for these services and today has become a leader in mental and behavioral health care for children and adolescents. In 1962, the hospital introduced a new adolescent/young adult unit, the first of its kind in the Upper Midwest.
In 1997, the University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinics merged with Fairview to become Fairview-University Medical Center and Fairview-University Children’s Hospital. In 2005, the hospitals were renamed: Fairview-University Children’s Hospital became University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital.
Today the children’s hospital features the Twin Cities’ widest range of pediatric specialists and 254 staffed beds. Our new ecologically-friendly facility, featuring private patient rooms, opened April 30, 2011.
In the fall of 2014, the hospital was named University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital in recognition of the legacy of support provided by Minnesota Masonic Charities.