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La Rabida Children's Hospital
Healthcare - Health Services
250 - 500
La Rabida's family-focused care dates back to its founding when, as a fresh air sanitarium for sick children, a group of women volunteers sought to provide relief for the "tired and weary mothers" of the inner-city.
During the Chicago World's Fair Columbian Exposition in 1893, a replica of the La Rabida monastery in Spain (from where Columbus embarked on his voyage to the new world) was built in Jackson Park and housed artifacts of Columbus' historic voyage. After the fair, in 1895, the Spanish Consulate donated the building to the City of Chicago to be used as a fresh air sanitarium for sick children. That year, the sanitarium was run by a group of volunteer women, who, by 1896, officially took over the operation and upkeep of the building and the activities within. That group, the Women's Board of La Rabida, still exists today.
Throughout the 1920's La Rabida continued its work and eventually grew to become a hospital that cares for children with rheumatic fever. In the 1950's and 60's, the hospital gained international recognition for research which led to the eradication of the disease. It was during this period that the hospital made a formal commitment to treat the chronic illnesses of childhood.
Today, the hospital still cares for children with chronic illnesses, in addition to victims of child abuse. It has grown to be a respected leader and innovator in the teaching and research of pediatric chronic illnesses and in exploring issues of pediatric health care.
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