Here is a brief overview of the events that led to the state-of-the-art facility that is today’s University Hospital:
For several years until 1882, the City of Newark — without its own municipal hospital — maintained a total of 10 beds in Saint Michael’s Medical Center, Saint Barnabas and the German Hospital (now known as Clara Maass Medical Center) for the care of the indigent, sick and injured. Recognizing the need for better facilities for these individuals, City Hospital was organized by obtaining the use of the north wing of the Almshouse on the corner of Elizabeth Avenue and Concord Street. With 25 beds, the hospital opened to the sick on September 4, 1882 and was incorporated on February 23, 1883.
In 1884, the hospital moved to a building on Fairmont Avenue. By the late 1880’s, the hospital had outgrown its second home, which was torn down in phases and replaced by a red brick structure. The hospital was enlarged with the addition of the north wing, a four-story structure with a basement, in 1925.
To cope with the rising demands of the large postwar migrations of individuals to Newark, construction of a new 14-story, 750-bed hospital began in 1954. The City of Newark dedicated the new hospital, The Harrison S. Martland Center, in honor of the prominent pathologist, Dr. Harrison S. Martland, who had served the City for 28 years as a pathologist and as an Essex County Medical Examiner. The $13 million hospital, located behind the 20th-century structure and facing Bergen Street, was completed in May 1958. From 1956-1964 total yearly admissions, births and clinic visits almost doubled.
In 1962 the hospital’s name was changed back to Newark City Hospital.
On July 1, 1968, the College of the Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey assumed operation of the hospital from the City and renamed the complex as the Martland Hospital. In 1969, the hospital had 1,340 employees, cared for 22,000 inpatients, and had approximately 150,000 outpatient visits.
The Medical and Dental Education Act of 1970 created the College of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (CMDNJ) by merging CMDNJ with the medical school of Rutgers University under a single board of trustees. Recognizing the need to replace the now-obsolete Martland Hospital, the Board approved the construction of a new hospital directly across Bergen Street. Construction began in 1977, with the new College Hospital opening in May of 1979.
In 1981, “university status” was legislatively awarded to the College of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and the name of the hospital was officially changed to University Hospital.
The New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act of 2012 transitioned most of the schools and units of UMDNJ to Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The legislation also made University Hospital an academic medical center with its own board of directors as of July 1, 2013. University Hospital is now the principal teaching hospital of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, home to northern New Jersey’s Level 1 Trauma Center, and a regional resource for specialized services and critical care.