More Than 100 Years of Medical Excellence: Methodist Hospital

Methodist Hospital has been caring for the health of Indianapolis residents for more than 100 years. Beginning in 1899, it took nine years for churches across the state to raise enough funds to build and open the facility.  At the time of its opening, Methodist was the fourth major hospital located in downtown Indianapolis, among Deaconess Hospital, St. Vincent Hospital and what would become Wishard Memorial Hospital.

Video about Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana

Methodist runs several leading medical programs, including the Thomas A. Brady Sports Medicine Center, the Joslin Center for Diabetes, their Cardiac Comprehensive Care Center, and others. The World Health Organization designated Methodist as Indiana’s first baby-friendly hospital in 2006.

In 1997, Indianapolis medical powerhouses Methodist Hospital, Riley Hospital for Children and Indiana University Hospital merged efforts and created Clarian Health Partners. This merge rallowed the hospitals purchasing power, and collaborated research efforts. Because of this collaboration, there have been significant advances in Indianapolis education and medical research. The Clarian People Mover now connects the three Clarian hospitals.

People Mover between hospitals downtownPeople Mover between hospitals downtown

The hospital’s long history began with opening ceremonies that lasted for four days, and spanned throughout the entire state. Church congregations gathered on Sunday, April 26, 1908, to commemorate the hospital’s inauguration. A large banquet was also held in the hospital to celebrate, before it was open to patients on April 30, 1908. What began as a huge dream with a small budget soon became one of the largest providers of Indianapolis health care.

Methodist has been a leader on many health care fronts. In 1910, Methodist Hospital introduced the city’s first motorized ambulance vehicle. Due to the city’s growing population, and hospital overcrowdings, Methodist chose to expand in the early 1900s, offering additional sites where patients could seek medical treatment.  In 1922, Methodist became the first in the world to administer insulin clinically to diabetics. In 1942, the hospital became the first in the nation to acquire an electron cephalograph, which is used to diagnose brain diseases. Many firsts have happened under the roof of Methodist Hospital, which was one of the nation’s first private hospitals to perform open-heart surgery and kidney transplants. The nation’s first hospital-based hospice was also at Methodist. In the late 80s, Indiana’s first artificial heart was implanted there.

The Lighthouse of Health Beacon was first lit in 1933. The lighthouse is a major landmark downtown, and can be easily spotted in the city. The beacon was a donated gift and was dedicated to “servants of religion, who would serve the sick; to servants of medical science, who would service humanity; and to the servants of philanthropy, who would live for others.”

The hospital houses one of only two Level I Trauma Centers in Indiana. Also unique to Methodist is LifeLine Critical Care Transport, which uses helicopters to airlift patients from all over the state. The medical team at this hospital has always been well-known for their emergency response capabilities. At the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 1960, a makeshift scaffold collapsed, tragically killing two and injuring more than 60. Methodist was quick to respond that race day, and no lives were lost while under their care. The accident at the Indy 500 prepared the medical staff for the largest tragedy in Indiana history, which took place just three years later at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. A propane leak inside the Pepsi Coliseum caused a large explosion that injured nearly 400 people and killed more than 70. Methodist cared for 120 of those disaster patients.

Today Methodist Hospital is a national leader in medical care. Specializing in childbirth, neonatal care, emergency medical attention, and several other areas, Methodist is one of the largest hospital organizations in the city.


Methodist Hospital
1701 N Senate Blvd
Indianapolis, Indiana 46202
Click here to visit Methodist online!

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