Newport Hospital
Providing award-winning health care to patients on Aquidneck Island and beyond

Newport Hospital: Celebrating 150 Years

Newport Hospital was founded in 1873 by our Newport County community members who saw a need to bring high quality, life-saving healthcare to their neighborhood. Today, 150 years later, our small cottage hospital has grown into a 129-bed award-winning facility offering a wide range of medical services to the people of Newport County and beyond.

Throughout this 150th year, we invite you to join us in a series of events to honor the role of Newport Hospital in our community and celebrate the generations of supporters, providers, and friends who have made it possible to access top-notch healthcare close to home.

Newport Hospital Through the Years

Throughout the years, countless milestones and accomplishments have marked the rich history of the hospital. Here are some of the most noteworthy:

Illustration of Newport from historical timeline

Establishment of Newport Hospital

Founded and funded by local residents and its community in 1873, Newport Hospital begins operation as a 12-bed cottage hospital on donated land.

Newport Hospital School of Nursing pupils

School of Nursing

The Newport Hospital School of Nursing opened in February 1886 with six female pupils. The school closed in 1990.

Vanderbilt Rehabilitation Center at the Newport Hospital, circa 1903

Vanderbilt Rehabilitation Center

In 1903, Alice Vanderbilt donated a building to Newport Hospital, now known as the Vanderbilt Rehabilitation Center.

Newport Hospital children's ward historical

Newport Hospital's Children's Ward

Alice Vanderbilt's gift added 34 beds to the hospital, including the first children's ward.

US Senator Cairborne Pell delivering the dedicatory speech for the Tower Building at Newport Hospital, 1970

Opening of the Tower Building

On August 16, 1970, US Senator Clairborne Pell delivered the dedicatory address at the opening of the Tower Building (a new multi-story hospital building) at Newport Hospital.

Dedication ceremony for Beyond the Building at Newport Hospital

Expansion of Emergency Department

The success of the "Beyond the Building" campaign in 2018 enables Newport Hospital to extensively renovate and expand its emergency department, nearly doubling the number of treatment rooms.

1850-1900

1873

Founded and funded by local residents and its community, Newport Hospital begins operation as a 12-bed cottage hospital on donated land. Henry Ledyard, a founding incorporator and trustee, is the hospital’s first president.

1886

The Newport Hospital School of Nursing opens in February with six female pupils.

1893

Newport Hospital embarks on its first major expansion. The biggest change comes in the form of new, well-equipped operating rooms to accommodate advances in surgery and the increase in women who were opting to have their babies in a hospital instead of at home.

1900-1950

1903

Alice Vanderbilt, a summer resident of Newport, donates a building to the hospital, now known as the Vanderbilt Rehabilitation Center. This gift adds 34 beds to the hospital, including the first children's ward.

1918

Newport Hospital treats 181 cases of influenza during the 1918-19 pandemic, with staff often working around the clock and to the detriment of their own health.

1926

The hospital's X-ray department undergoes a modernization of equipment, introduing a 200 kilovolt therapy machine.

1936

A new addition to the hospital—the Borden building—is completed. Today this space houses psychiatry, child and adolescent behavioral health, the partial hospitalization program, the Cardiovascular Institute, infectious disease, general surgery, and neurology.

1950-2000

1952

Newport Hospital becomes the first hospital in Rhode Island to offer a 40 hour work week for nurses.

1961

Realizing they could no longer continue to repair and remodel the hospital, trustees begin to develop a master plan for meeting the future needs of the hospital. The plan recommended a new multi-story hospital building (Tower Building), which would receive approval to move forward in early 1966.

1970

On August 16, 1970, the opening of the new hospital is marked with tours and a dedication day, with U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell delivering the dedicatory address.

1972

Newport Hospital opens a mental health center.

1997

Newport Hospital becomes a partner in the Lifespan health system.

2000-Present

2000

A new wing opens at Newport Hospital, and the hospital partners with the nearby Naval Station Newport to offer services to the military.

2004

Newport Hospital first received Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Of more than 5,000 hospitals in the United States, only about 4 percent are Magnets. Newport is currently one of only a tiny handful of hospitals worldwide to achieve four consecutive Magnet designations.

2010

Newport Hospital is designated as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission.

2018

Thanks to the success of the $12.5 million “Beyond the Building” campaign, the hospital’s emergency department undergoes an extensive expansion and renovation, nearly doubling the number of treatment rooms and overall footprint.

2020

Amid the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, individuals, families, businesses and community groups rally around Newport Hospital, expressing their gratitude to frontline workers and helping to re-energize hospital staff with donations of delicious meals, special treats, and thoughtful cards and handmade signs.

2021

Vanderbilt Rehabilitation Center at Newport Hospital begins a transformative expansion—making it the flagship inpatient rehabilitation center for all of Lifespan. 

Newport Hospital celebrating 150 years logo

Help Shape the Next 150 Years

Consider making a gift to help support the future of Newport Hospital.

Donate today

Upcoming Events

July 2022

Monday, July 18

Newport Hospital Night at the Newport Gulls
Time: 6:35 p.m.
Location: Cardines Field
20 America's Cup Avenue
Newport, RI 02840

Learn more

Thursday, July 28

Newport Hospital 150th Flag Raising Ceremony
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Newport Hospital Main Entrance
20 Powel Avenue
Newport, RI 02840

August 2022

Tuesday, August 2

Family Night Concert Series: Avenue A
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Easton's Beach, Newport, RI

This event is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by Newport Hospital. Parking at the beach is free after 4 p.m. on show nights.

Learn more