Timeline of milestones in pediatrics at UI

Since opening its first children’s hospital in 1919, the University of Iowa has made significant contributions to pediatric health around the world.

1870 – 1948

1870 University of Iowa College of Medicine opens.

1898 Original University Hospital opens.

1915 Iowa Legislature passes Perkins Act to cover cost of care for indigent children at University Hospitals, which brings an influx of pediatric patients. Albert Byfield, MD, is named head of the new Department of Pediatrics.

1917 Iowa Child Welfare Research Station established, the first center in the country to use scientific methods to study development of healthy children.

1919 Children’s Hospital opens, the first such facility in Iowa.

1925 Addition to Children’s Hospital increases capacity to 240 beds.

1928 New seven-story, 770-bed University Hospitals—one of the nation’s largest—opens.

1936 State Services for Crippled Children established as a public service unit, offering statewide clinics that provide consultation and advice to family physicians and serve as teaching clinics for physicians in training.

1938 Charles May, MD, and colleagues publish in the Journal of Pediatrics one of the first papers to recognize cystic fibrosis as a distinct clinical entity.

1945 Using Iowa Child Welfare Research Station data on children’s height and weight, the Journal of Pediatrics publishes the Iowa Growth Charts, guidelines widely followed until National Center for Health Statistics data comes out in 1972.

1948 University Hospital School begins serving children with disabilities.

1950 – 1982

1950 Ignacio Ponseti, MD, appointed to direct the clubfoot clinic, where he develops the nonsurgical technique that would become the gold standard for clubfoot treatment.

1954 Pediatric services begin relocation to University Hospitals.

1960 With National Institutes of Health grant, Hans Zellweger, MD, and Emil Witschi, PhD, establish a human cytogenetics lab, one of the first in the U.S.

1967 Samuel J. Fomon, MD, publishes Infant Nutrition, which becomes the definitive academic and medical resource on the topic.

1968 Neonatal transport service begins under the direction of George Baker, MD; the first vehicle is a converted bread delivery truck.

1970 Ronald Lauer, MD, and UI colleagues launch the Muscatine Heart Study, the longest-running study of heart risk factors in children in the U.S.

1972 University Hospitals becomes University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

1974 New pediatric cardiology area, which includes a new cardiac catheterization lab, is built.

1975 UI Hospitals and Clinics opens Iowa’s first Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, with 12 beds.

1976 Child Life Program, the first in Iowa, is established.

1981 Pediatric Intensive Care Unit opens.

1982 John Colloton Pavilion opens, home to new pediatric clinic, intermediate intensive care unit, and adolescent and toddler wards.

1987 – present

1987 A team led by Bruce Gantz, MD, is the first in the U.S. to place a multi-channel cochlear implant in a child with congenital hearing loss.

1987 The first pediatric heart transplant in Iowa is performed on a 7-day-old patient by Douglas Behrendt, MD, and colleagues.

1994 Iowa’s first surviving baby below 400 grams is born, only the 13th in the world.

1998 UI Hospitals and Clinics becomes the first and only hospital in Iowa certified as a Level 1 Trauma Center with pediatric commitment, the highest level of designation from the American College of Surgeons.

1999 Edward Bell, MD, establishes the Tiniest Babies Registry, a listing of the smallest babies in the world known to survive.

2001 The UI Child Protection Program is the first in Iowa to serve abused and neglected children.

2002 Mother’s Milk Bank of Iowa is established.

2007 Name changes to University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.

2010 The first and only pediatric dialysis center in Iowa opens.

2013 Department of Pediatrics renamed the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics in recognition of Jerre and Mary Joy Stead’s commitment to advance children’s medicine.

2015 Research team led by Paul McCray, MD, receives five-year, $11 million grant renewal from National Institutes of Health to continue advancing gene therapy for cystic fibrosis.

2017 University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital opens.