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Overview and History

Harriet Lane Home for Invalid Children Building

The Harriet Lane Home

We opened in 1912 as The Harriet Lane Home for Invalid Children, the nation’s first pediatric hospital affiliated with an academic research institution, Johns Hopkins. Baltimore banker Henry Johnston and his wife Harriet Lane bequeathed our founding funds in memory of their sons, who died in childhood from rheumatic fever. By 1930, our clinicians had discovered that sulfa drugs could prevent its fatal cardiac devastation.

For nearly a century now, we’ve been pushing the boundaries of American pediatric medicine and developing world-class care for the sickest children and their families. Visit here often for more about our revolutionary brand of medicine and the dedication, innovation and brilliance of those upon whom it’s founded.

The Harriet Lane Pediatric Residency Program

The Harriet Lane Home for Invalid Children, predecessor to the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, opened in 1912. At that time, the Harriet Lane Residency program consisted of only one to two interns, and the number of daily visits was around 30. Today’s resident classes have increased to 24 to 25 members and the number of daily patient visits averages 70 to 80. More than 1,200 pediatricians have been trained here since the program’s inception.

The Harriet Lane Residency program has influenced pediatric care and training of residents through the publication of the Harriet Lane Handbook, now in its 21st edition (2017). Harrison Spencer, M.D., Harriet Lane house staff 1951, proposed the idea for a handbook written by the house staff for house staff. By tradition, the pediatric chief residents have been the editors of subsequent editions. The mission of this project was three-fold: to document how to perform a test, to supply reference data, and to compile a list of drugs and pediatric dosages. Today the demand for this manual is very high with approximately 50,000 copies sold each year.

Harriet Lane Residency Program Today

Whether they are general pediatricians, academic sub-specialists or public health physicians, today’s pediatricians see patients primarily in an outpatient setting. The pediatric residency curriculum at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center reflects this trend, teaching young pediatricians not only to care for very sick children in the hospital, but also to manage their care in clinics, at home and at school. Our residents find lots of ways to enjoy their time here in Baltimore. We also have plenty of events throughout their residencies to help them take a break from their rigorous schedules. Our current residents also can choose from electives, like our Indian Health Service program in Tuba City, Arizona. Harriet Lane Service residents do their training at a variety of facilities around the city. We moved into a new state-of-the-art building, The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children's Center, in May 2012. Our newest outpatient facility opened in 2006.

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