Bellevue Hospital Center, most often referred to as simply "Bellevue", was founded on March 31, 1736 and is the oldest public hospital in the United States. Located on First Avenue in the Kips Bay neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, the facility's name is well-known to people elsewhere from the many literary, film and television references, where "Bellevue" almost always refers to the hospital's psychiatric facilities.
Affiliated since 1968 with the New York University School of Medicine (which also has its own hospital just north of Bellevue), Bellevue has been the training ground for many of America's leaders in medicine, as well as the site of countless milestones in the history of medicine, from the first ambulance service and the first maternity ward, to the development of the polio vaccine, to the Nobel Prize winning work of Cournand and Richards in developing the world's first cardiopulmonary catheterization laboratory.
Bellevue is well known for its psychiatric facilities and as a triage center during disasters. It has opened a new ambulatory care building dedicated to serving over 300,000 outpatients a year as well as burn units for pediatric (children) and adult burn patients. The hospital serves as a primary referral center for cardiac catheterization, catheter-based treatment of heart rhythm disorders, cardiovascular surgery, neurosurgery, physical rehabilitation and Hansen's disease (leprosy).
As the flagship facility of New York City’s Health and Hospitals Corporation Bellevue is open to patients of all backgrounds irrespective of ability to pay. It handles nearly 500,000 outpatient clinic visits, 100,000 emergency patients and some 26,000 inpatients each year. More than 80 percent of Bellevue’s patients come from the city’s medically underserved populations. Today, the hospital occupies a 25-story patient care facility with a state of the art ICU, digital radiology communication and a new modern outpatient facility. The hospital has an attending physician staff of 1800 and an in-house staff of more than 1000. Lynda D. Curtis became Bellevue Hospital Center's Executive Director in 2005.
Bellevue Hospital is home to FDNY-EMS Battalion 8, formerly NYC*EMS Station 13.
Since 1998 the building which once served as the hospital's psychiatric facility has been used as a homeless intake center and a men's homeless shelter. Plans to redevelop it as a hotel and conference center connected to NYU Langone Medical Center fell through in April 2010.