History

plaquette-FR WEB planches-par-ordreIn accordance with the last wishes of Baron Adolphe de Rothschild, who died on 7 February 1900, his widow, Baroness Julie-Caroline founded a specialised ophthalmology institute for "the disadvantaged" along similar lines to the ophthalmological hospital her husband established in Geneva, Switzerland.

Having left the money needed to buy the land on which to build the institute, as well as an endowment to operate it, he had specifically indicated that the patients - who were to be treated entirely free of charge - must be admitted "regardless of religion or political opinion," a proviso that was unheard of at the time.

With the complete administrative independence of the Foundation Hospital guaranteed, construction work began in 1902: in accordance with Baron Adolphe's wishes, architects Chatenay and Rouvre designed an innovative building which matched exactly with the vision of its directing physician, the eminent Dr. Trousseau, already committed to ensuring what we today call the "human quality" of the hospital. The hospital opened its doors on 1 May 1905 and was immediately inundated with patients: This unique facility, providing free consultations, care and medicine, proved to be an instant success, with 80,510 consultations in its first year and 105,051 in its second.

From the nursery where mothers could stay close to their sick children to evening consultations offered to workers unable to get time off during the day, everything was designed to combine medical excellence with genuine social commitment. After the Foundation Hospital was recognised as a public entity in 1909, it was Edmond de Rothschild, a first cousin of its Founder, who took over as Chairman of the Board, followed by his son, Maurice, in 1934.

 

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Over the years, the Foundation Hospital was affected by the events of history: the circumstances surrounding the Dreyfus Affair served to reinforce Julie de Rothschild's insistence of resolutely French citizenship for herself and her family, as well as their commitment to a tolerant and Republican state.

During the 1914-1918 war, a section of the Foundation Hospital was made available to the military health services and in 1937, new statutes enabled the Foundation Hospital to adapt to the French Social Insurance system, while continuing to provide free treatment to patients on low incomes. When the Second World War broke out, the Foundation Hospital continued to operate until the Nazis entered Paris.

Between 1940 and the Liberation, the Nazis occupied the Foundation Hospital's premises, destroying equipment and archives. A substantial rebuilding effort was required in the Postwar period, to get the hospital back on its feet, an effort personally supported by Baroness Noémie, the wife of Maurice de Rothschild.

historiqueTheir son, Edmond took over as Chairman of the Board on 4 September 1957, breathing new life into the Foundation Hospital with his generosity as a patron and commitment to advancing scientific research and patient comfort.

It was his drive and support - the financial and operational magnitude of which was comparable to the legacy of its Founder - which saw the Foundation Hospital enter a new era starting in 1962.

Following the appointment of a new Director, Pierre Aubin, a major renovation was initiated, in partnership with all the hospital's personnel and leading experts from France and around the world.

The Foundation Hospital was reshaped and redesigned, the aim being to optimise its medical efficiency and quality of patient care.

Supported by its cutting-edge technologies (some equipment having been made specially for the Foundation Hospital), the activities of the clinical and research laboratories developed and new disciplines began to be established (radiology, neurology, cardiology and rheumatology).

In 1990, the Foundation Hospital reinforced its commitment to the public interest by initiating its participation in the Public Hospital Service. At the same time, the Board of Directors took the strategic decision to specialise in the "head and neck" fields.

This extraordinary history reflects the unfailing commitment of the Foundation Hospital's personnel and the family that chair it to medical excellence and social responsibility.

It is this history that has made the Foundation Hospital what it is today: a specialised treatment and research centre offering a quality of service recognised in France and around the globe.

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The Fondation Adolphe de Rothschild Hospital, recognised as a public utility, has the French legal status of private healthcare
29 rue Manin - 75019 Paris- France / Tel. +33 (0)1.48.03.63.00

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