The Child First and Always®
This phrase originated from the Hospital for Sick Children in London, England, where it has been used as a motto since the hospital’s beginning in 1852. The hospital’s opening on Valentine’s Day with ten cots marked the beginning of children’s hospital legacy in the English-speaking world. Dr. Charles West, an obstetrician, spearheaded this effort. Previous to that, there were essentially no children’s hospitals, and as a rule, children were not allowed in adult hospitals. Consequently, mortality rates for serious illnesses in children were nearly 100 percent.
In 1855, The Hospital for Sick Children provided the inspiration for Dr. Francis Lewis’ to establish the first children’s hospital in America - Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Other children's hospitals soon followed, including Primary Children's Hospital in 1922.
A hospital specialized for children brings all of its expertise and focus on children’s health, rather than operating as a pediatric appendage in a hospital with an adult focus. Not only does this make Primary Children’s a wonderful resource for the community, it makes a statement about how we, as a community, feel about children.
-Joe Horton, former CEO, Primary Children's Hospital
In addition to its historical significance, the phrase, The Child First and Always® provides a visible, concise statement of our philosophy. It informs and reassures those who seek our services, and serves as a daily reminder to employees of our commitment to children.