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U.S. Statehood Health Care
U.S. Statehood Health Care, 1912-1945

The first children’s hospital predated Carrie Tingley Hospital by decades. Dr. Charles Lukens founded Children’s Home and Hospital on East Grand Ave. (now Dr. Martin Luther King Ave.) in 1915 to treat crippled children. The hospital was still operating in the 1930s.

In 1926 the railroad hospital got new quarters when Memorial Hospital was completed at Central and present I-25.

TB facilities were still busy before World War II. Southwest Presbyterian Sanitorium had expanded to include a large complex of buildings and continued to draw patients from around the country and even from Europe and Asia. The U.S. Indian Service built the Indian Sanitorium in 1934 for $500,000 and provided free treatment to Indian TB patients. In 1931 the Lutheran Church took over the operation of the privately operated Albuquerque Sanatorium, which had started in 1908.

The Sisters of Charity continued operating St. Joseph Sanitorium, but by 1927, Albuquerque’s population had reached 36,000, and the Sisters began building a new hospital to accommodate the growth. The $500,000 facility opened in 1930 with 152 beds, three operating rooms and dining rooms.

In the same period other new hospitals included the 30-bed Santa Fe Hospital at for railroad workers in 1926; the pueblo-style, 262-bed Veterans Administration Hospital, built in 1931 southeast of the city on 515 acres at a cost of $1.25 million; and the beautiful Art Deco Albuquerque Indian Hospital, which opened in 1936.

When new antibiotics reduced the threat of tuberculosis in the 1940s, some of Albuquerque’s sanitoria evolved as modern health-care facilities and others closed their doors.

Two recovering tuberculars would have a major impact on health care in Albuquerque. Dr. William Lovelace started his Albuquerque practice in 1916. Lovelace was intrigued with the Mayo Clinic and the concept of a multi-specialty clinic. In 1922 Edgar Lassetter, another doctor with tuberculosis, joined his practice, and they saw patients in a small office over a dry goods store on Central Ave. That year they founded Lovelace Clinic, which would grow into a multi-specialty practice based on the Mayo model. By 1940 they had 16 specialists.

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