breast cancer

‘Providence Hospital Died Today': NE Hospital Shuts Down Emergency Services

D.C.'s oldest general hospital, Providence Hospital, officially shut down emergency services on Tuesday after 158 years of service.

The closure of Providence Hospital will mean a big gap for residents on the eastern half of the District. Last year, Providence Hospital had more than 5,500 ambulatory surgeries, 43,000 emergency room visits and 4,900 inpatient admissions.

Originally located on 2nd and D streets SE, the hospital was run by Catholic nuns. The goal was to treat everyone, especially the poor. The hospital's first patient was an Irish immigrant named O'Toole, who had typhoid fever during the Civil War.

Now located in the Brookland neighborhood near Catholic University, News4's Pat Collins said the closure of this hospital is personal. Collins was born in Providence Hospital.

"Providence Hospital died today," he said.

And it's in that same hospital where his mother died. Collins' mother had breast cancer and fell into a coma. He would visit her there every day. 

His father worked at the hospital. Collins went to grade school nearby and often after school would visit his father at work. On St. Patrick's Day, his dad would dress him up as leprechaun and take him around to see his patients. 

His father would later die of a heart attack at Providence Hospital when he was making rounds seeing patients. 

Collins' connection to Providence Hospital spanned three generations. His three children — Patrick, Michael and Salley — were born at Providence Hospital. 

"For me it was personal," Collins said. 

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