Presbyterian Medical Center Go

Our history

Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center opened in 1903 as a 20-bed hospital on North Church Street, located in now uptown Charlotte. Later, the hospital moved to the Arlington Hotel on West Trade Street and offered 45 beds. In 1918, Elizabeth College merged with a school in Virginia and Presbyterian Medical Center used the money it had raised to buy the 20-acre college campus located just outside of the city limits at 200 Hawthorne Lane. This new facility more than doubled its size, from 50 to 100 beds, making it Charlotte's largest hospital. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Charlotte's booming population was causing a shortage of hospital beds and nearly all of the 110 beds were always filled. A new seven-story building opened in front of the old Elizabeth College building and the new hospital added operating and recovery rooms, an obstetrics area, children's wards and charity facilities.

During the next three decades, Presbyterian Medical Center embarked on eight major building projects and tripled in size from 188 beds in 1940 to 502 beds in 1972. The hospital led the way in Charlotte with the first intensive care unit, the first outpatient surgery unit and the first ambulant care unit. The 1970s brought a new Diagnostic and Treatment Center for more outpatient treatment and a new 30-bed emergency room for around-the-clock medical coverage.

In 1980, the Elizabeth College building was demolished and a new 119-bed patient tower opened, bringing the total number of beds to 554. Later that decade, Presbyterian Medical Center opened the Belk Heart Center as its comprehensive heart and vascular treatment center as well as an intensive care nursery and a psychiatric unit. In the 1990s, Novant Health Hemby Children's Hospital, a hospital-within-a-hospital, opened to meet the needs of children and families. It provides family-centered care and promotes play to encourage faster healing. In 1996, Presbyterian Medical Center continued its tradition of being a regional and statewide leader in providing cancer services and hospice care by opening a new Cancer Center. Comprehensive services include radiation oncology, clinical research, and inpatient oncology.

The twenty-first century

In early 2001, Presbyterian Medical Center formed the Novant Health Heart & Vascular Institute, which combined the leading-edge cardiac services of the Belk Heart Center with the hospital's neurovascular services. The institute continues to offer complete prevention, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitation services, including advanced cardiovascular research studies. Physicians from multiple specialties, including cardiology, cardiothoracic and vascular surgery, interventional radiology and primary care worked together to develop the Institute.

In 2003, Presbyterian Medical Center celebrated its 100th anniversary of providing care to the residents of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region. The year was marked with activities for employees, a community educational series and a foundation gala. The highlight of the year was the Presbyterian Family Festival on Hawthorne Lane. This celebration was Presbyterian's gift to the community as a way of saying thank you for the past 100 years. We look forward to serving you for the next century.

In September 2004, the new Novant Health Women's Center welcomed its first patient. The new center added nearly 118,000 square feet of new construction and 113,000 square feet of renovated existing space, including 16 birthing suites with Jacuzzis, 35 postpartum suites and 14 high-risk antepartum suites. The center also includes a lobby with retail space for services unique to women and large classrooms for education. Renovations to existing units included high-tech improvements, more spacious labor-delivery-postpartum rooms, surgery rooms and an expanded Novant Health Women's Center.

In 2008, The American Nurses Credentialing Center honored Presbyterian Medical Center with the prestigious Magnet designation. As the highest honor in nursing, only five percent of hospitals nationwide have earned Magnet designation for excellence in nursing care. For nurses and clinicians, Magnet designation is the gold standard of care and represents and environment of autonomy, professional advancement, teamwork and collaboration among physicians, nurses and other clinicians. For patients and families, Magnet designation signifies high quality in care. With world-class technology, personal connections, and care that’s easier to access and understand, Novant Health is with you every step of the way on your journey to health and wellness.