Hermann Hospital

By: Megan Seaholm

Type: General Entry

Published: January 1, 1995

Updated: October 29, 2021

Hermann Hospital, Houston, a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian institution, opened in 1925 as a public charity hospital. It was established pursuant to the will of Houston entrepreneur-philanthropist George H. Hermann. The hospital opened with 100 beds and a staff of 109 physicians and treated 558 inpatients in the first year. By the end of the first decade over 3,500 patients had received treatment. The Hermann Hospital School of Nursing was established when the hospital opened. This diploma school continued, with one brief interruption, until 1973. In 1956 the school changed its name to School of Vocational Nursing and has since offered a one-year program.

In 1932 the hospital began to work with the Junior League's Pre-natal and Underprivileged Children's Health Clinic. The clinic moved into Hermann Hospital in 1945 and continues as a "well-baby" clinic. In cooperation with the new M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute, a part of the Texas Medical Center, Hermann Hospital opened a cancer clinic that operated from 1944 to 1953. In 1949 it provided a special orthopedic unit for the Arabia Temple Crippled Children's Clinic. This service continued until the Temple's new hospital, built on Hermann Hospital land, was completed in 1952.

The hospital more than doubled in size when the 375-bed Corbin J. and Wilhelmina C. Robertson Pavilion was added in 1948. In 1977 the Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones Pavilion (see JONES, JESSE H.) was built; it connects the hospital to the University of Texas Medical School building. Hermann Hospital now covers over a million square feet.

In 1968 Hermann Hospital affiliated with the University of Texas System and began receiving medical students from UT campuses. When the University of Texas Medical School at Houston (later part of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston) enrolled its first class in 1971, Hermann Hospital became the primary teaching hospital for UTMSH physicians and allied health personnel.

Hermann is administered by the seven-member Hermann Hospital Estate Board of Trustees. The board has twice been the subject of scandal. The original trustees were forced to resign when a lawsuit accused them of mismanagement of funds, and in 1985 Texas attorney general Jim Mattox charged the estate with failure to provide sufficient charity-care as stipulated by George Hermann's will. The estate trustees subsequently agreed to establish a charity care endowment of $100 million. Also in 1985, Harris County district attorney John B. Holmes investigated allegations of criminal wrongdoings; nine men and one woman were indicted on charges of theft of estate funds.

Over 2,500 faculty, voluntary and house staff physicians, and 4,000 employees maintain the 650-bed full-service hospital. The institution serves 11,000 patients, mainly from Houston, Southeast Texas, and western Louisiana, each month. Hermann Hospital sponsors several specialized medical services, including liver and kidney transplantation, the Hermann Burn Center, the Hermann Center for Hyperbaric Medicine, the Maternal-Fetal Special Care Unit, and Life Flight-the largest emergency medical air transport service in the United States.

Hermann Hospital Facts (brochure, Houston: Hermann Hospital, 1986). Harry Hurt III, "A Trust Corrupted, A City Betrayed," Texas Monthly, February, March 1986.

  • Health and Medicine
  • Hospitals, Clinics, and Medical Centers
Time Periods:
  • Texas in the 1920s
  • Great Depression
  • Texas Post World War II
  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Megan Seaholm, “Hermann Hospital,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 28, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/hermann-hospital.

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January 1, 1995
October 29, 2021

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