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Department History

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The Albert Einstein Healthcare Network was founded in 1865 Philadelphia as "The Jewish Hospital."  One of its core missions was the care of Jewish veterans of the Civil War.  In addition, in that era, it was difficult for Jewish physicians to get admitting privileges at most hospitals.  The hospital relocated to its current location in Northeast Philadelphia in the 1930s.  The intersection of Broad and Olney streets was at that time the last stop on the Broad Street line.  In 1952, the Jewish Hospital merged with central Philadelphia's Mt. Sinai Hospital to form the Einstein Healthcare Network, named after the physicist, Albert Einstein.  The medical center grew in size and scope over the next 30 years, acquiring the Belmont psychiatric hospital and the Germantown Hospital.  In the 1980s, Mt. Sinai Hospital dissociated from the Center.  Einstein established an academic affiliation with Thomas Jefferson Medical College in the 1990s. Einstein also acquired Rolling Hill Hospital, in nearby Elkins Park.  In 2012, the Einstein Healthcare Network opened a new 350-bed hospital in East Norriton-Einstein Montgomery. 

For the first 100 years of the hospital's history, the Department of Surgery was staffed by voluntary surgeons from the community. The first full-time attending joined the department in 1985.  Over the next 30 years, the department has grown to comprise over 25 full-time attendings.  It currently has divisions of Breast, Cardiac, Surgical Critical Care/Trauma, Transplantation, and Vascular.  The department has a rich history and tradition.  Drs. Somers, Solit, Steerman, Kaplan, Greenberg, Jablon, and Liebman are alumni of the department who currently practice here. 

Chairmen of the Department of Surgery

 1950-1955  Albert Behrend, MD, FACS
1956-1960  Gerald Amsterdam, MD, FACS
1961-1964  Julian Sterling, MD, FACS
1965-1970  Morton Parriera, MD, FACS
1970-1972  Albert Behrend, MD, FACS
1972-1979  Aaron Bannett, MD, FACS
1979-1981  Robert Somers, MD, FACS
1981-1984  Victor Bernhardt, MD, FACS
1986-2005  Robert Somers, MD, FACS
2006-present  H. Hank Simms, MD, FACS

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