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Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital celebrates 150 years of service to the community

Exterior shot of Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital from 64th street.

MEETH admitted its first patient on October 15, 1869

New York, NY —

Team members of Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital (MEETH) today celebrated the hospital’s 150th year of providing high quality, compassionate care to the community. MEETH admitted its first patient on October 15, 1869 in a rented brownstone at 233 East 34th Street. Today, the hospital continues to strengthen its commitment to improve the health needs of New Yorkers for generations to come.

"This milestone gives us the chance to celebrate an amazing century and a half of providing exceptional care to our patients," said Joseph Manopella, deputy executive director of Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital. "MEETH’s achievements are the result of our employees, physicians and volunteers who have committed themselves to making a difference in the lives of those we serve. We continue to expand our services and improve the care we provide as we embark on the next 150 years."

MEETH is commemorating this milestone anniversary in a year-long series of events   that reflect and deepen the hospital’s significant community ties and looks ahead to a bright future. 

MEETH's timeline

Milestones throughout MEETH's history include:

  • 1881 — Edward Talbot Ely, an early member of the MEETH faculty who is now regarded as the father of aesthetic otoplasty (plastic surgery of the outer ear), performs the first operation to correct protruding ears.
  • 1916 — MEETH opens the first allergy clinic in the United States.
  • 1926 — Conservation of Hearing Clinic is established.
  • 1931 — "The Clinic Stairs" (publicity photograph for the Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital) was taken by Edward Steichen.
  • 1942 — Hospital opens the nation's first diagnostic treatment clinic for glaucoma.
  • 1944 — MEETH opens the first Eye Bank for Sigh Restoration. By the end of its first year, 60 cornea transplants are performed.
  • 1955 — The hospital opens the Clinic for the Facially Disfigured.
  • 1955 — MEETH develops a clinic devoted to ophthalmic plastic surgery.
  • 1963 — The hospital creates the nation's first ophthalmologic cryosurgery.
  • 1967 — The hospital develops the first ultrasound clinic for ophthalmologic disorders.
  • 1983 — MEETH establishes the nation's first cochlear implant center. 
  • 1990 — The hospital conducts the first excimer laser vision correction trials.
  • 1993 — MEETH performs the first laser procedure for cataract removal.
  • 2013 — The hospital performs the first surgical insertion of the Baha® Attract hearing device.
  • 2016 — The 7500 square foot Glaucoma Center opens offering comprehensive services to assist in the early detection, prevention and assessment of glaucoma — a leading cause of blindness.
  • 2016 — MEETH opens the new Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma (NISMAT) — the world's first hospital-based facility committed solely to the study of sports medicine. 

MEETH a vital academic institution

“This anniversary gives us the opportunity to recognize the way that Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital has raised the bar throughout the years, expanding our thinking of what’s possible in the field of health care,” said Kevin Beiner, senior vice president and Northwell’s western regional executive director. “Now, as we begin the next phase, we’re celebrating its rich history of caring for New York, and its even more exciting future.”

MEETH is internationally recognized for its achievements and research contributions in ophthalmology, otolaryngology, orthopedics, plastic surgery and sports medicine. The hospital has achieved distinction as a premier academic institution, providing post-graduate training and instruction to ophthalmology, otolaryngology and plastic surgery residents, physicians and clinicians. In addition to its ophthalmology and otolaryngology departments, MEETH provides care through several outpatient specialty clinics, including the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine (NISMAT), a Primary Care Clinic, the Laser Ophthalmic Center, the Center for Attention and Learning, the Outpatient Center for Mental Health (OCMH) and the LuEsther T. Mertz Retinal Research Center.

MEETH is a member of Northwell Health, New York’s largest private employer and health care provider. Since partnering with Northwell in 2010, MEETH has received nearly $100 million in capital investments which underscores Northwell’s commitment to meeting the future health needs of New Yorkers. Future plans include broadening its scope of services, expanding its role as a leading teaching institution and strengthening its capabilities in groundbreaking research. The hospital has been given a structural and electrical upgrade and future plans call for updating the exterior of the building and making it more contextual with the surrounding neighborhood.

Northwell has established more than 80 outpatient facilities in Manhattan, in addition to Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, Lenox Hill Hospital and the 160,000–square-foot Lenox Health Greenwich Village, which houses Manhattan’s first and only freestanding Emergency Center, imaging and ambulatory surgery centers and a medical pavilion.