The Flower Free Surgical Hospital, built by New York Medical College in 1889, was the first teaching hospital in the country to be owned by a medical college. It was constructed at York Avenue (formerly known as Eastern Boulevard) between 63rd and 64th streets with funds given largely by Congressman Roswell P. Flower, later governor of New York (1892-1894). In 1908, to highlight owning its own hospital "Flower Free Surgical Hospital," the College changes its name a third time to "New York Homeopathic Medical College and Flower Hospital." A year later, the hospital adds motorized ambulances to supplement horse-drawn ambulances after the first U.S. mass-production of automobile-based ambulances begins production the same year.
By 1935, the College transfers its outpatient activities from Flower Hospital on East 63rd Street to the Fifth Avenue Hospital (itself the 1920 merger of the Hahnemann Hospital and Laura Franklin (Delano) Free Hospital for Children) located in a group of buildings on the block front on Fifth Avenue between East 105th and East 106th streets in Manhattan. A year later, in 1936, the College drops 'homeopathic' from its name and changes its name to "New York Medical College, Flower and Fifth Avenue Hospitals" (NYMC-FFAH) to better reflect its curriculum.
Flourishing in the midst of the U.S. Great Depression years, the College lays a cornerstone for a new 10-story building complex to replace the group of buildings on Fifth Avenue between East 105th and East 106th streets across from Central Park’s Conservatory Garden. In 1938, the College's Fifth Avenue Hospital Beaux-Arts style building was complete. Notable for its X-shape footprint, the lower parts of the building's facade is of light colored limestone blocks and the upper parts were stucco with terra cotta trim and a tile roof.
On March 19, 1966, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (prince consort of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom) visited the pediatrics wing of the Flower-Fifth Avenue Hospital (FFAH).
In September of 1971, New York Medical College begins moving academic operations out of its Flower-Fifth Avenue Hospital building in New York City to suburban Valhalla in Westchester County on the Grasslands Reservation. Several years later, in 1978, the College affiliated with the Archdiocese of New York through the efforts of then-Archbishop of New York Terence Cardinal Cooke, which helps provide financial stability and establishes a shared commitment for the public good in the area of health care and the health sciences. The ownership of the College's Flower-Fifth Avenue Hospital in New York City also come under the auspices of the Archdiocese of New York. The College's Flower-Fifth Avenue Hospital eventually converts to a long-term residential care and short-term rehabilitation facility, and in 1984, a year after the passing of then-Archbishop of New York Terence Cardinal Cooke, the Flower-Fifth Avenue Hospital is renamed the "Terrance Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center"—a clinical site and hospital affiliate of the NYMC School of Medicine to present day.
New York Medical College does not file and cannot issue copies of birth certificates from the former Flower-Fifth Avenue Hospital. For births certificates, please visit the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website at http://www.nyc.gov/vitalrecords.
New York Medical College Flower and Fifth Avenue Hospitals School of Nursing offered a three-year basic nursing program, resulting in a Diploma of Nursing from 1920 to 1960. In September of 1961, New York Medical College Flower-Fifth Avenue Hospital opened a graduate nursing school, which awarded a Master of Science in Nursing. The School offered training programs in select clinical specialties for graduate nurses with college degrees. The basic nursing program was two years in length and the clinical specialty program ranged in length from one to two years, depending upon the area of clinical specialization. The program remained until 1973. In September of 1971, the Graduate School of Nursing of New York Medical College relocated from New York City to Westchester County with a faculty of 22 and 80 enrolled students. From 1969 until 1986 New York Medical College also offered a two-year Nurse Anesthesia Program that granted a certificate to registered nurses to provide anesthesia services.