The History of Grant Hospital

On a snowy day in December 1883, a meeting was held at the Medical Mission located at Chicago and LaSalle Streets. At the conclusion of this meeting the then-named “German Hospital of Chicago” was incorporated to serve the burgeoning population of the north side of Chicago following the Chicago Fire of 1871 and, most especially, the German immigrant population around its Lincoln Park location, then at 2225 Lincoln Avenue. There were only six other hospitals operating in Chicago, all located a long and difficult horse and buggy ride away from Lincoln Park. At its inception the hospital could accommodate thirteen patients. In 1918, at the beginning of World War I, the name of the hospital was changed to Grant Hospital of Chicago, reflecting the diversifying population of its staff, patients and neighborhood. The hospital continued to grow, deliver compassionate care, and innovate for one hundred eleven years until its sale in January 1994 to Columbia Healthcare Corporation, a for-profit entity. At the time of this sale the hospital was located on the northeast corner of Lincoln Avenue and Webster, still serving the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, but also attracting patients and staff from the entire metropolitan region.

Grant Healthcare Foundation began its granting program in 1996. Funding for the establishment and operation of the foundation was derived from the proceeds of the sale of the hospital and income from the investment of this corpus. The corporate name remains Grant Hospital of Chicago, doing business as Grant Healthcare Foundation, in honor of its long history of providing healthcare services to the people of Chicago.

From inception through December 2021, Grant Healthcare Foundation has awarded grants totaling more than $30 million.


Grant Hospital of Chicago was recognized for the quality of care provided within its walls by a dedicated and diverse staff. Admitting privileges were offered to African-American doctors from the south side of Chicago at a time when they could not access these privileges at other hospitals on Chicago's north side. This resulted in the admission and treatment of patients from all over the Chicago area. As a funder, Grant Healthcare Foundation is committed to access to health care for all the citizens of Chicago, particularly individuals or families living within the south and west sides of the city. Most grants are awarded to organizations located within Chicago neighborhoods designated as having the least access to healthcare but the highest need for services.

The first legal abortion in Chicago was performed at Grant Hospital of Chicago immediately following the Roe v. Wade decision of the Supreme Court in 1973. We continue the tradition of supporting choice and reproductive care for women and comprehensive sex education through our grant making.

Grant Hospital of Chicago was in the forefront of treatment for substance use disorder. Grant Healthcare Foundation partners with strong organizations that have substance use treatment programs demonstrated to be effective through careful evaluation.

 © Grant Healthcare Foundation