A young girl and her mother giving a doctor a high five

Firsts & Awards

Our Tradition of Medical Innovation

Since 1887 and the founding of Babies Hospital, we have been promoting excellence in the care of children through research, technology, and clinical excellence. Columbia University’s affiliation with the very first Babies Hospital in New York continues today with its successor, NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, the top-ranked children’s hospital in the New York region, according to U.S. News & World Report

The list of firsts from Columbia’s University’s long history of innovation in children's health includes: 

  • Earliest programs in neonatal care, pediatric surgery, radiology, neurology, hematology-oncology, and psychiatry.
  • Defining Kasabach-Merritt syndrome, McCune-Albright syndrome, Riley Day syndrome.
  • Defining Shaken Baby syndrome.
  • Identifying the difference between celiac disease and cystic fibrosis.
  • Developing sweat test to establish diagnosis of cystic fibrosis.
  • Developing the Apgar score.
  • Performing the first successful pediatric heart transplant.
  • Describing the syndrome of persistent fetal circulation.
  • Developing continuous positive airway pressure for premature infants.