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The North Carolina legislature appropriated funds for a teaching hospital at the university as part of the plan to create a four-year school of medicine at UNC. The hospital opened in 1952 and was named North Carolina Memorial Hospital in honor of North Carolinians who had given their lives in military service. The hospital was heavily used, welcoming its 100,000th patient in 1960. It expanded rapidly, adding new programs and expanding the facilities. In 1965 the hospital was the subject of an investigation under the Civil Rights Act. In response, the university announced that it would no longer segregate hospital patients by race.

In 1989 the hospital and its constituent services were organized under the new name UNC Hospitals. In 1998 the North Carolina General Assembly authorized the creation of the UNC Health Care system, which recognized the statewide impact and importance of the UNC hospitals and health care services. The major hospital services in Chapel Hill grew to include the Neurosciences Hospital (opened in 1995), the Women's Hospital (2001), the Children's Hospital (2001), and the Cancer Hospital (2009), home of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Date Established: 1952

Date Range: 1952 – Present

North Carolina Memorial Hospital shown shortly after its opening in 1952. UNC Photo Lab Collection, North Carolina Collection Photo Archives, Wilson Library.

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