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Dimock Community Health Center Complex


Dimock Community Health Center Complex Zakrzewska Building, Dimock Community Health Care Center
Photograph by Idris Bilal.

Linda Richards America's first registered woman nurse, Linda Richards, trained at Dimock
Photograph courtesy of the Dimock Community Healthcare Center.

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Dr. Marie Elizabeth Zakrzewska
(1829-1902), physician


The Dimock Community Health Center Complex's opened as the New England Hospital for Women and Children in 1862 to meet women's medical needs, and to train women nurses and doctors in the practice of medicine. Marie Zakrzewska, a Prussian-trained midwife, immigrated to America and received her medical degree in 1856. After her graduation, Dr. Zakrzewska worked in New York for three years, but she left for Boston in 1859 to accept a teaching position at the newly founded New England Female Medical College. Three years later, Dr. Zakrzewska opened the doors of the New England Hospital for Women and Children, one of the few hospitals in the country where women performed surgery and other medical practices. Starting with only 10 beds, Zakrzewska’s endeavor proved successful, and N.E.H. eventually purchased its present 9-acre site in 1872. During a 36-year career of teaching and healing, Dr. Zakrzewska’s high standards of medical training helped educate thousands of doctors and nurses, and she contributed greatly to the eventual acceptance of female physicians. Through the years, N.E.H. prospered, and by 1932, the complex consisted of today’s 8 buildings, a picturesque collection Victorian Gothic, Stick Style and Classical Revival buildings. After Zakrzewska’s retirement in 1899, the hospital continued its mission until 1972, when the institution’s name and purpose changed. The Dimock Community Health Center Complex, named after one of N.E.H.'s most respected students, testifies to its predecessor's success: by helping women gain experience and acceptance in the medical community, N.E.H. was no longer needed as a teaching hospital for women.

The Dimock Community Health Center Complex is located at 41 & 55 Dimock St. in Boston, MA. The property is not open to the public.

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Last Modified: Monday, 30-Mar-98 15:42:58EST