St. Louis Childrens Hospital provides a full range of pediatric services to the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area and a primary service region covering six states. As the pediatric teaching hospital for Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Childrens Hospital offers nationally recognized programs for physician training and research. The hospital has 258 licensed beds, 3,000 employees, 700 medical staff members and 1,300 auxiliary members and volunteers. St. Louis Children’s Hospital admitted its first two patients in 1879. It was located in a small rented house at 2834 Franklin Avenue. It was the first children’s hospital west of the Mississippi River and the seventh oldest in the country. In 1878, Appoline Blair, the widow of Civil War general and U.S. Senator Frank Blair conversed with friends about the need for a hospital dedicated to the care of poor children. Knowing that women assumed most of the care for children, they knew keeping children healthy would improve womens health as well. Blair encouraged her friends to support the hospital and a female Board of Managers was formed. They supported the daily administration of the hospital and a "gentlemens advisory board" was responsible for the financial and legal side. After occupying the rented house for a year, the organization raised funds to buy a building on Franklin Avenue. With accommodations limited to fifteen beds, patients with chronic, incurable, or infectious diseases were not admitted. The hospital served patients between two and fourteen years. Eventually the hospital could not turn away children with infectious diseases and the hospital added an isolation ward. The hospital outgrew its space within a few years and more money was raised to build a new hospital, which opened in 1884 at Jefferson Avenue and Adams Street. The new space could accommodate sixty patients and had a separate ward for infectious cases. A kindergarten was established in the hospital in 1894. A dispensary treated outpatients. The dispensary treated African American children, but it is likely the hospital did not.