Rex Hospital Celebrates its 120th Anniversary
Rex Healthcare has provided medical care to our community since 1894. Upon its opening in the old Governor Manly House, founder John Rex’s dream of providing care to the “sick and afflicted poor” became a reality.
Over the past 120 years, Rex has met the healthcare needs of the people in Raleigh, Wake County and beyond. The sophistication of treatments has progressed far beyond what could have been imagined. Today, Rex Healthcare is a technologically-advanced community hospital backed by the extensive capabilities of UNC Health Care.
The achievements of Rex Hospital in its first century have been great, beginning with the establishment of North Carolina’s first school of nursing. At a time when women did not have a right to vote, head nurse Mary Wyche persuaded the North Carolina Legislature to regulate nursing standards. There were many other firsts: Rex offered the first Master’s in Hospital Administration program in the state and was the first business in North Carolina to open a day care center for co-workers children. Rex also had one of the earliest x-ray departments for a private hospital.
In 1937, Rex moved to its location at the corner of St. Mary’s Street and Wade Avenue. Rex continued to grow and expand at this site until 1980, when the hospital moved to its current location at the corner of Lake Boone Trail and Blue Ridge Road. There are many co-workers and volunteers who work at Rex who were here at the time of the move who have great stories to tell!
Rex has maintained high standards of education, with schools of medical technology and nurse anesthesiology and continues to place emphasis on nursing education. Thanks in part to our excellent nurses, Rex has earned local and national accolades, and is proud to be Wake County’s most preferred hospital.
At its current location on Lake Boone Trail since 1980, Rex has grown through the provision of new services and the construction of new facilities. The Rex Family Birth Center, Cancer Center, Nursing Care Center, Wellness Centers and Emergency Department have all been added to the main Rex Hospital campus in order to provide for the needs of our patients. The Rex Cancer Center was the first comprehensive community cancer center in North Carolina. In 2006 a state-of-the-art Surgery Center was added to provide a platform for physicians and caregivers for the next thirty years.
Today, as part of the UNC Health Care system, Rex continues to thrive. As the first hospital in the Triangle to be awarded Magnet Recognition by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), Rex nurses are among the best in the nation. Physicians and caregivers now offer patients minimally-invasive, high-tech procedures even closer to home as further growth in Wake County led to the development of healthcare campuses in Wakefield, Knightdale and Holly Springs.
The history of Rex Hospital is one of dedication – the dedication of the medical staff, co-workers, volunteers and trustees who have served the hospital and its patients. An unwavering commitment to excellence is reflected in the attitude of co-workers in the halls and on the floors. One visit to any of our facilities and it is clear from co-workers, volunteers and physicians’ smile and eagerness to help that Rex employs only the best and treats them as such.
The trust, support and generosity of members in our community continue to propel Rex’s commitment to excellence in healthcare. As a leader in the healthcare industry, we are consistently raising the bar at Rex. A new electronic medical record system is nearing completion and Wake County’s first heart and vascular hospital is on the horizon. We look forward to caring for our community for another 120 years.