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History of Detroit Receiving Hospital


Detroit Receiving Hospital (DRH) was founded in 1915 as a city-owned hospital, dedicated to caring for everyone, regardless of ability to pay. In 1965, the hospital was renamed Detroit General, and maintained that mission. In 1980, Detroit General moved to its new, award-winning, 320-bed facility, and reclaimed the name Detroit Receiving Hospital. Today, Detroit Receiving Hospital, and the University Health Center, still focus on providing the best medical care, using the latest technology, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay. 

DRH was the first American College of Surgeons verified Level I Trauma Center in Michigan, and one of the first in the nation. Focusing on adult medical care for emergency, trauma, and critically ill patients, the majority of DRH patients arrive through the emergency department (ED). DRH’s ED treats more than 80,000 patients each year. The University Health Center clinics treat more than 250,000 patients annually, making it one of the busiest ambulatory facilities in the country.

As a teaching institution, DRH is committed to physician education. Approximately 95% of the physicians on staff at the hospital also serve on the faculty of Wayne State University School of Medicine. In 1976, before emergency medicine was recognized as a specialty, DRH began a postgraduate emergency medicine training program. That residency continues to produce highly qualified emergency physicians, and nearly half the physicians currently practicing in Michigan have received some of their training at Detroit Receiving Hospital.

DRH physician expertise includes emergency medicine, orthopaedic traumatology, neurosurgery, trauma surgery, and burn treatment, earning national and international recognition for the hospital. DRH was also the site of the first cranioplasty, using a pre-cast replica of missing bone to repair a skull.

Detroit Receiving hosts the longest-running, annual trauma conference in the country, the Detroit Trauma Symposium, attracting physicians worldwide. The Symposium features the latest treatment and management techniques for the injured patient.

Along with exceptional medical treatment, the facility itself earned an award from the American Institute of Architecture for design, and also houses an extensive hospital-based art collection, comprised of donations to DRH over a 30-year period. The collection features more than 900 pieces, estimated at more than $3 million, one of the largest hospital-based collections in the nation.


Mission Statement

Detroit Receiving Hospital (DRH) is the best place for patients to receive health care, physicians to practice medicine and employees to work. DRH fosters teaching, learning and innovation and ensures every patient, visitor and employee is treated with dignity, respect and compassion.

Vision Statement

Detroit Receiving Hospital will be the regional leader in patient- and family-centered health care and the hospital of choice.