Epworth HealthCare started as a bold idea - a vision to build a private hospital in Victoria that would provide people on modest incomes with more pleasant accommodation, dedicated nursing services, and better facilities than the public hospitals could often provide.
The vision of Epworth was built by the generosity of philanthropists. The very first donation was received from Sir Aaron Danks, a manufacturing engineer who donated the deeds of his two-storey brick house and land in Hawthorn, Victoria and followed this gift with a further donation of £4,950. This enabled the planning committee to purchase our first hospital building, and other benefactors donated the £5,283 needed for building alterations, furnishing, equipment, general establishment and an operating theatre. The community’s combined generosity allowed Epworth to open its doors in 1920 with five staff at a single site in Richmond.
Since 1920, Epworth has grown from five staff and a single site to over 10,000 staff and doctors across ten sites in Melbourne and regional Victoria.
Philanthropy is what established Epworth and, at every stage in its further development, philanthropy has been critical to our success.
Fast forward to 1982, Epworth continued to be a charitable hospital and rely on the generosity of donors to achieve its mission of becoming one of the world's truly great hospitals, the Epworth Medical Foundation (EMF) was then established.
In October 2013, Epworth won the People’s Choice Award for the top philanthropic gift of all time in recognition of Sir Aaron’s support, from a line-up of the Top 50 philanthropic gifts and following almost 8,000 votes.
Today, with your help, we continually strive to provide a world-class hospital environment that notonly provides the best possible outcomes for our patients but is also dedicated to their emotional and physical experiences during their time with us. Each year we care for more than 200,000 patients and every single one of them who walks through the doors of Epworth HealthCare benefits in some way from the philanthropy and generosity of others.
Epworth Hospital in 1920 was a big idea. Today, that “big idea” is an exceptional hospital with a hundred-year legacy of providing outstanding care. Every person who has given to Epworth throughout those hundred years is part of the reason why Epworth remains such a special place, and why we are able to look forward to the hundred years to come with confidence, optimism, and a deep sense of gratitude.