In 1503 the Spanish built a hospital in Santo Domingo in Hispaniola (present-day Dominican Republic). More than a century later, in 1639, the first hospital on the mainland of North America was built in Quebec, Canada. In 1751 statesman and inventor Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) was instrumental in founding the first U.S. hospital, which was built in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Further Information: Fisher, Leonard Everett. The Hospitals. New York: Holiday House, 1980. Mayeaux, E. J. A History of Western Medicine and Surgery. [Online] Available http://lib-sh.lsumc.edu/fammed/grounds/history.html, November 6, 2000.