As early as 230 B.C., a chain of hospitals existed. By 100 B.C., Rome's emergency care centers treated sick and wounded soldiers. As Christianity grew, the church extended care to all who needed it as part of the religion's mission, and Europeans created voluntary hospitals during the Middle Ages.
Cortes built the Hospital de Jesus Nazareno, which is the first hospital in North America, in 1524. This hospital remains in Mexico City. The first hospital in the United States was in New York. Built in 1663, its purpose was to care for soldiers. In 1751, Pennsylvania hospital became the first incorporated hospital.