The mission of The Women's Treatment Center (TWTC) is to provide women with a continuum of care, recovery tools, and parenting skills to maintain a sober lifestyle as they rebuild their lives and their futures, and mend the bonds with their families.
A Century of Care for Women and Children
TWTC is located on the former site of the Mary Thompson Hospital of Chicago for Women and Children. It's built on the proud legacy of service to indigent women and children that began with Dr. Mary Thompson, the first woman physician in the city.
A graduate of the New England Female Medical College of Boston, Dr. Thompson relocated to Chicago in 1863 and was unable to continue her practice, as neither of Chicago's two hospitals allowed women to serve on their staffs, and only one would admit women as patients.
Undaunted, Dr. Thompson rallied local women to raise funds for a new facility. In 1865, she founded The Chicago Hospital for Women and Children with the dual purpose of providing services to indigent women and children and clinical opportunities for women in medicine. She served at the hospital until her death in 1895. It was renamed The Mary Thompson Hospital of Chicago for Women and Children in her honor.
The hospital continued to expand and eventually relocated to its final site at 140 North Ashland, where it continued operating until financial burdens contributed to its closing in 1988. For most of its 100+ year history, the hospital was one of only four institutions in the nation entirely staffed by women.
A New Era of Healing Begins
TWTC ushered in a new era in the hospital's legacy of leadership in women's and children's health. In 1990, the state was faced with an acute shortage of drug-treatment programs for pregnant women and mothers. As a result, and as part of then Governor James R. Thompson’s Drug-Free Illinois initiative, the state purchased the closed hospital, and reopened it as The Women’s Treatment Center, a rehabilitation center where women could live with their children during their recovery.
TWTC has pioneered the state’s comprehensive residential substance abuse treatment services for women with and without children and become a national model for family-based, trauma-informed treatment in a community-based setting.
TWTC fulfills a critical need, providing treatment and supportive services to close to 1200 women and 400 children annually. Our work is possible because of the generous support from funders. Learn about opportunities to get involved today.