Polio

On May 19, 2017 By

Polio is caused by a virus; it affects the body by attacking the central nervous system, specifically those neurons essential for muscle activity. The first U.S. polio epidemic swept across the country in 1916, and then again in the late 1940s and 1950s.

Continue Reading

St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village was not just a place of employment for nurses, but it was also a place for education. In 1892, forty-three years after the hospital’s opening, the St. Vincent’s School of Nursing opened its doors to women. The school was first directed by Katherine A. Sanborn. Many graduates from this school continued their work at St. Vincent’s hospital. Other graduates went to work elsewhere in New York City, including the New York Foundling Hospital, another institution directed by the Sisters of Charity. Eventually, in the 1930s, St. Vincent’s School of Nursing began to accept men. This produced even more graduates and more St. Vincent’s educated nurses working in the field.

Continue Reading

Mary Garrett and the “Friday Evening” group next turned their attention on ways to provide opportunities for women at the Johns Hopkins University. The women of the “Friday Evening” formed the Women’s Medical School Fund Committee in response to a nation-wide appeal for philanthropic assistance initiated by University president D.C. Gilman. Proposing to raise $100,000 for the endowment of the medical school if the trustees would agree to admit women on the same terms as men, the committee embarked upon a major public relations effort to promote medical education for women. When they finished, the Johns Hopkins University—and medical education in the United States—would never be the same.

Continue Reading

At the age of 24, Elizabeth Blackwell had a revelation that changed her life, taking her far from her tiny Cincinnati schoolroom where she was teaching. She had gone to see Mary Donaldson, a family friend dying of what was probably uterine cancer. “My friend,” Blackwell later recalled, “died of a painful disease, the delicate nature of which made the methods of treatment a constant suffering to her.” A “lady doctor,” Donaldson told her young visitor, would have spared her the embarrassment of having male physicians examine her. Indeed, Blackwell believed, had a female physician been available, Donaldson might have sought treatment in time to save her life. For the idealistic Blackwell, moved by her friend’s plight, the idea of becoming a doctor “gradually assumed the aspect of a great moral struggle.”

Continue Reading

In many respects the most direct answer of all is found in the formation of a group health cooperative or similar type of group health association. Such an organization represents the practical realization on the part of its members that they cannot safely rely either for the presence of doctors among them or for adequate health facilities upon the fortuitous illness and generosity of well­ to-do people. Instead the potential need for health care on the part of an entire group of people is pooled, together with monthly payments to cover the esti­mated cost of such care. In other words, the principle of pre­payment, which everyone agrees is the central answer to the problem of en­abling people generally to pay for ade­quate health care, is applied.

Continue Reading

Presentation by Lillian D. Wald at the Twenty-Second Annual Session of the National Conference Of Charities And Correction, 1895. “The actual nursing in the tenements, the lending of sick-room utensils and bedding, and the making of delicacies and carrying of flowers have not been different from the usual methods of district nursing.”

Continue Reading

One million undernourished children have benefited by the Works Progress Administration’s school lunch program. In the past year and a half 80,000,000 hot well-balanced meals have been served at the rate of 500,000 daily in 10,000 schools throughout the country.

Continue Reading

Health Conservation and WPA

On September 10, 2014 By

The following address was delivered by Mrs. Florence Kerr, Assistant Commissioner, Work Projects Administration. “In our WPA project work, we have come to grips with the problem of public health on a number of important fronts…we are not just talking about the need for better sanitation the need for more medical, dental and nursing service, the need of school children for hot, well-balanced lunches, the need of home visits to underprivileged families in time of illness…We’re…doing something about them.”

Continue Reading

Very many families are unable to secure enough “protective foods.” Milk, meat, eggs, fresh vegetables, and fruits are relatively expensive. Whole wheat bread and other whole grain cereals are perishable—a factor which adds to the cost of their distribution. The farmer in most cases can keep a cow and have a garden and an orchard; but on some poor lands, this is impossible. The city dweller is always dependent on the market for the variety of foods available to him and the amounts which his dollar will purchase. Families with incomes below a certain level must have assistance in tangible form if they are to secure the foods which provide an adequate diet. Assistance may take the form of a money dole, or it may involve the direct distribution of food.

Continue Reading

When America began to recover from the Great Depression, it began to take stock of its human resources. We found that a large minority of our population did not get enough to eat. These people who did not get enough to at were below par in health. They were below par in initiative and alertness.

Continue Reading