Blodgett Hospital to Hold Founders Day
on Wednesday

(Article in the G. R. Press, 30 March 1926, Pg. 5, Column 3.)

Visitors Will Be Welcomed on Occasion; History is Recalled.

Blodgett Memorial hospital on Wednesday will hold open house in observance of Foundersí Day, which will mark the tenth anniversary of the occupancy of the present buildings and the forty-second year of the work of the institution.

Guides will be provided to show visitors through the buildings, and tea will be served in the afternoon at the Nursesí lodge by members of the Womanís auxiliary to the board of directors.

Originally arranged to house 120 beds, adjustment has been made so that 152 beds have been provided in the hospital. For five months of 1925 more than 85 per cent of the beds were used. This necessitated more nurses and to accommodate them the roof of the nursesí lodge was raised. Another story being added to the building.

Equipment Is Added

Equipment added to the hospital during the past 10 years includes a therapy machine for the treatment of cancer and other troubles; a vertical fluoroscope, a special dental x-ray machine, a diathermy apparatus and an electrocardiograph, the latter making possible the accurate recording of hear action.

In the laboratories equipment has been added for the determination of metabolism, in the immediate preparation of frozen sections of tissue removed in an operation and apparatus for microscopic photography.

The increasing value of the laboratory and x-ray departments, is shown by the fact that in 1925 there were as many examinations in one month in those departments as there were in the entire year of 1919, when there were 464 x-ray examinations made during the entire year and 2,671 in the laboratory as contrasted with 4,976 last year in the x-ray room and 29,005 in the laboratory.

The growth of the institution since its occupancy of the present building at Wealthy street and Plymouth road is best shown by comparative figures. From 1886 to 1916 a total of 19,052 patients were cared for. In the 10 years since that time 45,665 patients have received treatment.

During the 10 years 353,203 days of hospital service have been given with 50 per cent of the total bed space used at less than the actual cost. The difference in expenditure and cost is made up from endowments and contributions of the Welfare union. The hospital has to its credit 18 years of continual charitable service.

Blodgett Memorial hospital is the outgrowth of the Female Union Charitable association, which was organized in 1846 for the relief of the sick and destitute of the city. The organization developed into the Grand Rapids Orphan Asylum association, then into the Union Benevolent association. In 1886 a hospital was built at College avenue and Lyon street. The hospital remained in the latter building until 1916, when it was moved to its present location.

The same year that marked the occupancy of the College avenue building witnessed also the organization of a training school for nursing. The Mary Louise Withey School of Nursing has graduated 471 nurses, accepting as probationers only girls who have had full high school training. Special guests at the Foundersí Day observance will be girls no attending high school and who are interested in nursing as a profession.

Needy Are Helped

The present hospital building was given by John W. Blodgett in memory of his mother, Mrs. Jane Wood Blodgett, and Mr. Blodgett was president of the hospital board from 1895 to 1922. Although he expressed the policy of a hospital as being to "provide the way: the people must supply the means," a sum of $185,000 has been spent in that institution during the past 10 years from free service.

The hospital board has been assisted since its incorporation by the Womanís auxiliary board composed of a large group of women who continually have given their services to the institution.

A development of the work of the hospital in which it takes pride is the orthopedic clinic maintained by the Mary Free Bed guild for the care of crippled children. Miss Rosamund Rouse, executive secretary of the guild, also is in charge of the outpatient work of the hospital.

Transcriber: ES
Created: 19 September 2006