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OU Medical Center –A One HundredYear Historyof Health and Healing.I  n a long, rich history this was, indeed, a historic m...
The Advance of Medicine:Background and Beginnings.A      s the year 1900 arrived,American medicine had begun to move halti...
1900University of Oklahoma School of MedicineEstablished.Seven years before statehood, the first medical school in Oklahom...
Over time, city doctors weary of endless house calls that wasted time and energythey felt could be better spent in the pra...
1910Wesley Hospital Founded.In early 1910, with its population nearing 65,000, Oklahoma City was home to adozen hospitals ...
1910University of Oklahoma School of MedicineEstablishes a Four-Year Program of Study.                                    ...
Upon signing the agreement, the University of Oklahoma had a complete four-year medical program, with the first two years ...
1910Wesley Hospital Locates to the Herskowitz Building.With Wesley Hospital in operation for just 11 months, and with thei...
According to an early advertisement, the new Wesley Hospital offered“an abundance of sunshine and pure air, up above the n...
OU Medical Center - 100 Year History - 10pg excerpt
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OU Medical Center - 100 Year History - 10pg excerpt

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This is an excerpt of the first 10 pages of a book that I have recently completed that recounts the first 100 years of the three hospitals that currently constitute the OU Medical Center: Wesley/Presbyterian Hospital, University Hospital and Children's Hospital.

More than two years of writing and research went into the text and the accompanying photography, and the results are fascinating. The completed work is over 100 pages in length.

The book was designed by Eric Ferguson at OU Medical Center. Look at the pages "full screen" and you will be able to read the text and captions easily.

According to the Marketing Department at the OUMC, the book will be printed in 2013.

Hopefully they will stick to that schedule, because an eager and interested market awaits the release. So much of this history is unknown to most Oklahomans.

Published in: Education, Health & Medicine
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OU Medical Center - 100 Year History - 10pg excerpt

  1. 1. OU Medical Center –A One HundredYear Historyof Health and Healing.I n a long, rich history this was, indeed, a historic moment. On February 5, 1998, as the 20th century drew to a close, an agreement was completed that marked the beginning of a new era in the delivery of health care to the citizens of Oklahoma.A Joint-Operating Agreement brought together three hospitals, each with its own impressive record serving the health needs of the state, to create a single entityunique in Oklahoma medical history.This union of Presbyterian, University and Childrens Hospitals represented a new level of coordination and cooperation between the public and private sectors –defining and better enabling a closer working relationship between the hospitals, their affiliate physicians, and the many other organizations that, together, form theOklahoma Health Center.Now able to look confidently into a financially-secure future, the stage was set for these three illustrious institutions to continue their work providingcomprehensive, world-class patient care; to expand their research for new medical cures, techniques and procedures; and to play their important roles in providingthe highest quality medical training and education to tomorrows healthcare professionals.What the next 100 years holds in store for the OU Medical Center will be written in the years to come. But if the past 100 years of history are an indication, it willbe a fascinating story. —1—
  2. 2. The Advance of Medicine:Background and Beginnings.A s the year 1900 arrived,American medicine had begun to move haltingly toward a higher level of professionalism. The fundamentals of humanphysiology were now generally understood. The role that pathogens (germs) playin the spread of disease could be partially explained by science, though doctors werenot in total agreement about the need for sanitary practices. The transition to newideas was quickening and medicine was progressing from a more factual foundation,but quackery, miracle cures, patent medicines, and doctors of dubious distinctionand uneven training were still a common feature of everyday life in what was thenknown as Oklahoma Territory.In Oklahoma Territory, as in many other parts of the United States, hospitals hadnot begun to play any significant role in people’s lives; few existed. Typically, the sick Dr. Lewis J. Moorman making a patient visit on a winter day, circa 1900. Inand injured received treatment and convalesced in the home. Babies were delivered 1931 Dr. Moorman was named interim dean of the OU School of Medicine.at home, perhaps attended by a local doctor, but just as likely by a midwife. Surgery,when needed, might be performed in the doctor’s cramped, unsanitary office, in thepatients kitchen or parlor, or even out of doors. A nurse was a luxury most doctorscould not afford, so a family member might be enlisted to assist.At the turn of the century, the vast majority of Oklahoma’s physicians were “horseand buggy doctors”, making house calls primarily and treating every ailment, injury Photos courtesy University of Oklahoma – Western History Collectionand disease. Versatility and ingenuity were essential as they might see gun shotwounds, broken bones, and tuberculosis in the course of a single day.A pioneer doctor’s life was not an easy one. Nor, in many cases, a particularlyprosperous one. Armed with a body of medical knowledge that was sometimeswoefully inadequate, few effective medicines and little specialized equipment,doctors of the era might make a 30-mile ride, in bitter cold, to reach a patient andprovide what care they could render. Then, often it was left to the natural defensesand restorative powers of the human body to bring healing, or not.It was during this turbulent time that the University of Oklahoma, in existenceonly 10 years, established its first medical program. Dr.T.S. Chapman’s office, McAlester, Oklahoma, circa 1900. Doctor Chapman’s modern office (it had electric lighting) probably also served as his waiting room and examination room. —2—
  3. 3. 1900University of Oklahoma School of MedicineEstablished.Seven years before statehood, the first medical school in Oklahoma was establishedon the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman. Dr. Lawrence N. Upjohn,later of the famous Upjohn pharmaceutical company, served as the first head ofwhat was then called the “Premedical Course.”The two-year curriculum required completion of approximately 70 credit hours.For acceptance into the class, students were required to present a high schooldiploma, a certificate of acceptance from a reputable college or university, or pass anentrance examination testing their knowledge of English, arithmetic, algebra,physics and Latin. Fees ranged from $1.50 per semester for biology to a $17.50 feefor chemistry. The first class numbered eight students. Completion of course workwould not lead to a degree in medicine but rather was intended to prepare students Anatomy classes were conducted in this building on the Norman campus fromfor advanced standing in accredited medical schools. Classes were conducted in the 1900 until 1924.university’s biology and chemistry departments and in a small wooden structurebuilt for anatomy classes.The Advance of Medicine:The Turn of the Century.In the first years of the century, new medical therapies, technologies and drugs Courtesy University of Oklahoma – Western History Collection.became more widely available. Improved X-ray equipment could make the skeletalsystem visible and also aid in the detection of some diseases and abnormalities insoft tissue. Scientific medicine was progressing and gaining wider acceptance fromthe public.The public still viewed hospitals, however, with fear and suspicion; not as places ofhealth and healing, but as squalid houses of death reserved principally for thehomeless and the poor. A person who had a choice would not consider seekingtreatment at a hospital. And, in truth, the few hospitals there were in newly settledOklahoma Territory offered little that could not be provided as well, or better, inthe home. The Human Anatomy Class of 1906.The students’ attempt at a little dark humor was typical for this type of photograph. —3—
  4. 4. Over time, city doctors weary of endless house calls that wasted time and energythey felt could be better spent in the practice of medicine, began to favor hospitalsas a way of bringing their patients to them. Physicians could, if they had thefinancial wherewithal, easily establish their own. Opening a private hospital was astraight-forward undertaking at that time. With just a few alterations anyreasonably-sized apartment building or boarding house was quite suitable. Courtesy University of Oklahoma – Western History Collection.The Flexner Report:In the late 19th and early 20th century, the education and training required tobecome a doctor in the U.S. was highly inconsistent from one medical school tothe next. The result was a vast oversupply of poorly-trained and inexperiencedphysicians; doctors who were, themselves, a danger to their patients health.In 1910, the American Medical Associations Council on Medical Educationsurveyed 155 medical schoolsin the U.S. and Canada and Dr. Everett S. Lain (at left) and his static glass-plate X-ray machine in 1906. Itpublished an eye-opening was the second such device in Oklahoma. Dr. Lain served on the faculty of thereport that helped establish OU School of Medicine for more than 30 years.entrance requirements and (Below) A recreation of a page fromgraduation standards for The Flexner Report.medical education in NorthAmerica. The study,conducted by AbrahamFlexner, exerted such influencethat it became known simply as“The Flexner Report.”A few years prior topublication of The FlexnerReport, the University of Abraham FlexnerOklahoma School of Medicinehad been inspected by the Council on Medical Education and given a class Aranking. At that time, one-half of the medical schools in the U.S. received class Bor C rankings, signifying probationary or unsatisfactory status. In a second Medicineinspection by Flexner in 1909, the OU School of Medicines acceptable rating Library ofwas confirmed. Receiving this class A rating was an important mark of progress Nationaland success for a very young medical program. Retaining that high ranking,however, would prove difficult in the years ahead. Courtesy —4—
  5. 5. 1910Wesley Hospital Founded.In early 1910, with its population nearing 65,000, Oklahoma City was home to adozen hospitals ranging in size from the 130-bed St.Anthony Hospital to the 10-bed Infectious Diseases Hospital. Many citizens and civic leaders felt confident thatthe city was well served by hospitals for the near term. Dr. Foster Kendrick Campwas not among them. Even though his best friends in the medical communitywere pessimistic about the long-term success of yet another Oklahoma Cityhospital, Dr. Camp and his wife Janet had their eyes set confidently on the future. The Camps had relocated to Oklahoma City from Chicago to work as a team in the healing arts and together they set about establishing their new facility. On January 1, 1910, the couple finalized the purchase of St. Luke’s Sanitarium located at 10 North Broadway on the ninth floor of the downtown Campbell Building. Mrs. Camp, a graduate of the Wesley Hospital Training School for Nurses in Chicago, named Oklahoma City’s newest hospital after her alma mater, although there was never an affiliation with the namesake institution. The Camps were undoubtedly delighted when, on June 11, 1910, with their hospital less than six months old, voters made Oklahoma City the new capital of the State of Oklahoma. With the temporary capitol of the state located immediately next door at the Lee- Huckins Hotel, it appeared the winds of good fortune were behind Dr. and Mrs. Camp and their new Courtesy S. Brownrigg venture,Wesley Hospital.Founders ofWesley Hospital,Dr. Foster K. Camp and wife,Janet E. Camp. The Campswere dedicated health care St. Luke’s Sanitarium had only been in operation a few months when Dr. F.K.professionals, but also shrewd Camp and his wife Janet purchased it in 1910, changing its name to Wesleybusiness people. Hospital. —5—
  6. 6. 1910University of Oklahoma School of MedicineEstablishes a Four-Year Program of Study. The in OMethodist klahom Hosp a City italFor Oklahoma, the year 1910 brought the end of one place of higher medical Wesley Mail Mix-up.education and the development of another into a full four-year medical program. Wesley Hospital was a private institutionIn the latter part of the 19th century, America’s medical schools produced some of with no religious affiliation. Many Oklahomans, however, wronglythe best doctors in the world, and some of the worst. The profusion of medical assumed an association between the hospital and John Wesley and theschools around the country ranged from respected institutions to inferior diploma Methodist Church – even addressing letters and packages to, simply,mills that offered a medical degree for cash and the completion of a curriculum that “The Methodist Hospital in Oklahoma City.” Until the practice finallymay have been little more than a series of lectures. tapered off in the 1950s, the Post Office obligingly delivered all mail toAs the 20th century began, with laws and more stringent regulation and licensing the proper place,Wesley Hospital.by the states in place, private medical schools began to fade into history. By 1910,only a few remained in Oklahoma – one was the Epworth College of Medicine.The Epworth College of Medicine was founded in 1904 and stands as anoteworthy attempt by a group of fine physicians to establish a reputable medicalschool in Oklahoma. During this period it was the only medical school inOklahoma offering a four-year medical course and graduating students with M.D.degrees.By 1910, however, the business and economics of operating a private medicalschool had changed dramatically. The large capital investment needed to operatecould no longer be met by tuitions alone. Medical schools, by financial necessity,were becoming state-run organizations.Against this background the owners of the Epworth College of Medicine faced anunattractive set of options, and their medical school, most likely, faced a very shortfuture. A committee was formed by the school and overtures were made todetermine whether the University of Oklahoma would be interested in affiliatingwith – or taking over – Epworth. A unification of the two programs was studied byuniversity regents and found to have merit. Negotiations followed and the proposalwas endorsed. The agreement involved no financial payment. Epworth College of Medicine circa 1907. The former Virginia Hotel building on the northwest corner of Sixth Street and Broadway became the new Epworth College of Medicine in 1907. The building was not part of the arrangement when the University of Oklahoma took over the Epworth College of Medicine in 1910. —6—
  7. 7. Upon signing the agreement, the University of Oklahoma had a complete four-year medical program, with the first two years of study in Norman and the final twoyears of instruction and clinical work in Oklahoma City. The OU School ofMedicine agreed to receive 47 Epworth students, boosting its enrollment to 72.Some of these Epworth students would be among the thirteen men and twowomen who received the first M.D. degrees granted by the University ofOklahoma School of Medicine in 1911.Through this merger, the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine obtainedsome of the most capable physicians in Oklahoma as instructors. Twenty Epworthphysicians, approximately one-half of the Epworth faculty, joined the faculty of the Courtesy OU Medical Centernew four-year school, contributing their services free of charge. Of the schools 30new clinical faculty members 12 remained in teaching positions for over 25 years.The Council on Medical Education approved the merger and the OU School ofMedicine, thus, retained its class A ranking.Laboratories, recitation rooms and a library were established for the new medical A clinical laboratory used by students of the OU School of Medicine inschool in quarters at Tenth Street and North Dewey Avenue. 1911.No property or medical equipment was transferred through the merger.The property of Epworth College of Medicine reverted to its originalincorporators. The corporation then dissolved and the Epworth College ofMedicine took its place as an important piece of the early history of the Universityof Oklahoma School of Medicine.Faculty and students of Epworth College of Medicine circa 1909. -It is to the school’scredit that no graduate of Epworth College of Medicine ever failed to pass a state boardexamination. -Many Epworth faculty members went on to have long careers with thenow, four-year, OU School of Medicine. —7—
  8. 8. 1910Wesley Hospital Locates to the Herskowitz Building.With Wesley Hospital in operation for just 11 months, and with their confidence inthe future of the bustling Oklahoma City high, Dr. and Mrs. Camp madearrangements to move their new facility into more spacious and upscaleaccommodations. They chose the Herskowitz Building, a handsome structure atthe northeast corner of Broadway Avenue and Grand Boulevard, just two buildingssouth from their current location. The new situation on the 11th and 12th floorswould allow the addition of 16 beds, bringing the hospital’s total to 24. Epworth Students Support School Merger “Brains, nerves, blood and pus, What in the deuce is the matter with us, Long bones, short bones, bones we saw, Epworth Medics, Rah! Rah! Rah!”With this playful – but rather disturbing – rhyme, students of the EpworthCollege of Medicine took to the streets on Saturday March 12, 1910 in supportof the proposed merger of their school with the University of Oklahoma Schoolof Medicine. Carrying placards, waving banners and shouting into megaphones,they criss-crossed the business and residential districts of Oklahoma City noisilymaking their support known. When their days work was completed, as the Daily Wesley Hospital atop the Herskowitz Building. Although this hand-tintedOklahoman reported it,“the whole crowd made a raid on the playhouses and took photographic postcard shows a rooftop sign advertising Wesley Hospital, a closein the shows.” examination reveals that it is drawn in by hand. It is unclear if a sign was ever actually constructed. —8—
  9. 9. According to an early advertisement, the new Wesley Hospital offered“an abundance of sunshine and pure air, up above the noise.” The “fireproof”hospital – an important selling point for a multi-story structure at that time –provided patients with modern equipment, an X-ray device, and the convenienceof 24-hour elevator service.On December 1, 1910, three patients, eight beds and the hospital’s equipment madethe short move to the new location. Now at 24 beds,Wesley Hospital was inposition to benefit from the rapid growth that Oklahoma City was experiencing.New civic buildings like the City Auditorium were being erected. Streetcar linesextended more than 20 miles in several directions. An interurban rail line thatstretched west to El Reno was nearing completion. Patient numbers grew steadilyat Wesley. Physicians and surgeons in increasing numbers began to utilize thehospitals facilities for their patients. One of them, Dr.Abraham Lincoln Blesh,would figure prominently in the history of Wesley Hospital for decades to come. In this 1910 ad for the newly relocated Wesley Hospital, someone,1911 perhaps Dr. Camp, makes an odd error – Wesley was on the northeast corner of Broadway and Grand, not the northwest. Courtesy Oklahoma City Clinic.Wesley Hospital Relocates and Expands.Wesley Hospital’s growth during its first year at the Herskowitz Building soonrequired that Dr. and Mrs. Camp start the search for yet another new location.This time they found it on the corner of Northwest 12th Street and HarveyAvenue – a large apartment building built on two lots. The property, purchasedfrom Mrs. Marshall W Weir, was soon undergoing renovations and remodeling. .Wesley Hospital would expand on this, the southwest corner of Northwest 12th Street andHarvey, until the entire structure had been replaced. The part of the structure located to the left(the south) was referred to in early literature as Wesley’s Medical Department. —9—

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