4. Reflections on the Move to 555 University Ave – Dr. E.A. Morgan – 1951

Excerpts from address by Dr. E.A. Morgan to the Graduating Class May 1951

From “The Alumnae News” 1952

“………….Great changes have occurred since the last graduating exercises.  We have moved into a wonderful new hospital but the change has been attended by mixed emotions and many of us feel as though we have left our hearts behind in the old building.  We have traded comparative squalor for spotless cleanliness but if I ever see a cockroach in the new building I think I will embrace it.  Instead of a building that was a veritable firetrap but which rarely had occasion to turn in a fire alarm, we now occupy a completely fireproof building to which the Fire Department is summoned once a moth.  We have traded cramped quarters for boundless space but possibly at the expense of an increased incidence of fallen arches.  We have traded one elevator, often out of commission but doing nobly its duty, for six elevators on whom the mantle of mechanical disruption has apparently fallen leaving them merely struggling.

………The atmosphere in the old hospital as I knew it as an interne was quite different from that of the present one.  Miss Brent – a combination of a stern disciplinarian and a very lovable character was superintendent of the hospital, superintendent of nurses and superintendent of the interne staff.  Philandering of any kind was stamped out as a venomous snake.  The real detective work fell to the lot of the night supervisor, who used to wear rubber soled shoes; it would not surprise me to learn that her activities were responsible for the coining of the word “sneakers”.

….(Dr Morgan concludes with these important words)…….”We are in imminent danger of becoming a scientific, efficient and soul-less institution where intimate personal contact with the patient, such as we enjoyed in the old building, may be lost.  An atmosphere of home, embodying as it does an aura of security, friendliness and motherly sympathy is a tremendous therapeutic factor in restoring health to a sick and temporarily homeless child.  It will fall to the lot of the nurses more than to any other branch of the professional staff to see that such an atmosphere becomes a reality so that we may all progress with hope and confidence towards the goal we have all prayed for – that of doing the most good to the greatest number in the shortest space of time.”