Throwback Thursday: National Hospital Day, May 12, 1941

By Kristy Bleizeffer May 14, 2015

Polio patients smile during our hospital open house on May 11, 1941, in honor of National Hospital Day.

Polio patients smile during our hospital open house on May 11, 1941, in honor of National Hospital Day.

This poster was displayed in 12 store windows around down, announcing National Hospital Day, May 12, 1941.

This poster was displayed in 12 store windows around down, announcing National Hospital Day, May 12, 1941.

This week is National Hospital Week, a chance to celebrate hospitals and the men and women who support the health of their communities. You can read how we recognized our employees this year in this essay from Vickie Diamond, WMC president and CEO.

In 1941, hospitals had just a single day to celebrate all they did for patients and families. The official National Hospital Day was on May 12 that year, and we hung these posters in 12 Casper businesses. J.C. Penney's created a window display for Memorial Hospital of Natrona County in its then downtown storefront.

Our big celebration, though, was on May 11, a Sunday, so that whole families could come and tour hospital departments - including our "special equipment built here for crippled patients," according to the Casper Tribune Herald. (We'll post more about the special polio work at the hospital in next week's Throwback Thursday post.)

The first National Hospital Day was in 1921 in honor of the birthday of Florence Nightingale, considered the founder of modern nursing· The day was conceived by a Chicago magazine editor as a public healthcare event to encourage trust in the city’s hospitals in the wake of the "Spanish flu" outbreak of 1918, which killed more than 600,000 Americans. The event expanded to an entire week in 1953.

Evelyn G. Tobin, a member of the hospital's program committee wrote this history of medicine and Memorial Hospital to highlight National Hospital Day. You read the article by clicking on the photo at right below.

Throwback Thursday is a series celebrating Wyoming Medical Center’s long and rich history in Natrona County. Special thanks to the Casper College Western History Center which archives the vast Wyoming Medical Center collection of newspaper articles, photographs and other memorabilia.

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