1915 to 1923: Facility Expansion and Surgical Certification
Assistance: Government and Retail
Many native Alaskan children receive treatment at Children’s Orthopedic Hospital
In 1915, charity cases fill 80% of the beds at Children's Orthopedic Hospital and the trustees look for creative ways to pay for nursing staff and other operating costs such as food.
They lobby county commissioners to pay some of the costs of care for poor patients from their jurisdictions. Eventually, the Children's Orthopedic Hospital Association receives $150 per month from Seattle's King County for local indigent children and $1.50 from the territorial governor of Alaska for each Native Alaskan patient.
After World War I, the trustees also open two profitable businesses staffed by volunteers: a café and a thrift shop. By 1924, the combined revenue from these two ventures covers half of the hospital's payroll for 15 nurses.
The Advent of World War
Patients at Children’s Orthopedic Hospital circa 1915
In 1918, the United States government drafts nine of the hospital's volunteer physicians and some of its nurses. Trustees cut costs by dispensing with nicely published annual reports and dig deep into their own pockets to pay for heating oil. They also organize a Melting Pot drive to collect scrap metal for the war effort. Charitable donations to the hospital dip to an all-time low.
A Controversial Windfall
The trustees receive an unusual bequest from Samuel S. Pinschower. Upon his death, Children's Orthopedic Hospital Association inherits Pinschower's diamond jewelry and the Midway Hotel – a notorious establishment that includes a gambling den, three saloons and a brothel! The trustees receive much-needed cash from rents and the sale of these assets.
Surgery at Children’s Orthopedic Hospital circa 1920
Children's Orthopedic Hospital Association secures certification from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) after they recruit a volunteer pathologist and hire a stenographer to manage doctors' reports and patients' records. They are proud to receive Class A rating from ACS after implementing Grand Rounds – weekly conferences for medical staff.
Facility Expansion Continues
After World War I, the wards are full
As physicians return from World War I and begin referring new cases from their restored practices, the Children's Orthopedic Hospital exceeds its capacity of 71 patients. The board begins construction of the hospital's fourth floor and purchases two lots and a house next to the hospital. Skinner Cottage, also called Sunshine House, adds 14 beds to the hospital and is connected to the main building by a glassed-in playroom.
From 1911 to 1920, there are major changes in the understanding of infectious diseases including diphtheria, tetanus, measles, chicken pox and smallpox. In 1918, the trustees create an infectious disease ward with proper isolation and prevention measures, partly in response to the influenza epidemic that takes the lives of 1,003 Seattle residents.
New trustees continue their commitment to care for all children
In the early 1920s the second generation of trustees begins to join the board:
- Frances Skinner Edris, daughter of trustee Jeanette Skinner
- Dorothy Stimson Bullitt, daughter of trustee Harriett Stimson
- Olive Kerry, daughter of trustee Katherine Kerry
- Ruth Clise Colwell, daughter of founder Anna Herr Clise
The First Logo
The hospital’s first logo, the Bambino
Trustee Betsey Wilson sees an emblem in a newspaper advertisement for a local bank and convinces the board to adopt it as the hospital's official symbol. It is an oval Italian Renaissance medallion of a swaddled infant. The board unofficially christens the symbol "the Bambino."
Less than 10 years later, in 1932, the new Academy of Pediatrics adopts the same logo.