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New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, Mass.
The Grace Hospital, Detroit, Mich.
Signed. R. R. Ross,
W. W. KENNY,
W. P. LATHROP.
DR. HURD: I move that this report be accepted and adopted. (Seconded by several members.)
PRESIDENT: Before putting the motion the Chair would ask your indulgence for a moment: Several members, since the beginning of this convention, have offered the Chair their sympathy upon the hard tasks of the year and at this convention. I want to say that the work of presiding over this convention and of preparing for its deliberations was not so hard as it seemed. There are several reasons for this. In the first place the President had the coöperation of the splendidly active committee on local arrangements, to which the Chair is indebted. Secondly, most of the members of the Association were willing to join actively in a canvass for new members, which made the Association seem like a going concern. Thirdly, invitations to real papers at this convention were almost without exception responded to by everybody to whom they were extended. Out of twenty-eight invitations sent out, twenty-five were accepted, and the three who declined to prepare papers did so because of previous engagements. Fourthly, the Chair has enjoyed the support of two of the best executive officers this Association has ever had-I refer to Dr. Babcock and Mr. Bacon. The Chair wishes to extend to all those who have participated in the work of the year its cordial thanks for their aid.
The report of the Nominating Committee was adopted unanimously.
PRESIDENT: In the absence of the President-elect I shall ask Dr. Ancker to take the Chair and close the proceedings.
DR. ANCKER: I would like to say to the retiring President, and to the ladies and gentlemen assembled, that I know of no position for which I am more unfitted than that of the presiding officer of a convention, so I do not want you to view me with a critic's eye. I never held such an office, and this comes as a very great and a very gratifying surprise to me. I assure you I will do all in my power to advance the interests of this very important organization.
Rev. W. S. STEEN: Before we adjourn I move that a vote of thanks be extended to our retiring President for the able and satisfactory manner in which he has discharged the duties of his office during the year that is now closed, and for the success of this convention, which has been largely due to his management.
The motion was seconded and carried unanimously by a rising vote.
The convention closed at 12:15 p. m.
SHOULD THE AMERICAN HOSPITAL ASSOCIA
TION BE REORGANIZED?
S. S. GOLDWATER, M. D., Mt. SINAI HOSPITAL, NEW YORK.
After nine years of steady but measured growth, this Association has suddenly assumed unprecedented proportions, almost doubling its membership in the single year which culminates in this conference. Out of the old Association there emerges a newer and greater Association. Is not this a proper time to inquire how this greater organization may best be governed?
What are the factors which in the long run will determine the usefulness of this Association? They appear to me to be, first, the number and character of the Association's members; second, the extent, thoroughness, comprehensiveness and co-ordination of its investigations and studies; third, the effectiveness of its public activities (including under this head the publication of its observations and recommendations; the creation, by this means, of an enlightened public opinion in regard to hospital affairs; and the use of such public opinion to influence and guide philanthropists and legislators). With your permission I shall utilize this opportunity to talk of matters which have a bearing upon these three factors, which for this Association are the factors of efficiency.
One of our most active and intelligent members wrote to me recently deprecating the rapid expansion of the Association. He said that he favored “a good Association rather than a large one.” So should I, if the choice between a good Association and a large one were a necessary choice. Fortunately, we are not compelled so to choose. Thanks to your energetic work during the past year, our Association is now a large one; and the respect which it commands is such as to indicate that it possesse a certain degree of merit. Nevertheless, without in the least belittling the present value of the Association, we may reasonably cherish the hope that, as time passes, the organization will find the means for its further improvement.
This formal alliance of hospital workers which we call the American Hospital Association, is but the natural expression of the tendency which is present in all of us, to make common cause with those whose interests lie parallel with our own. If there were no formal union, if this organization did not exist, informal relationships and associations, inspired by similar motives, would spring up everywhere—so powerful is the instinct which impels us to seek out and join forces with our kind.
Five years ago, upon undertaking the duties of a hospital superintendent, my first impulse was to seek the acquaintance of those who occupied similar positions in neighboring institutions. (Who among you has not had the same experience?) A year later I applied for membership in this Association, and at the Atlantic City convention it was my privilege to see and hear some sixty superintendents of hospitals, gathered together from all parts of the country. Today this Association gives to each one of us an opportunity for contact with the guiding minds of some four hundred institutions which have interests in common; and the limits of this far-reaching comradeship have not yet been reached. What this tendency toward wider and wider comradeship signifies, or may signify, to each one of us; what it promises for the future of the complex and difficult art of hospital administration, for the promotion of which we stand, I shall endeavor to point out in a few moments.
When I came to make the acquaintance of trained hospital workers, I soon felt that notwithstanding the spontaneity of their welcome and the generosity of their aid, it would be wrong to claim their fellowship and support for any considerable period of time, unless I made some effort to equip myself with a knowledge of the history and the principles of our common occupation, so that I might not be compelled always to play the part of a borrower. Whether there existed a special literature of the subject of hospita: management I did not know; but in the hope of finding my way to such a literature I visited the library of the New York Academy of Medicine. I found there a few tid-bitsjust enough to stimulate the eager appetite of a willing student. There were a few reprints in the lucid style of Dr. Rowe; a contribution or two in the practical, common sense vein of Dr. Fisher; Dr. Billings' classic work on "Hospital Construction and Hospital Organization;" a file of Sir Henry Burdett's periodical, “The Hospital"-I think that was all
Then, through the catalogues of foreign publishers; I obtained the titles of a number of German and French monographs relating to hospitals. Then, in 1904, there appeared as a supplement to the annual report of this Association, “A Brief Bibliography of Hospitals, Hospital Construction, Administration, the Training of Nurses, and Allied Subjects,” by your energetic President of that year, Dr. Rowe. The literature of hospital administration began to look more formidable ; but I still felt that, given a reasonable span of life and a continuation of good health, a man might become familiar with it all and might master so much of it as was best.
About that time there came into my hands the second volume of a series of books in German, edited by Liebe, Jacobsohn and Meyer, and called the "Handbuch der Krankenversorgung und Krankenpflege"-an elaborate study of the organized care and nursing of the sick. A supplement to this volume contained a bibliography of the subject, by Dr. Ernest Roth; and this bibliography was preceded by a modest preface in which the compiler apologized for the incompleteness of his work, explaining that inasmuch as the editors had limited him to some eight hundred pages, he had been obliged to curtail his list of references and to content himself with the publication of 22,000 titles. He assured his readers that "at least as many more titles were to be found in any well-stocked library.”
Now, for one who has a sincere interest in hospital administration, the literature of the subject is bound to hold a certain charm, and yet I have no intention of adding to the perplexities of your life and mine by searching for and cataloging Dr. Roth's 20,000 lost titles. Dr. Roth began this job, and I think he should be allowed to finish it without being annoyed by competition. Besides, I have a feeling that most of these omitted titles are of greater interest