Medical College of Virginia Base No. 45 Hospital newspaper, 5 November 1917
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MEDICAL COLLEGE OF VIRGINIA, BASE HOSPITAL, No. 45 3 No Wives Allowed Instructions have been received from the Bureau of Base Hospitals, American Red Cross, Washington, to the following effect: "This Bureau has been requested by the Surgeon General's office to advise the directors of all hospital units that under no conditions will the wives of army officers be allowed to go abroad. To permit this, in any instance, would result in great hardship to the officer involved. According to instructions just received from the Surgeon General's office, such an officer would be relieved of his command and returned home. The fact that his wife is a trained nurse and assigned to a hospital unit will not be considered as a reason for waiving this rule." MUST GET READY (Continued from first page) Mr. Richard Gwathmey as purchasing agent. He went on to Washington and found there was no standard requisition, but it was left largely to the direction of each hospital what was purchased. He made out lists of drugs and chemicals, of instruments and dressings, of beds, bedding and furniture, of mess and kitchen outfits, of steam plant, laundry plant, ice making plant, of automobiles, ambulances and motor trucks, and he found he did not have enough money to buy them all. So the local Red Cross Chapter was appealed to again and gave an additional $100,000 making $140,000 in all, and it also gave the promise that if this was not enough more would be forthcoming. No money was to be wasted, but none was to be spared to make the hospital one of the most completely and thoroughly equipped in the country. So Mr. Gwathmey went to work to buy and he is now buying wherever goods needed can be bought with assurance and prompt delivery. They are already beginning to come in rapidly and a large warehouse has been rented in which to store them. When the Base Hospital leaves Richmond it will take a freight train of many cars to carry its equipment. At present the Hospital is a Red Cross Unit, but as soon as it is called into active service it becomes a military organization in the pay and under the orders of the United States Army. When that day comes the surgeon general will appoint to it a commander and a quartermaster from the regular army. The commander will have charge of the hospital from the military standpoint, and the quartermaster from the business standpoint. The professional operations and management will be left with the present director and his staff. Before the hospital is sent overseas it will be mobilized at some point in the United States, where several weeks will be spent in checking up the equipment and familiarizing the personnel with their various duties. Preparedness the Keynote When will the hospital be called into active service? This is a question that cannot be answered, not because it is a secret, but because it has not been decided. The personnel is completed, and by the time this is printed the hospital will have been certified by the Red Cross to the surgeon general as ready for service. The equipment, although ordered, has not in great part been received, and owing to the condition of the market will not probably be assembled under several months. It is possible an emergency might arise which would make the surgeon general needs the personnel to serve in some already established hospital, and in that event he might call on the unit at any time. But all things considered, he will probably wait until the equipment in ready. Again there are over twenty-five  base hospitals now in the United States whose organization was authorized before the one at Richmond. Many of these are in a complete condition of preparedness and they have not yet been called, either because they are not needed or because transportation facilities are not available. Other things being equal these hospitals will be sent over first. We may be called at any time, but personally I don't believe we will go until next Spring. As good soldiers, it is our duty to get ready, to stay in condition and to await orders. To some of the impetuous members of the personnel this delay and uncertainty may be discouraging and exasperating, but it must be remembered the hospital was organized not to satisfy a spirit of adventure, but to perform a serious and essential function, and until there is work to do there is no use going. Besides, by are waiting until spring we are saved the suffering and danger of a winter spent in France with little or not fuel to combat the cold of a rigorous climate. In my opinion Germany will use every effort to effect a peace before America really begins to fight, but failing in this she will continue the combat until she is whipped. Hence the war will either be over in several months or last two or three years. If the war is finished shortly there is no use going over; if it is to continue indefinitely there will be plenty of time for each one of us to do his bit. So I ask all connected with Base Hospital No. 45 to cheerfully do their duty from day to day hoping that the cruel conflict may terminate as suddenly as it began, and that they may not be called upon to leave this country, but at the same time resolved in mind that if their services are needed and their unit is ordered to active duty they will respond with alacrity and willingly endure privations and dangers somewhere in France for the cause of human freedom. STUART McGUIRE Many Members of Staff In Active Service With few exceptions members of the professional staff are now seeing active service in conformity with the policy of the director to secure for each as much preliminary training as possible. This plan is ideal, but carries with it one hazard, possibility of a refusal by the war department under certain circumstances to return to the base hospital an officer assigned to some regimental post. Authoritative announcements from both the Surgeon General's office and the Red Cross headquarters have given repeated assurance that no member of the base hospital staff would be detached from the organization and sent elsewhere. In spite of this we were compelled to give up Lieut. [Lieutenant] W. R. Weisiger, no detailed at Camp Upton, Long Island, N.Y. [New York], and Lieut. [Lieutenant] B. B. Dutton, now with the 38th Infantry, Syracuse, New York [New York]. The Surgeon General went contrary to his usual policy in declining to bring these two members of the base hospital staff back and we were instructed to appoint substitutes. As a result of the official correspondence we feel reasonably sure that no other members of the staff will be disturbed, but it will be wise, nevertheless, to communicate promptly with the director in the event of the threatened development of any situation likely to produce a complication in this direction. Notes from Staff Members Dr. Stuart McGuire: Will remain in Richmond to look after affairs of Medical College of Virginia and Medical Officers' Reserve Corps. Amusing local rumors to the effect that Dr. McGuire will not go to France with the unit may have penetrated to the camps. Without qualification, Dr. McGuire states that he has every intention of directing the hospital in the field and is arranging all his plans accordingly. Dr. J. H. Smith: Now at Fort Oglethorpe, where he has gone more particularly to become acquainted with the duties of the adjutant of the base hospital. Dr. Smith writes that he is very well pleased with his work and that every opportunity is being afforded him to get at the sources of the information he desires. Dr. Greer Baughman: Also at Fort Oglethorpe, where he is being instructed into the mysteries of the office of registrar of the base hospital. It is evident that Dr. Baughman is also meeting some other experiences, for he writes: "This is the life! I feel like a two-year-old." Dr. W. L. Peple: After a long siege at Fort Oglethorpe, Dr. Peple has been transferred to Petersburg, to take charge of the surgical division of the 1,600-bed base hospital at Camp Lee. It is broadly hinted that he will soon be Major Peple. Dr. R. C. Fravel: By special arrangement he will be permitted to remain in Richmond to assist Dr. McGuire. Dr. J. F. Geisinger: On active duty in Richmond as acting adjutant of base hospital until October 22nd, when he went to Philadelphia for the Frazier course in brain surgery. Dr. Carrington Williams: Will go on active duty in a few days with assignment as examiner for medical officers' reserve corps in Richmond and secretary of the State Committee of the Council of National Defense. He will also look after any of the duties of the acting adjutant that may be necessary from time to time. Dr. F. C. Pratt: From latest reports has not yet been called into active service, but is expected orders at any time. Dr. H. P. Mauck: Started at Fort Oglethorpe about three weeks ago, but while enroute received orders transferring him to Camp Wadsworth, at Spartanburg, S. C. [South Carolina]. He is attached to an orthopedic service, which is apparently giving him a lot of valuable experience. Dr. Q. H. Barney: Appointed on surgical staff of base hospital to take the place made vacant by the withdrawal of Dr. W. R. Weisiger; now seeing active service at Fort Oglethorpe. Dr. W. B. Hopkins: Not yet on active duty, but expecting orders at any time. Will in all likelihood be assigned to some special court in connection with his specialty. Dr. W. T. Graham: Continues to take an active interest in base hospital affairs, and was examined for a commission in the M. O. R. C. a few days ago. Dr. J. Garnett Nelson: Has spent the last two or three weeks recruiting the enlisted personnel. At this time he is touring the State in the interest of the Council of National Defense. Dr. W. B. Porter: Went from Richmond to Laurel, Md. [Maryland], from there to Gettysburg, Pa. [Pennsylvania] and is now at Camp Sevier, Greenville, S. C. [South Carolina). His spent most of his time examining recruits for the regular army and has apparently enjoyed his work very much. Dr. J. T. McKinney: On active duty assigned to the school of roentgentology being conducted by Major A. L. Gray. At the present moment he is accompanying Major Nelson on his tour of the State. Dr. J. E. Warinner: Left Richmond several weeks ago for an active duty at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Ind. [Indiana]. Writers that he is enjoying his experiences very much, but would feel a little less lonesome if some other Richmond men were in his camp. Dr. R. G. Willis: Appointed on medical staff of the base hospital to take the place made vacant by the withdrawal of Dr. B. B. Dutton; has received his commission in the M. O. R. C. and in the court of time will get into active service. Dr. Paul V. Anderson: For some weeks has been in the Neurological Institute in New York on active duty. He writes enthusiastically of the course he has been taking. Dr. E. Guy Hopkins: Now on active duty at the Rockefeller Institute in New York City, where he is interesting himself especially in war bacteriology. A recent letter indicates he is getting what he went after. Dr. Charles Phillips: After spending a few weeks at the Rockefeller Institute in New York was ordered to Fort Oglethorpe, where he is now stationed. Dr. Fred M. Hodges: On active duty for some weeks in the Gray School of Roentgenology in Richmond. His excellent work under Major Gray has won for him promotion to a captaincy. Dr. Guy R. Harrison: It will be a source of regret to all members of the staff to learn that the commanding general of his department refused to transfer Lieut. [Lieutenant] J. M. Hughes who was to be chief of our dental staff. We are fortunate, however, to secure for this position Dr. Guy R. Harrison, who has been doing some excellent work in oral surgery and who has now applied for a commission in the D. O. R. C. Dr. J. B. Williams: At present attached to the Dental Staff of the 317th Regiment at Camp Lee, Petersburg, Va. [Virginia]. He and Dr. Harrison will probably be shortly ordered for a special course in oral and dental surgery. Godmothers of Unit To all Members of Base Hospital No. 45: The Godmothers' League of Richmond wishes to be able to help you when you are called into service, to send you cheer, sweets, tobaccos, and all things which will go to remind one of home. So that we can, will you kindly answer these questions and send immediately to MRS. SAM BENDHEIM, 15 N. Boulevard, Richmond, Va. [Virginia]: Name Address City State Father's Name Father's Address Mother's Name Mother's Address Have you a wife, child, or any other near relative. If so, specify which, and address GODMOTHERS' LEAGUE OF RICHMOND. CHIEF NURSE (Continued from first page) pressure, but stated that they would do so reluctantly and with the feeling that they would surrender all responsibility for the outcome, whereas if the nomination were withdrawn and the name of Miss Robertson, with whose ability they are well acquainted, substituted they felt satisfied of the result, and experience had been in private, and not in the ward work. Yields to Nursing Chiefs In such a situation there was apparently but one thing to do. The three heads of the nursing division of the Red Cross were persistent and outspoken in their objection. They constitute the recognized final authority on all problems and disputes associated with nursing in America. They have spent years in the study of these problems. Their opinion, however much it differs from that of the director, could not be ignored. The fact that they disapproved the head nurse chosen would dampen her enthusiasm, hamper her work and weaken her influence. If they cast off all responsibility for the unit the chief nurse might conceivably have visited upon her, before the end, the blame for events entirely beyond her control. On the other hand if the national headquarters, as represented by Miss Thompson, Miss Delano and Miss Noyes, were satisfied with the situation from the other point of view and not only suggested, but practically demanded it, the ultimate responsibility rested there and nowhere else. Dr. McGuire elected the latter course and withdrew the nomination. The circumstances were explained in detail to Miss Twedten and she accepted the explained cheerfully. Miss Ruth I. Robertson, Superintendent of St. Luke's Hospital and President of the Virginia State Nurses' Association, is chief nurse of Base Hospital No. 45. She will continue to the end the duties she has performed so efficiently up to now. That she will make a splendid success of the work nobody doubts; that the heavy responsibility will be a serious burden for her is a matter of regret and some concern to her friends. But her heart is at the front and the prospect of heavy work does not seem to disturb her. Certainly she will have the loyal and enthusiastic co-operation of every man and woman in the unit. COLLECTION OF SUPPLIES (Continued from second page) tal needs. In the matter of expendable supplies, such as drugs, for instance, we are now instructed to work on a basis of one month, instead of three months. In other words, the base hospital will be expected to carry its permanent equipment and a sufficient amount of expendable supplies to maintain it until communication is established with the now well-stocked government depots in France; and this can be done easily within thirty days. Upon arrival in France the hospital will be expanded immediately to 1,000 or more beds. To provide against this it had been our hope to organize before we left a supplementary unit (staff, nurses, and enlisted personnel) so that the additional quota would be of our own choosing. The Surgeon General has just announced, however, that when a base hospital is expanded some already existent hospital unit of the Bryan type would be attached to it. Hence our plans for a supplementary unit had to be abandoned.