American Red Cross-Harvard Hospital
Other than the tragic death of six Red Cross nurses early last summer, who lost their lives during a German submarine attack, the American Red Cross-Harvard Hospital, officially established in August 1940, has quietly forged ahead with its plans and expects to open its doors for the first time at Salisbury, England, within the next fortnight.
The Hospital is a part of the so-called Harvard Public Health Unit. As originally conceived, the Unit. As originally conceived, the Unit was to be composed of doctors and laboratory technicians trained in fighting epidemics, who would carry out field and laboratory work in Great Britain on problems of communicable diseases under wartime conditions. This area of operation--that of communicable diseases--was selected after consultation with the British Government, which felt that it was in that area that the greatest services could be rendered.
Unit Has Two Purposes
The unit not only brings aid to a hard-pressed people but also is gathering valuable information on epidemics for the U.S. government.
Since the cost of building the hospital was too ambitious a burden for the University, the American Red Cross later agreed to join the venture and to pay for its operating expenses, while the medical staff of the Harvard Unit were to assume responsibility for its scientific direction. The entire organization was, and is now, under the single direction of Dr. John E. Gordon, of the Harvard Medical School.
Doctors Already Active
Members of the hospital have already had active experience in combating epidemics in the United States and have also assisted in crushing outbreaks of scarlet fever, diptheria and meningitis, which arose last winter at Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Either singly or in groups, many of the doctors have helped the Minister of Health in fighting signs of food poisoning in London and increased cases of tuberculosis throughout England. The hospital, in addition, is preparing lists of needed medical supplies to be furnished under the provisions of the Lease-Lend Bill.
Hospital is Portable
A twenty-two room building with over 125 beds, complete with laboratory and operating facilities, the hospital is a portable unit and is staffed exclusively by doctors and technicians from the Harvard Medical School and by American Red Cross nurses