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Strained by the demands of normal prewar student bodies, the University's undersized and anti-quated medical facilities will be severely overburdened by record enrollments anticipated for the coming years. But the University, while planning miscellaneous structures such as an edifice to house its botany collections, has given no official attention to the long-lived and steadily growing need for a new medical center, as specifically and repeatedly outlined by Arlie V. Bock, head of the Hygiene Department.
Aside from the inconvenience of its location, Stillman's 65 beds and 9 private rooms simply cannot cope with the load placed on them. Before the war, for months at a time every winter, Stillman was full, and sick students were sent to bed in their rooms because of the lack of space. But the infirmary's 44 years present it with drawbacks beyond space limitations. The concepts of sanitation and isolation under which it was built have been superseded. No 1946 infirmary would have its private rooms without running water and its doorways too narrow to wheel beds through. Nor would a 1946 infirmary be without a separation ward for checking incoming patients to be sure they have, for instance, a cold and not scarlet fever. Although the Hygiene Building facilities are superior to Stillman's, it, too, is handicapped by lack of size. Dr. Bock declares that its compactness makes impossible a needed enlargement of the staff of doctors, and hampers research (not duplicated at the medical school) in the prevention of disease.
He has proposed an eight or nine story building to be located on Mt. Auburn Street between Holyoke and Dunster Streets to combine the functions of both Stillman and the Hygiene Building. In addition to the great advantage of its central location, the ample space and modern equipment of the new building would provide doctors and students alike with vastly improved medical facilities.
Such facilities would enable the Hygiene Department to maintain the highest possible standards of student health. In era when physical health is recognized as the prime pre-requisite for successful living, the proposed new medical center should be prominent in the University's postwar building program.
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