100th Anniversary Book

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coffee table book celebrating 100 years of the Hospital of Saint Raphael


<ul><li><p>nswering the call to care formore than100years.A</p><p>T H E H O S P I T A L O F S A I N T R A P H A E L</p></li><li><p>Hospital ofSaint RaphaelA member of the Saint Raphael Healthcare System</p><p>SPONSORED BY:</p><p>WWW.SRHS.ORG</p></li><li><p>Answering thecall to care</p><p>i</p><p>100 years of hope and healing at </p><p>the hospital of saint raphael</p><p>Hospital ofSaint RaphaelA member of the Saint Raphael Healthcare System</p></li><li><p>ii</p><p>MISSION OF THE SAINT RAPHAELHEALTHCARE SYSTEM</p><p>The mission of the Saint Raphael Healthcare System, sponsored by</p><p>the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, is to care for and improve</p><p>the health of our patients, with compassion and with a special</p><p>concern for the underserved, poor and elderly.</p><p>MISSION OF THE HOSPITAL OF SAINT RAPHAEL</p><p>The Hospital is a community teaching hospital and health care</p><p>resource sponsored and guided by the values of the Sisters of Charity</p><p>of Saint Elizabeth and of the Roman Catholic Church. Our mission is</p><p>to witness, share in and promote excellence in the healing ministry of</p><p>Jesus Christ. We are committed to preserving the dignity and well-</p><p>being of each individual, and to assuring that every person is treated</p><p>according to the principles of charity and justice. We accept the</p><p>Gospel challenge that prompted our founders of the sponsoring</p><p>congregation, Saint Vincent DePaul, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and</p><p>Mother Mary Xavier Mehegan, by pledging every loving service in our</p><p>power to reach out to those in need of our services.</p><p>THE MISSION VALUES ON WHICH WERE FOUNDED AND THAT GUIDE ALL DECISIONS AND ACTIONS</p><p>Charity Justice Service StewardshipDignity Excellence Integrity</p><p>Our Mission</p></li><li><p>iii</p><p>edicated to past and present Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, employees, physicians, trustees,</p><p>volunteers and Auxilians. Each of our first 100 years of excellence is because of you, and we commit to</p><p>carrying on your legacy. </p><p>This book is based on information and recollections from many sources. These include wonderful old</p><p>scrapbooks, memorabilia, reports and other materials from Saint Raphaels archives, materials and</p><p>photographs from the archives of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, taped oral histories of persons</p><p>now deceased, and countless interviews. Every effort has been made to validate dates and other facts,</p><p>some of which vary by source. </p><p>EDITORS NOTE</p><p>Working on this book has had special significance. I joined Saint</p><p>Raphaels in late 1981 to help plan its 75th birthday observance, never</p><p>thinking I would celebrate the 100th as well! But my roots are deeper</p><p>than that. While working on the 75th, I organized years of accumulated</p><p>materials into what evolved as Saint Raphaels archives. In the</p><p>process, I learned that the New Haven archi tectural firm of Brown &amp;</p><p>von Beren, led by my great-grandfather and then grandfather, designed</p><p>the hospitals first new construction, the Saint Marys Building. It is an</p><p>honor and privilege to be part of this organization, to have learned</p><p>from the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, and to have worked side</p><p>by side with extraordinary colleagues. </p><p>Published 2008</p><p>Editor: Cindy von Beren, vice president/Corporate Affairs</p><p>A special thanks to the many individuals who were part of the</p><p>research, writing, editing, fact-checking and production of this</p><p>history, with particular gratitude to:</p><p>Patricia Mich, art director</p><p>Jennifer Duarte, graphic designer</p><p>Michael Dabbraccio, staff photographer</p><p>Christine Mora, director, Public Relations &amp; Marketing</p><p>Pat Wales, director, Health Sciences Library</p><p>And to contributing writer Alix Boyle and contributing writer/editor</p><p>Cynthia Wolfe Boynton.</p><p>D</p></li><li><p>iv</p><p>INTRODUCTION</p><p>CHAPTER 1 Beginningsa hospital is born</p><p>CHAPTER 2 William Francis Verdi, M.D.</p><p>CHAPTER 3 The first 30 years</p><p>CHAPTER 4 Saint Raphael School of Nursing</p><p>CHAPTER 5 World War II</p><p>CHAPTER 6 The 1940s and 1950s</p><p>CHAPTER 7 Sister Louise Anthony Geronemo</p><p>CHAPTER 8 Saint Raphael Auxiliary and volunteers</p><p>CHAPTER 9 1960s and 1970s</p><p>CHAPTER 10 1980s and 1990s</p><p>CHAPTER 11 Sister Anne Virginie Grimes</p><p>CHAPTER 12 Advancing the science and art of medicine</p><p>CHAPTER 13 Entering the new millennium</p><p>CHAPTER 14 2007: A milestone anniversary to remember</p><p>CHAPTER 15 The Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth</p><p>Contentsanswering the Call to Care</p></li><li><p>1If Saint Raphael s future is anything like its history, great things are ahead for all of us.</p><p>Saint RaphaelHealthcare SystemPresident and CEO David W. Benfer, FACHE</p><p>Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth General Superior SisterMaureen Shaughnessy,chairperson of the Saint RaphaelHealthcare System Board of Trustees.</p></li><li><p>2Introduction100 years of Caring</p><p>W hen the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth and Catholic HospitalAssociation agreed on January 30, 1907, to join forces and found</p><p>Saint Raphaels, their goal was to create a hospital that all members</p><p>of the community could call their own. It was to be a place where</p><p>every patientregardless of race, religion, ethnicity or income</p><p>levelreceived the best care, with the most compassionate touch.</p><p>A century later, this caring mission still guides Saint Raphaels, and</p><p>is what our physicians, nurses and other professionals strive to give</p><p>patients every day. Our long history of medical excellence, and the</p><p>roots weve established in Greater New Haven, made us proud and</p><p>excited to celebrate Saint Raphaels 100th birthday in 2007. </p><p>Thank you for opening this book and celebrating this milestone</p><p>with us. Within these pages, youll find great old photo graphs, facts</p><p>and memories about both the hospital and its place in the Greater</p><p>New Haven community. Its a community that has embraced and</p><p>supported Saint Raphaels for each of these 100 years. And for this,</p><p>we are most grateful.</p><p>Youll see in Chapter 1 that at the same time the Hospital of Saint</p><p>Raphael opened its doors, both the community and the field of</p><p>medicine were changing. Most people at the start of the 20th century</p><p>received medical care in their homes from family doctors. Family</p><p>members were expected to take care of loved ones. Hospitals at that</p><p>time were said to be for the poor and the friendless. </p><p>Yet as medicine advanced in the early 1900sthe beginnings of</p><p>modern surgery; the development of vaccines; an understanding of</p><p>how germs spread and the need for safe public health practices</p><p>people came to realize that hospitals were the best and safest places for</p><p>the delivery of increasingly sophisticated medical care.</p><p>Ready to meet that new demand for hospital care in New Haven</p><p>was Saint Raphaels. A 1913 New Haven Union newspaper article</p><p>praised Saint Raphaels for offering the best scientific medical</p><p>treatment available, calling the hospital a pioneer. </p><p>One hundred-plus years later, these phrases still describe </p><p>Saint Raphaels. </p><p>As you go through this book, youll see stories and photo graphs</p><p>showing how Saint Raphaels has grown to match advances in</p><p>medicine; how Saint Raphael physicians were among the first to</p><p>perform many breakthrough procedures; how compassion, dignity</p><p>and respect for patients have always made the Saint Raphael</p><p>difference; and how Saint Raphaels has formed an enduring</p><p>partnership with the community.</p><p>We wish it had been possible to include the names of every</p><p>person, department, treatment and procedure thats made a</p><p>difference over our first century. For that, however, wed need a</p><p>book this size for each of the hospitals 100 years. Instead, weve</p><p>done our best to cull stories, memories and photographs that best</p></li><li><p>3The invitation to thecorner-stone placementfor the Saint MarysBuilding, and relatednews coverage.</p></li><li><p>4represent the spirit and achieve ments of</p><p>both our hospital and health providers.</p><p>Please read on and enjoy.</p><p>Caring for the sick is a divine trust, said</p><p>the Sisters who started and continue to</p><p>sponsor Saint Raphaels. As a faith-based</p><p>organization and one of four Catholic-</p><p>sponsored acute care hospitals in Connect i -</p><p>cut, Saint Raphaels holds firm to this belief,</p><p>which will un doubtedly con tinue for the</p><p>next 100 yearsand beyond. </p><p>Thank you for your belief, support and</p><p>trust in us. </p><p>If Saint Raphaels future is anything like</p><p>its history, great things are ahead for all of us.</p><p>Early patient ward.</p></li><li><p>On behalf of theCatholic HospitalAssociation, urologistFrancis H. Reilly, M.D.,wrote to the Sisters of Charity of SaintElizabeth, requestingtheir help.</p><p>The silver trowel used to lay the cornerstone for the Saint MarysBuilding (below).</p><p>In Hebrew, Raphe means heal and El means God . Thus together, Rapha-el means God heals.</p></li><li><p>6Chapter 1ll over the United States, the early 1900s was a time of new</p><p>beginnings. New Haven was no different, as Italian, Irish and other</p><p>immigrants came to work for local factories and start new lives.</p><p>Downtown New Haven was bustling with tradesmen, trolleys and</p><p>tenements, and on every street corner were new accents, voices</p><p>and dreams.</p><p>Not everyone, however, embraced this changing, more colorful</p><p>community. Institutions begun by white, Protestant menthose who</p><p>founded the citywerent always eager to welcome those with</p><p>different faiths, faces and cultures. Doctors of Irish, Catholic, Jewish</p><p>and Italian descent quickly discovered that because of their faith or</p><p>nationality, they werent welcomed to practice at New Havens two</p><p>existing hospitals, Grace and New Haven (today Yale-New Haven). </p><p>Many of New Havens new, diverse residents found the same</p><p>unwelcoming attitude for themselves and loved ones when</p><p>professional medical care was needed.</p><p>BOTH GROUPS NEEDED A HOSPITAL TO CALL THEIR OWN</p><p>This need prompted William Francis Verdi, M.D., and 13 other</p><p>physicians to form the Catholic Hospital Association. Not all 14 men</p><p>in the group were Catholic. But they all had a vision to create a faith-</p><p>based hospital where any doctor could offer careand any person</p><p>be cared forregardless of race, religion, culture or financial status.</p><p>Knowing they could not take on such an enormous task alone, the</p><p>doctors approached the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth. At the</p><p>time, the Sisters were already running Saint John the Evangelist</p><p>School in New Haven. Renowned for their charitable work in both</p><p>education and health care, their home base was in Convent Station,</p><p>N.J., and they operated schools, hos pitals and orphanages in New</p><p>York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. That the Sisters took on</p><p>helping build a new hospital despite many other commitments is</p><p>testament to the intrepid faith and far-reaching vision of 81-year-old</p><p>Reverend Mother Mary Xavier Mehegan.</p><p>Not only did Mother Xavier agree to manage and help staff the</p><p>hospital, but she mortgaged the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse in</p><p>New Jersey for much-needed funds.</p><p>The Catholic Hospital Association had already purchased the Barnes</p><p>residence, a stately home at 1442 Chapel St., with $23,000 in donations</p><p>raised from local individuals, organizations and clergy. But more was</p><p>needed to convert the home into a hospital, plus build a new structure</p><p>on adjoining property. Initial estimates indicated it would cost $125,000</p><p>to $135,000 to construct the new building.</p><p>ABEGINNINGS</p></li><li><p>7It was a huge sum for the time, but small</p><p>compared to the grandness of what they</p><p>hoped to accomplish. Mother Xavier</p><p>believed that if the Sisters held the deed to</p><p>the property and were in a position of</p><p>financial control, they would never be</p><p>forced to compromise their mission. This</p><p>mission, the Sisters and doctors agreed,</p><p>would be to receive and care for all</p><p>patients without regard to race, creed or</p><p>color; to extend charity to the sick, the poor</p><p>and the needy, as required; and to open to all</p><p>members of the medical profession an</p><p>institution in which they could administer to</p><p>their own patients.</p><p>To make this happen, four Sisters arrived in</p><p>New Haven on Feb. 2, 1907. Sisters Mary</p><p>Irmina McDonough, Mary Eustelle Kivlehan,</p><p>Rose Ulrica Farley and Alice Veronica Flynn</p><p>were charged with taking the first steps to</p><p>create the new hospital, which the</p><p>Corporation of the Sisters of Charity of Saint</p><p>Elizabeth had already decided would be</p><p>named Saint Raphaels. </p><p>Its not documented exactly why the</p><p>Sisters chose this name. But its speculated</p><p>that Saint Raphael refers to the Archangel</p><p>Raphael, who is the Catholic patron saint of</p><p>healing. Theres also meaning within the</p><p>word Raphael. In Hebrew, Raphe means</p><p>heal, and El means God. Thus together,</p><p>Raphael means God heals. By giving this</p><p>name to the new hospital, the Sisters</p><p>acknow ledged their belief that God heals</p><p>through medicine, and that caring for the</p><p>sick is a divine trust.</p><p>WORK BEGINS IN EARNEST</p><p>With faith and funds in hand, work to get the</p><p>Hospital of Saint Raphael up and running</p><p>began almost immediately upon the Sisters</p><p>arrival, and took two paths.</p><p>On July 28, 2007, ground was broken for</p><p>the five-story Saint Marys Building, which</p><p>would not be ready for two years. So to</p><p>accommodate patients in the meantime, the</p><p>Sisters focused on the Barnes residence.</p><p>Bedrooms in the Barnes home were</p><p>turned into nursing wards, and the front</p><p>parlor converted to a chapel. The kitchen</p><p>and other parts of the building were left to</p><p>perform their regular functions, and in less</p><p>than a year the 12-bed hospital was ready</p><p>to open.</p><p>Mrs. Winifred Dugan, 70, was admitted as</p><p>Saint Raphaels first patient on Jan. 10, 1908. In</p><p>large, elegant script, the hospitals first ledger</p><p>lists patients names, ages, countries of origin,</p><p>occupations, diagnoses, physicians and out -</p><p>comes. Mrs. Dugan, from Ireland, was ad -</p><p>mitted for apoplexy, cared for by James Flynn,</p><p>M.D., and died in the hospital on May 28. The Saint Marys Building.</p></li><li><p>Barnes residence(foreground) with the Saint Marys Building in the background.</p></li><li><p>However, according to the</p><p>ledger, she had the facility to</p><p>herself for more than a month.</p><p>This was probably because</p><p>during the 19th and early 20th</p><p>centuries, most doctors made</p><p>house calls, and ill family</p><p>members were generally cared</p><p>for at home. Hospitals were</p><p>reserved for the indigent,</p><p>seriously ill, or those who did not have</p><p>loved ones to care for them. However, when a fire broke out on Feb.</p><p>28, 1908, at nearby Grace Hospital, 39 patients were carried from the</p><p>flaming structure to Saint Raphaels.</p><p>Newspaper reports called the fire a providential happen ing, with</p><p>Saint Raphaels response helping win community acceptance and</p><p>dispelling any prejudices against a Catholic-sponsored facility. The</p><p>people of New Haven were blessed and fortunate to have a new</p><p>hospital open in its hour of need. If not for Saint Raphaels, surely</p><p>more patients would have died, newspaper reports claimed.</p><p>At the same time renovations were going on at the Barnes</p><p>residence, ground was being broken on land next door for a larger,</p><p>more suitable building.</p><p>A 1913 tribute to Saint Raphaels published in The New Haven</p><p>Union looked back at the time:</p><p>Prior to 1906, the hospitals of New Haven maintained a</p><p>position bordering on a closed corporation. For once a</p><p>patient entered a hospital here, the relatives whose presence</p><p>and sympathy would have aided in their recovery were</p><p>debarred from visiting. These detriments were realized</p><p>and often protested against, but without avail until 1907</p><p>Though the Sisters of Charity assigned</p><p>to start Saint Raphaels exemplified </p><p>the noble ideals of self-denial a...</p></li></ul>