|Early postcards call this Cottage State Hospital.
The newer yellow brick building is no longer a hospital but is used for
adminstrative ofices of the Laurel Health System
The Ladies Auxiliary will conduct tours and the department supervisors will explain the new facilities and equipment. Refreshments will be served by the Ladies Auxiliary following the tours to be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Visitors will be invited to attend the dedication ceremonies and meet Gov. George M. Leader in the recreation room of the clinic building. Governor Leader and his party will arrive at the hospital at 1 p.m. and will lunch with board members, medical staff and officers of the Ladies Auxiliary. After the luncheon, Governor Leader will officially dedicate the new clinic building and address visitors. Department of Welfare guests will include: Secretary Harry Shapiro and Ira J. Mills, director of the Bureau of Hospitals. Thomas Moore Urell will act as master of ceremonies at the dedication and open house.
The new clinic has been in operation since the first week in January, processing an average of 100 out-patients per week and admitting 230 for the month. The Medical Laboratory processed 1,743 diagnostic tests, two basal metabolisms. The X-ray department has processed 520 diagnostic films, 192 fluoroscopic examinations and 31 electrocardiograms during the month of January.
The photo shows the Nurses’ Home which was built in 1950 by the General State Authroity (**Typo in original**) as the old nurses’ home located east of the institution was condemmed (**Typo in original**) by the Department of Labor and Industry.
Since the new home was completed, very few nurses occupied the building. In December 1956, the Board of Trustees decided that the nurses’ home should be converted to new provisions for a clinic and complete diagnostic facilities in one unit. In June 1957, a contract was let to convert the interior of the nurses’ home and to provide clinic and emergency services for the patients. An elevator was installed, a connecting corridor was constructed to annex the patient unit and the clinic unit. Facilities were provided for the X-ray department, medical laboratory, basal metabolism, electrocardiograms, emergency department, admission and credit departments and clinic facilities for the physicians.
The south wing of the second floor of the Clinic Building was not altered during the course of this remodeling and is being kept in reserve for additional expansion facilities of the Clinic Building.
The main entrance to the hospital unit has been remodeled to provide a modern lobby, with walnut paneling wainscoting and new vinyl plastic flooring.
The administrative and business offices have also been enlarged and remodeled to provide additional _______ (scan cut off remainder of text).
Blossburg – An important day in the history of the Blossburg State Hospital will be observed Friday (to-morrow) when the new clinic building will be dedicated.
The Board of Trustees at a recent meeting unanimously approved the name “L. G. Cole Clinic” for the new unit honoring Dr. Lloyd G. Cole, surgeon-in-chief of the institution for many years.
The building was originally erected as a nurses home in 1950 and in December 1956 the trustees decided to convert it into a clinic. The Board in making the new unit “The L. G. Cole Clinic” honored Dr. Cole for his 40 years of service and his untiring efforts to provide the best possible care for the patients and for his ability as a surgeon.
Born in Troy, Penna he took his pre-medical education at Lafayette College, at Easton. He was graduated from the University of Michigan, receiving his degree of doctor of medicine in June 1911. His internship was served at the Bellevue Hospital in New York.
During the years Dr. Cole has taken post-graduate work in the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., and the Lahey Clinic, Boston, Mass. He has been active in the American College of Surgeons since becoming a fellow member in 1924 and regularly attends the annual and regional meetings. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Surgery.
Dr. Cole served as superintendent of the hospital in 1929 and for many years has served efficiently as chief of staff. He has watched the institution grow since 1918 from a 35-bed unit to its present capacity of 100 beds.
During the 1918 flu epidemic Dr. Cole worked in the hospital as well as assisted in the care of patients confined to their homes in Blossburg, Arnot and Morris Run. He also recalls the day when the hospital had a horse drawn ambulance for taking patients to the hospital.
In 1948 the Tioga County Medical Society honored Dr. Cole for his outstanding services in the county and the hospital. In 1954 the community of Blossburg held a banquet and ceremonies in his honor expressing its appreciation for his outstanding services not only to the hospital but to the community.
Dr. Cole is married to the former Hazel Jennings of Wellsboro. Dr. and Mrs. Cole reside on North Williamson Road in Blossburg.
The members of the board will also be honored at the dedication ceremony: They are: James W. Preston, Mansfield, president; J. Earl Cotton, Galeton, vice president; Dr. John Lee, Knoxville, secretary-treasurer; Mrs. Mark L. Tingley, Blossburg; Charles H. Fessler, Covington; Mrs. Harland Moore, Westfield; J. Roger Crosetto, Blossburg; Joseph Surino, Elkland; Harry T. Spencer who died in December 1957 was a member of the board. William C. Lawson of Blossburg is superintendent.
The Woman’s Auxiliary of the Hospital will conduct tours and the department supervisors will explain the new facilities and equipment. The members of the Auxiliary will serve refreshments from 1 to 2:30.
Governor George M. Leader will officially dedicate the new clinic building and address the assembly. Governor Leader and his staff will arrive at the hospital at 1 p.m. and will lunch with board members, medical staff and officers of the Woman’s Auxiliary.
Thomas Urell will act as master of ceremonies at the dedication and Department of Welfare guests will include Secretary Harry Shapiro and Ira J. Mills, director of the Bureau of Hospitals.
The new clinic building has been operating since the first week in January
processing an average of 100 out patients per week and ad- (remainder of
article is cut off)
|[Illustration Caption: Doctors of Tioga Co 1956]
MEDICAL MEETING – Participating in the annual Tioga-Potter County medical meeting held at the Tyoga Country Club were, seated from left: Dr. Ralph Matter, Blossburg; Dr. William Butler, Wellsboro; Dr. Ronald Stevens, Wellsboro; Dr. Lane Webster, president, Wellsboro; Dr. Fredrick Sanford, Williamsport, who led the discussion on cancer; Dr. Eleanor Larson, Elkland: and Dr. J. J. Moore, Mansfield. Standing, Dr. Thomas Dimitroff, Wellsboro; Dr. H. R. Buckley, Liberty; Dr. J. G. Webster, Wellsboro; Dr. Hervey Hagedorn, Westfield; Dr. William Bachman, Wellsboro; Dr. Robert Bair, Wellsboro; Dr. Patrick Berzito, Blossburg; Dr. Robert Sanford, Mansfield; Dr. Floyd Cole, Blossburg; Dr. Arthur Ninomiya, Blossburg and Dr. Harry Williams, Elkland.
By HELEN GEESEY
From out of the 1944 infantile paralysis epidemic, which began late in June and now is waning, the Blossburg Hospital, in hard-hit Tioga County, has emerged with colors flying. Situated on a hilltop overlooking a community of 2,000 persons, the state institution originally was intended to serve miners and their families in that bituminous and semi-bituminous coal region. The first hospital building in 1890 was a cottage style frame structure housing 15 beds. The matron of the institution took her market basket over her arm and went into town each day to make the necessary purchases of food and other supplies
But the hospital I visited in Blossburg this week is no longer “cottage style.” It is a fine, modern light brick structure which lays bathing in the sun on a hill high above the bustling little community, like a monument of mercy. It enjoys all the facilities of an institution in a larger center, and at the same time possesses the quiet and restful beauty of the mountains. It has fully equipped operating rooms, deliver rooms, laboratory, X-ray and deep therapy department, administrative offices, kitchen and dietetic services. Although its capacity is 90 beds, it has taken care of a larger number of patients than that at one time and is perfectly equal to emergencies – as, for instance, the recent polio outbreak, when an isolation unit was set up virtually over night to care for 50 stricken persons sent in from three communities.
Charles J. Bowers, superintendent of the hospital since 1941, described to me those hectic first days of the epidemic when obstacles had to be hurdled one after another. He explained that the third story, which ordinarily houses the maternity and children’s wards, was selected for isolation because it could be shut off from the rest of the hospital activities and safe-guard other patients. But there was the problem of obtaining stoves – and a gas line to feed them – washing machines and other equipment to set up “a hospital within a hospital.” At this point, the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, represented by Giddings B. Tiffany, and the State Department of Health, represented by Dr. S. J. Dickey, epidemiologist, stepped in and helped organize the emergency quarters and its nursing staff.
Speed was of vital importance. A gas line was run from the basement along the outside of the building and into a third story window. An appeal for stoves and washing machines not in use was responded to by storekeepers and housewives in surrounding communities. Women dug out old blankets to be cut up into squares and used as hot packs in the new Sister Kenney method of treatment in infantile paralysis. An iron lung, bought for Lock Haven by its Exchange Club, was transported by truck to the Blossburg Hospital.
Nineteen nurses, most of them trained in orthopedic work, were brought into the hospital from other communities to administer the Sister Kenney treatment to polio patients under the direction of Miss Violet Pogorelzki, of Passaic, N.J. Dr. Lloyd G. Cole, chief surgeon who has been associated with the Blossburg Hospital for 26 years, and his assistant, Dr. Ralph P. Matter, took on the job of an epidemic besides their regular work. At the peak of the polio outbreak, they were administering to 25 patients in the isolation ward.
Laboratory tests, so important in the diagnosis of polio, were done in the Blossburg Hospital’s own well equipped laboratory, where Mrs. Mary Bonnar officiates. Mrs. Bonnar, incidentally, is the wife of a serviceman, Lieut. Robert Bonnar, who has had overseas duty, and the mother of a one-year-old boy. She spent a brief period as a technician in the Williamsport Hospital before her marriage when she was Mary Feeney of Ralston.
Saves 47 Patients
Of the 50 infantile paralysis patients which were hospitalized at Blossburg, only 3 died. Most of the cases were from Tioga County, although there was one from Bradford County, one from Lycoming County and one from New York State. Eight victims from outside areas were admitted before the epidemic struck the community of Blossburg.
While no one thought of material expense when it was a question of lives, the figures nevertheless are interesting. The care of the 50 polio cases cost $10,400 – the principal burden of which is assumed by the National Foundation of Infantile Paralysis. That organization also will meet the need of braces, etc., in cases where there are no other means of provision, and the State Health Department maintains a check on patients after they are discharged from the hospital and sends those not fully recovered to the convalescence center for infantile paralysis patients at Elizabethtown. As the hospital superintendent relates the story, the handling of the polio outbreak – without panic – in that area was an admirable piece of teamwork on the part of doctors, nurses, health authorities and families of the patients.
I saw this same kind of teamwork displayed in another manner at the hospital. Faced with the “national problem” of shortage of kitchen and dining room help, everyone does his own trotting back and forth from kitchen to dining room at mealtime. This rule excludes no person, and there is no member of the staff who feels that he is lowering his dignity to stack his dinner dishes and take them to the kitchen. The normal staff of the hospital is composed of 3 full-time doctors and 23 graduate nurses. At the present there is a vacancy on the medial staff because the junior member was called into service.
The hospital clinic meets most of the medical needs of the community, since there is only one practicing physician in the borough.
Besides persons already mentioned, the staff includes Mrs. Catherine
Kerwun, dietitian; Miss Ida Gailey, director of Nurses; Mrs. Annie Basch,
a German refugee X-ray technician, and Mrs. Annie McNamara, operating room
supervisor. Ambrose Manikowski, of Blossburg, is president of the board
of trustees. He is supported by John Gray, of Arnot, as vice president;
Milton Barden, of Mansfield, treasurer; Mrs. Cora Tucker of Knoxville,
secretary. Trustees, Robert Irwine, Ogdensburg; Dr. John Turner,
Wellsboro; Charles Crabbe, Germania; Mrs. Ethel Ashton, Knoxville, and
Col. William White of the overseas armed Forces.
|Wellsboro Gazette, September 7,
Doors are Closed at Bloss State Hospital
A contract has still not been reached between the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the North Penn Health Services Corporation.
The corporation was expected to take over operation of the Blossburg State Hospital which was closed by the state last Thursday night.
Robert M. Jones of Blossburg, chairman of the corporation said Friday, “We have not been able to reach a contract on a lease, but we hope something can be done.”
The Corporation decided at a meeting Saturday afternoon that it cannot operate The Blossburg State Hospital in the manner in which the state wants to lease the property.
Robert M. Jones, chairman of the corporation said, “The corporation cannot utilize the facility the state wants to lease it in the manner it is designed to be used, according to plans from the Westinghouse Associates Co., a consulting firm hired by the Commonwealth.
“The facility does not in any way conform to federal or state health and safety standards and the corporation cannot raise the needed monies in such a limited time to make the building meet such standards.
“The building is owned by the General State Authority and is in desperate need of repairs. The state feels it cannot furnish the funds to renovate part of the building, about $330,000., Jones said.
“The corporation in turn,” he continued, “feels it would not have any security for an investment of money in a structure belonging to someone else.
“After a study of a lease presented to the corporation by the state, the corporation feels it is necessary to seek alternate plans more closely related to the health care need and demands of the communities which are to be served.”
Members of the corporation met with representatives of the Commonwealth in Harrisburg on Tuesday to “further discuss the situation.”
He said “we were led to believe funds were available from the state to renovate the building into a nursing home. But last week at our organization meeting, a representative of Westinghouse informed us the money would not be available. He said he got his information from Harrisburg.
“He told us a mistake had been made and that the state did not have the money,” Jones added. He also said the corporation will “pursue this in some direction,” in an attempt to provide some type of health care.
At 11 p.m. the hospital emergency room, the last service open at the hospital, was shut down and all professional health employees were laid off.
The only persons at the hospital are a night security guard and a boiler room fireman. Some secretarial help is being retained to continue closing out former state accounts at the hospital.
Some 100 persons received notice of their layoff in a form letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.
Friday was the date given for the state to turn over the hospital to North Pen Comprehensive Health Service Corp., a private group of area residents.
The corporation has plans to lease the hospital from the state. A 13-member corporation board is to decide on what type of health care will be offered at the hospital location.
To date, however, no lease has been signed.
Indications are the hospital will be modified into a nursing home facility.
All admissions to the hospital ended Aug. 15, but emergency room service was provided until Thursday night.
Presently emergency calls to the hospital are being taken by the employee working in the boiler room and then relayed to the Blossburg Ambulance Corp.
Ambulance services in Tioga and Potter counties were notified of the emergency room closing late Thursday afternoon.
The closing of the Blossburg State Hospital leaves only Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital in Wellsboro to serve patients in Tioga County and parts of Potter, Bradford and Lycoming counties.
Wellsboro Gazette, September 14, 1972, p.9
Blossburg State Hospital Still in Great Dilemma
Representatives of the state, Westinghouse Health Systems Division and the North Penn Health Services Corp., met at Blossburg last Friday to discuss the state-revised terms for the lease on the former Blossburg State Hospital.
Robert M. Jones, chairman of the corporation, expressed dissatisfaction wit6h the previous lease in a statement earlier in the week. Jones said, “It is a lease we cannot sign because of things that are not in the lease which would be needed to make the facility go.”
Jones pointed out three things in the lease that were not acceptable to the corporation. The first point was that the lease must be for more than a year at a time. Secondly, the corporation felt the buildings would have to be brought up to standards in order to get a Class A rating as a nursing home. And finally the corporation felt that the state should agree in writing to support the Westinghouse plan for improving the health needs of Blossburg and the surrounding communities.
Richard Canright, of the state Department of Public Welfare’s office of medical programs, explained the state’s revised lease terms. “By state law a one-year lease on state property, except for airports, is all that is possible. But, in this revised lease, the contract would be renewable each year for 50 years. This will keep the contract within the law, and the 50-year option will permit the corporation to be eligible for federal Hill-Burton funds,” Canright said.
Conversion of a section of the hospital, known as building 32, into an acceptable nursing home facility would cost approximately $137,500., according to the Westinghouse survey ordered by the state. This money then would be for temporary renovations, as the Westinghouse plan calls for the tearing down of building 32 in 1975 and replacing it with a 90-bed facility which would cost $1,120,000., plus $45,000 for demolition of the present building.
Jones said that the state should bring the facility up to federal nursing home standards, “because they didn’t keep it up. We feel either the state must do the renovation or guarantee that if we do it with our money, we would be reimbursed if our lease is not continued after the first year.”
According to Canright, it will take an act of legislation before the state can go in either direction. The state must have legislative approval before an existing structure can be remodeled and approval is also necessary before money can be sent to a private organization to make improvements on state property.
“It may seem funny that the building was alright for a hospital, but not for a nursing home,” said Canright.
The medical programs representative explained that nursing home guidelines differed from hospital guidelines in the amount of recreation space for each patient. The wards would have to be converted into rooms, etc.
“The federal nursing home laws are just more stringent than those governing hospitals,” Canright said.
Charles Camp, a representative from the Health Systems Division of Westinghouse Corp., stressed the four areas of needed health service his investigations uncovered. The first is to center the acute care hospital patients in Wellsboro. This means mainly surgical and medical patients. The second area is to establish four primary health care centers in the county. This step would utilize the existing facilities in Blossburg, Wellsboro and Mansfield, and a new facility in Elkland.
The third area is establishing nursing home beds in Blossburg. Camp said this was needed, “primarily because of the existing facility and to provide employment for the people living in that area.
The fourth area would be to provide additional and better organized emergency service in the county. “This could be done,” said Camp, “through better communications, coordinated services, better training of personnel and better equipment.”
Camp stressed that an emergency treatment facility was not needed in Blossburg. “It has been proven that the first five minutes in an accident involving trauma are the most important. An accident victim most needs expert, on-the-scene treatment which better-trained ambulance crews could provide.”
A four-phase plan was explained by Camp and Richard Powell for the complete renovation of the existing Blossburg Hospital into a modern health services center. Powell is a partner in the planning and architectural firm of Bohlin and Powell, of Wilkes Barre, hired by Westinghouse for this project.
The first phase of the renovation would be the conversion of building 32 into a temporary, 50-bed nursing home as described above. In addition to remodeling another $17,555 is called for in additional renovations. Phase one also calls for the conversion of the existing clinic, known as building 50, into a family health care and social services building. The renovated building would contain outpatient care, lab facilities and a dental office. The Westinghouse plan calls for an estimated $150,000 for this conversion project. Phase one would be started, if approved, immediately.
Phase two would include the relocation of utilities that come from the steam and power plant through the administrative building, known as building 38, to the rest of the hospital. This would be done so that building could be demolished. The cost of the relocation, which would begin in March of next year, would be $15,000.
The present laundry building, situated behind the hospital also would be renovated in 1973 for use as a kitchen and dining facility for the nursing home.
The final part of phase two would be the demolition of building 38 in October, 1973, at a cost of $35,000 and the start of construction of an 85-bed nursing wing in its place.
The new nursing wing, according to the plan, would be completed in January, 1975, and is estimated to cost $1,365,000.
In March, 1975, the demolition of building 32 would start the third phase of the plan. The cost of tearing down that building is estimated at $45,000. In May of that year, construction would begin on a 90-bed nursing unit where building 32 stood. Construction of this $1,110,000 building would be completed in September, 1976, according to the Westinghouse plan.
Phase four is a flexible plan that would call for the demolition of the present nurses’ quarters with 39 housing units for the elderly replacing it. According to the planners, phase four would be executed only if and when the need for such a building is warranted. The projected cost of the demolition would be $10,000, with the elderly housing units costing $800,000 [?] to build.
If the Westinghouse plan were to be utilized in its entirety, the complete renovation of the Blossburg Hospital into a nursing home and health services center, will cost $3,765,000 and will provide 175 additional nursing home beds in the county.
Camp side that Tioga County now has 127 nursing home beds, and requires an additional 85 beds to meet the current need. Even with 50 beds planned for the temporary nursing home in Blossburg, the need will not be fulfilled.
Commenting on the feeling expressed by the North Penn Corp., that the state could be doing more to make the transition easier, Canright said, “The state is trying to do everything legally possible to help these people.”
A meeting of the corporation is expected soon to discuss the revised terms of the lease.
Wellsboro Gazette, February 8, 1973
Hospital Investigation Approved in House
A resolution introduced to the House of Representatives by Rep. Warren H. Spencer on January 22 calling for a legislative investigation of the closing of the Blossburg State Hospital on September 1, 1972 was approved by an overwhelming vote tally in the House of 186 to 5 on Tuesday afternoon.
According to a telephone conversation on Tuesday with Rep. Spencer, it was disclosed that a “special legislative investigating committee” will be appointed within a week.
The resolution asked that a special committee be appointed by the Speaker of the House composed of four members of the House Majority Caucus and three members of the House Minority Caucus, to conduct a full and complete investigation of the propriety and legality of the closing of the Blossburg State Hospital by the Department of Public Welfare and any and all contracts concerning health care services for the community served by the Blossburg State Hospital.
Spencer recently made the statement that the investigation also would determine the limits of the Governor’s authority to act without the consent of the legislature. “That is,” he said, “it would seek to answer whether the Governor or the Secretary of Public Welfare can by their own authority, close a state facility which was built and authorized by Legislation.
Following appointment of the committee, investigation of the former state institution will begin. According to the approved resolution, the committee must report its findings to the General Assembly as soon as possible.
Wellsboro Gazette, January 24, 1974, p.14
Public Welfare Dept. Criticized by Union Director
Gerald W. McEntee, State Director for Pennsylvania for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO Union in Harrisburg, issued a statement criticizing the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare for breaching the 1973-76 contract agreement between AFSCME and the Commonwealth at the Blossburg State General Hospital. McEntee referred to the “Successors” clause in the contract, when the state turned over the operation of Blossburg State Hospital to the North Penn Comprehensive Health Services Corporation; a private non-profit organization. The corporation rehired a few of the 130 employees laid off when the state turned the operation of the hospital over to NPCHSC. The “Successors” clause requires the Commonwealth to enforce the terms of the contract even though the state no longer operated the hospital. McEntee said, “Not only has the contract been violated in many instances that we can document but the hospital has converted its boilers from a cheap and plentiful form of energy to an expensive and scarce one. We think the Department of Public Welfare has been extremely lax in turning the operation of Blossburg over to NPCHSC.”
AFSCME has also received information that equipment at the hospital belonging to the Commonwealth is slated to be sold by NPCHSC. As the administration at Blossburg State General Hospital has been openly violating the contract AFSCME has filed grievances with the Commonwealth on behalf of the employees of Blossburg State Hospital charging numerous contractual violations. Any former employee of the Hospital that has any information that would be helpful to the Union’s legal staff should contact Floyd S. Williammee, President of [AFSCME] AFL-CIO Local 2364, RD1, Morris, Pa. 16938.