|Cortland Hospital on Clayton Avenue.|
The Cortland Democrat, Friday, December 15, 1893.
As one of the pioneers in benevolent work in our county the hospital has the customary pioneer work to do in clearing away erroneous impressions, uprooting and removing stubborn prejudices and preparing the ground for a healthy growth of public sentiment that shall bear fruit in a generous support of local charities.
The managers realize that to publicly refute every charge that may, through malice or misapprehension, be made against the hospital would impose upon them an interminable task which they cannot assume, but believing most of those brought to their notice have arisen from want of information, a brief statement in answer to them is deemed due not only to the hospital, but to those contributing to its support.
Among the wrong impressions which prevail, that which has operated more than any other to defeat the object for which the hospital was established is the one that it is a pauper institution, but one degree removed from an alms house and to become an inmate is to make a public confession of poverty.
When people educated and otherwise well-informed advance such ideas, it can scarcely be wondered at, that those less intelligent should echo them and refuse to avail themselves of the privileges of the hospital, sometimes greatly to their disadvantage. A hospital is a convenience to the rich as well as a necessity to the poor and in the cities, where no such prejudice exists all classes gladly seek the superior care thus afforded.
The opposite but equally erroneous impression obtains with some that none are admitted to the hospital who cannot pay full price. Of the 60 patients thus far received only 6 have paid full price, from $7 to $10 per week, 5 have paid $4 to $5 and 28 have paid nothing and, the aggregate time of their stay Is 774 days. Among those classed as paying patients are some for whom the county has provided.
Of the 36 women admitted, 23 were dependent on their own labor for support, while 8 others were the wives or daughters of men of limited means.
None of those have paid over $4 per week, except one who came for surgical treatment and paid $5, half the regular rate, one week; 12 have paid from $1.25 to $2, and 10 have paid nothing at all. From this it will be seen that the accusation of charging working women extortionate rates is utterly without foundation.
No person bringing a recommendation from a physician has been refused admission except in case of contagious diseases, which with our present facilities cannot be received with safety to other patients.
Another misapprehension which has existed, but which is being dispelled by the action of the Board of Supervisors and the practice of the hospital, is that it is a "local affair" intended solely for the residents of our village. From the outset it has been the wish and intention of its projectors to make it a county institution and with this aim in view non-resident members were elected to the board of managers and official recognition was asked from the Supervisors. Paying patients have always been admitted even though they could not pay full rates, but so long as the funds for carrying on the work came wholly from one town, only the managers felt compelled to discriminate in the admission of nonpaying patients.
Not to have done so would have imposed upon a comparatively few people a burden that should be borne by the many. It is hoped now that under a more liberal construction of the act of the Supervisors and through the efforts of generous people in other towns the needy sick throughout the county will be enabled to share in the benefits of the hospital.
The question of creed is sometimes raised. The constitution of the Hospital Association permits no distinction on account of "race, creed or color," and patients are never questioned as to their religious belief. Judging from what is known of the church connection of some and the nationality of others it is presumed that 45 were Protestants and 11 Catholics, the remainder being doubtful.
A reason sometimes given for refusing aid to the hospital is that in a village as small as ours none is needed. In a report of the Newtown, Mass. hospital we find this sentence, "every town of 5,000 inhabitants should have a hospital."
If this be true Cortland and Homer with nearly three times that number must certainly require one, and towns so progressive in other directions ought not to be backward in their charity, but give to the benevolent institutions so recently established a united and generous support.
The hospital is now in charge of Miss Mary Roberts, who is a graduate of Birmingham, Eng. training school for nurses and whose excellent work since she assumed control elicits the warmest praise from those whose duty it is to inspect it. The managers confidently recommend her to physicians and patients as a thoroughly competent nurse and a refined and sympathetic woman.
The hospital is open to visitors Tuesdays and Fridays from 2 to 5 P. M. Visits from its friends are always, to Matron and Managers, welcome manifestations of interest in their work and they earnestly invite from the public the closest scrutiny of their methods.
JULIA E. HYATT,
Pres. Hospital Association.
◘ The Wilson tariff bill will be reported to the house on Tuesday next.
◘ Mr. Alfred Dolge denies the statement recently published, which said that he was about to move his felt factory to Germany. Mr. Dolge says the factory will still be operated at Dolgeville, notwithstanding the tariff reduction as proposed by the Wilson bill.
◘ On Wednesday the Utah statehood bill was passed by the house of Representatives, and measures adopted reserving the right to the United States to punish polygamy, and enact such legislation as may be necessary for suppressing it should the custom be reestablished.
◘ When the laboring man is told by his republican friend that the passage of the Wilson tariff bill means a general reduction to the wage-earner, his friend should be plainly reminded of the wholesale reduction in wages that took place during the four months immediately following the passage of the McKinley bill.
◘ Just now the republican press, and republican manufacturers and capitalists throughout the country, are busy telling the laboring man that if the Wilson bill becomes a law their wages would be greatly reduced in consequence thereof. To the casual observer this cock and bull story may seem plausible, but to the farseeing mind it is simply a plan to intimidate voters into supporting the republican party, and thereby assist in pouring money into its coffers. If these modern prophets would spend their leisure time in endeavoring to devise means that would furnish employment for the unemployed, there would be no need of howling over the passage of the Wilson bill.