Fort Sanders 20 Years Old (1940)

Hospital Launched Feb. 22, 1920; Party Is Held

A little more than 20 years ago, two doctors were busy at old Lincoln Memorial Hospital.  Dr. Kyle Copenhaver had a non-infectious patient.  The late Dr. L. L. Sheddan had an infectious patient.  Dr. Copenhaver saw an attendant take an instrument that had been used on the infectious patient and use it on the non-infectious patient. Dr. Sheddan and Dr. Copenhaver got to talking.  "What do you think of building a hospital where all instruments in every room will be sterilized after each patient leave [sic] before the next patient enters?" Dr. Copenhaver asked Dr. Sheddan. Called a Meeting A few days later, Dr. Copenhaver called a meeting of a group of physicians.  This meeting decided to launch a new hospital.  It was held on Washington's Birthday 20 years ago. "Thirty days from that decision, we were digging foundations for the present Fort Sanders Hospital," Dr. Copenhaver said.  "It was out in a corn field.  The first unit had 60 beds.  Today, it has 182 beds. Hospital Has Grown "In that 20 years, Fort Sanders has admitted 51,375 patients.  In 1939, 32 more beds were added and a Nurses' dormitory built.  The hospital also is operating the Crippled Children's Hospital," he related.  [eventually became Children's] Last night, Fort Sanders Hospital nurses celebrated the twentieth birthday of the hospital, merging it with a George Washington birthday celebration. Lincoln Memorial Hospital long ago became part of General Hospital. Source:  Knoxville News-Sentinel, February 23, 1940, page 16   Nurses to Celebrate The Nurses Alumni Association of Fort Sanders Hospital will celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the opening of the hospital at a homecoming banquet at the Nurses' Home at 8 p.m. Friday.  Staff physicians and their wives are to be guests. Source:  Knoxville News-Sentinel, February 21, 1940, page 12

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