Beverly Hills TB Sanitorium History (to About 1960)

Beverly Hills Sanitorium was established in May, 1924, under the sponsorship of the Knoxville Civitan Club.

During the most of its years of service, it has been supported by the city of Knoxville and by the county of Knox through funds in equal amounts and by the Community Chest and by the United Fund following the cessation of activities of the first name organization.

Some years ago, a contract was entered into with the state of Tennessee under the terms of which Beverly Hills Sanatorium was obligated to admit state patients from counties other than Knox for a stipulated amount per day. Otherwise, the sanatorium has been limited to the care of legal residents of Knoxville and Knox County.

Up until this date, the sanitorium has cared for 5,295 patients.

Originally, the sanatorium was designated to care for indigent patients and, generally, that policy has been more or less strictly adhered to. There have been very few, if any, full pay patients; and in case of a bed shortage, the indigent patient is always given preference over even the part pay patients.

The sanatorium has, for some thirty five years, participated in a down town chest clinic, providing the clinician for that clinic. Other participating agencies are the health department of the city of Knoxville and the Knox County Tuberculosis Association. It might be added that, for many years, this clinic served the Knox County Health Department, also.

Generally, tuberculosis publicity is handled by the Knox County Tuberculosis Association, which is the educational and the case finding arm of the tuberculosis control program in Knoxville and Knox County.

Beverly Hills Sanatorium has, since 1951, used relatively unostentious [sic] publicity measures, we think wisely. Especially in view of the complications that might arise because of other organizations present in the tuberculosis treatment field since that time. We refer particularly to the East Tennessee Tuberculosis Hospital. It may be interesting to know that there continues to be, after nine years, a very great deal of confusion among many, many people as to the identities and functions of the two. Without any doubt whatever, added publicity would only serve to complicate this further. This we know for sure.

I would respectfully suggest that Mr. Anderson invite Mrs. Broughton, of the Knox County Tuberculosis Association, to submit suggestions as to books bearing on the general subject of tuberculosis. I am sure that she would be happy to do this, which is, in fact, in line with her program of education; and such a contribution on the part of the library would surely render an enormous service to the community; since a major element in tuberculosis control is education. The logical and, in fact, the proper way to handle this problem would be precisely that way outline above.

Some time ago, it appeared that the tuberculosis case load in Beverly Hills Sanitorium seemed to be growing lighter and thought was given to other use of at least one building.

After a very great deal of thought, it was decided to convert one building into a convalescent unit. The matter was taken up with the health department of the state of Tennessee, which approved the plan, subject to certain alterations in that building. These were made and, on November 16, 1959, the Convalescent Unit of Beverly Hills Sanitorium was opened, with a capacity of 50 patients, 25 males and 25 females.

This unit was projected as a facility strictly for indigent patients, with the University of Tennessee Memorial Hospital and Research Center specifically designated to enjoy high priority as to access to beds in the new units. Thus, Knoxville and Knox County would enjoy a material savings in hospital costs; and the University Hospital would have access to 50 additional beds.

This new service has been most successful and there is every reason to feel that it will be able to render ever greater service to all organizations concerned. It is already approximately 60% full. Material savings have been made possible for the city and for the county and, in numerous instances, needed beds have been made available for the hospital.

So far, there are no facilities for colored patients, but the sanatorium is actively planning toward providing comparable treatment for colored patients, also. It should be stated here that, through the years, Beverly Hills Sanatorium has provided for colored patients approximately twice as many beds as their population percentage would require.

Source: Typescript in vertical files of McClung Historical Collection, Knoxville, TN (folder “East Tenn. Chest Disease Hospital”). Has a stamped date of 1971; however, text in this document indicates it was produced in the early 1960’s.

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