100th Anniversary Book

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

Transcript of 100th Anniversary Book

  • nswering the call to care formore than100years.A

    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

  • Hospital ofSaint RaphaelA member of the Saint Raphael Healthcare System



  • Answering thecall to care


    100 years of hope and healing at

    the hospital of saint raphael

    Hospital ofSaint RaphaelA member of the Saint Raphael Healthcare System

  • ii


    The mission of the Saint Raphael Healthcare System, sponsored by

    the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, is to care for and improve

    the health of our patients, with compassion and with a special

    concern for the underserved, poor and elderly.


    The Hospital is a community teaching hospital and health care

    resource sponsored and guided by the values of the Sisters of Charity

    of Saint Elizabeth and of the Roman Catholic Church. Our mission is

    to witness, share in and promote excellence in the healing ministry of

    Jesus Christ. We are committed to preserving the dignity and well-

    being of each individual, and to assuring that every person is treated

    according to the principles of charity and justice. We accept the

    Gospel challenge that prompted our founders of the sponsoring

    congregation, Saint Vincent DePaul, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and

    Mother Mary Xavier Mehegan, by pledging every loving service in our

    power to reach out to those in need of our services.


    Charity Justice Service StewardshipDignity Excellence Integrity

    Our Mission

  • iii

    edicated to past and present Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, employees, physicians, trustees,

    volunteers and Auxilians. Each of our first 100 years of excellence is because of you, and we commit to

    carrying on your legacy.

    This book is based on information and recollections from many sources. These include wonderful old

    scrapbooks, memorabilia, reports and other materials from Saint Raphaels archives, materials and

    photographs from the archives of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, taped oral histories of persons

    now deceased, and countless interviews. Every effort has been made to validate dates and other facts,

    some of which vary by source.


    Working on this book has had special significance. I joined Saint

    Raphaels in late 1981 to help plan its 75th birthday observance, never

    thinking I would celebrate the 100th as well! But my roots are deeper

    than that. While working on the 75th, I organized years of accumulated

    materials into what evolved as Saint Raphaels archives. In the

    process, I learned that the New Haven archi tectural firm of Brown &

    von Beren, led by my great-grandfather and then grandfather, designed

    the hospitals first new construction, the Saint Marys Building. It is an

    honor and privilege to be part of this organization, to have learned

    from the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, and to have worked side

    by side with extraordinary colleagues.

    Published 2008

    Editor: Cindy von Beren, vice president/Corporate Affairs

    A special thanks to the many individuals who were part of the

    research, writing, editing, fact-checking and production of this

    history, with particular gratitude to:

    Patricia Mich, art director

    Jennifer Duarte, graphic designer

    Michael Dabbraccio, staff photographer

    Christine Mora, director, Public Relations & Marketing

    Pat Wales, director, Health Sciences Library

    And to contributing writer Alix Boyle and contributing writer/editor

    Cynthia Wolfe Boynton.


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    CHAPTER 1 Beginningsa hospital is born

    CHAPTER 2 William Francis Verdi, M.D.

    CHAPTER 3 The first 30 years

    CHAPTER 4 Saint Raphael School of Nursing

    CHAPTER 5 World War II

    CHAPTER 6 The 1940s and 1950s

    CHAPTER 7 Sister Louise Anthony Geronemo

    CHAPTER 8 Saint Raphael Auxiliary and volunteers

    CHAPTER 9 1960s and 1970s

    CHAPTER 10 1980s and 1990s

    CHAPTER 11 Sister Anne Virginie Grimes

    CHAPTER 12 Advancing the science and art of medicine

    CHAPTER 13 Entering the new millennium

    CHAPTER 14 2007: A milestone anniversary to remember

    CHAPTER 15 The Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth

    Contentsanswering the Call to Care

  • 1If Saint Raphael s future is anything like its history, great things are ahead for all of us.

    Saint RaphaelHealthcare SystemPresident and CEO David W. Benfer, FACHE

    Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth General Superior SisterMaureen Shaughnessy,chairperson of the Saint RaphaelHealthcare System Board of Trustees.

  • 2Introduction100 years of Caring

    W hen the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth and Catholic HospitalAssociation agreed on January 30, 1907, to join forces and found

    Saint Raphaels, their goal was to create a hospital that all members

    of the community could call their own. It was to be a place where

    every patientregardless of race, religion, ethnicity or income

    levelreceived the best care, with the most compassionate touch.

    A century later, this caring mission still guides Saint Raphaels, and

    is what our physicians, nurses and other professionals strive to give

    patients every day. Our long history of medical excellence, and the

    roots weve established in Greater New Haven, made us proud and

    excited to celebrate Saint Raphaels 100th birthday in 2007.

    Thank you for opening this book and celebrating this milestone

    with us. Within these pages, youll find great old photo graphs, facts

    and memories about both the hospital and its place in the Greater

    New Haven community. Its a community that has embraced and

    supported Saint Raphaels for each of these 100 years. And for this,

    we are most grateful.

    Youll see in Chapter 1 that at the same time the Hospital of Saint

    Raphael opened its doors, both the community and the field of

    medicine were changing. Most people at the start of the 20th century

    received medical care in their homes from family doctors. Family

    members were expected to take care of loved ones. Hospitals at that

    time were said to be for the poor and the friendless.

    Yet as medicine advanced in the early 1900sthe beginnings of

    modern surgery; the development of vaccines; an understanding of

    how germs spread and the need for safe public health practices

    people came to realize that hospitals were the best and safest places for

    the delivery of increasingly sophisticated medical care.

    Ready to meet that new demand for hospital care in New Haven

    was Saint Raphaels. A 1913 New Haven Union newspaper article

    praised Saint Raphaels for offering the best scientific medical

    treatment available, calling the hospital a pioneer.

    One hundred-plus years later, these phrases still describe

    Saint Raphaels.

    As you go through this book, youll see stories and photo graphs

    showing how Saint Raphaels has grown to match advances in

    medicine; how Saint Raphael physicians were among the first to

    perform many breakthrough procedures; how compassion, dignity

    and respect for patients have always made the Saint Raphael

    difference; and how Saint Raphaels has formed an enduring

    partnership with the community.

    We wish it had been possible to include the names of every

    person, department, treatment and procedure thats made a

    difference over our first century. For that, however, wed need a

    book this size for each of the hospitals 100 years. Instead, weve

    done our best to cull stories, memories and photographs that best

  • 3The invitation to thecorner-stone placementfor the Saint MarysBuilding, and relatednews coverage.

  • 4represent the spirit and achieve ments of

    both our hospital and health providers.

    Please read on and enjoy.

    Caring for the sick is a divine trust, said

    the Sisters who started and continue to

    sponsor Saint Raphaels. As a faith-based

    organization and one of four Catholic-

    sponsored acute care hospitals in Connect i -

    cut, Saint Raphaels holds firm to this belief,

    which will un doubtedly con tinue for the

    next 100 yearsand beyond.

    Thank you for your belief, support and

    trust in us.

    If Saint Raphaels future is anything like

    its history, great things are ahead for all of us.

    Early patient ward.

  • On behalf of theCatholic HospitalAssociation, urologistFrancis H. Reilly, M.D.,wrote to the Sisters of Charity of SaintElizabeth, requestingtheir help.

    The silver trowel used to lay the cornerstone for the Saint MarysBuilding (below).

    In Hebrew, Raphe means heal and El means God . Thus together, Rapha-el means God heals.

  • 6Chapter 1ll over the United States, the early 1900s was a time of new

    beginnings. New Haven was no different, as Italian, Irish and other

    immigrants came to work for local factories and start new lives.

    Downtown New Haven was bustling with tradesmen, trolleys and

    tenements, and on every street corner were new accents, voices

    and dreams.

    Not everyone, however, embraced this changing, more colorful

    community. Institutions begun by white, Protestant menthose who

    founded the citywerent always eager to welcome those with

    different faiths, faces and cultures.