The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., January 30, 1930, page 4


     If the members of the hospital association adopt the recommendation of their board of directors and the way is opened for the transfer of the hospital to the county -- it is believed that the members will take just this action -- the prospects for a modern hospital for Hood River will be brighter than they have been since the project was first suggested more than six years ago. With the present hospital turned over to the county and becoming public property most of the objections to participation of the taxpayers have been met. Also, the county court will be free to use the money set aside under the terms of the War Memorial act, in the sum of $10,000. The present hospital is a privately-owned and operated institution, insofar as the law is concerned, and there has been much doubt as to whether the use of a War Memorial fund could be utilized in connection with any plan for a modern hospital in any way connected with the existing building or organization. But the contemplated action of the members automatically disposes of these problems.
     For the general welfare of residents of this county, we can think of no project which will, for the expenditure involved, offer a more lasting good to the county as a whole. While the existing building, as a hospital, has little to commend it to the patient, an efficient staff of nurses has not only made it suffice, but has built up an enviable record for low mortality. This, in itself, is a splendid tribute to the loyalty of this nursing staff, which has made many personal sacrifices and submitted to much personal discomfort that the welfare of the patients might be safeguarded. To this nursing staff, a modern hospital will be more than welcome, for it will lighten many of the burdens which should not fall upon the nurses. The doctors whose patients will use this hospital, too, will welcome a modern building, not only for the greater facilities it will afford them in the practice of their profession, but because it will remove to a large extent the hazards which are higher than the patient should be expected to face. We refer, more specifically, to the location of the operating room vis-à-vis, the rooms on the first floor, and the present necessity of carrying patients from the operating table up an awkward flight of stairs when the operation is concluded.
     There is some talk of changing the hospital location, objections to the present location being chiefly on the ground that it is too noisy, owing to truck traffic. However, it is generally conceded that modern traffic noises have become part of the life cycle of the human being, and doctors in many parts of the country state that traffic noises have little or no effect on the general run of hospital patients. More important, they say, is a hospital that is so centrally located as to be available at all times and in all weathers. Another desirable feature in a centrally located hospital, is the facility it affords both doctors and nurses in going to and from the hospital in the shortest time. There are a number of desirable sites in this vicinity, notably the city park west of town, but none of them, from the doctors and nurses points of view, are as desirable as the present location, and truck traffic can easily be diverted to another street.
     But the main thing which should be kept in the mind of every taxpayer is the unquestioned need for early construction of the first units of a modern hospital, something which has been too long delayed. For this reason we hope that responsible organizations and citizens will cooperate in the movement, shortly to be inaugurated to secure a new hospital in the year upon which we are now entering.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer