Overview of Home Hospital
A tree-lined sidewalk takes us from Home Chapel to Home Hospital. Cannons are in a row in front of the hospital. A majestic fountain creates a tranquil scene with the chaplain and surgeons' residences in the background. Dr. Clark McDermont arrived on April 12, 1867, and he was the first Surgeon at the Central Branch. Construction of the hospital was completed in 1870. Dr. F. H. Patton, Surgeon, has been in charge of our Medical Department since December 17, 1884. His first assistant, Dr. A. S. Dunlap, and the second assistant surgeon, Dr. A. H. Gable, reside in the hospital. During the past year, we have employed a new oculist and aurist, Dr. B. W. Greene. He has been very successful in treating the eye and ear diseases, and a large number of our partially blind men have been greatly relieved. On July 1, 1884, the local manager of the Central Branch, Colonel Harris, was authorized to obtain the service of interns in the hospital, without cost. During the past 12 months, 196 Veterans with diseases of the ear and 134 Veterans with diseases of the eye have been treated in Home Hospital. We also cared for 112 patients with paralysis, 80 with epilepsy, 49 with heart disease, and 11 with cancer. Eighteen insane and 19 partially insane patients were cared for on our insane ward. Fully 65 percent of the old soldiers applying for admission to the Central Branch have some form of organic or functional heart disease. This is certainly a larger percentage than is found in private practice in men of the same age. The average age of admission to Home Hospital for Veterans with cardiac hypertrophy is 53 years.
Interior of Home Hospital
This elegant and well-arranged building has been acknowledged to be the best constructed in America. The main building has 300 beds and an operating room in the basement. We approach the hospital on the driveway for a closer view. We proceed to the porch and we are greeted by two medical staff. The physician on the right, First Lieutenant C.W. Newton, M.D., is receiving morning report. We have a better view of the fountain from the porch. The main stairway is just inside, as are the administrative offices. The six wards are in the wings and each wing is supplied with a staircase. Each ward has a bay window for viewing the grounds and each floor has a dining room. A large steam powered elevator carries the sick to the floors above from the basement. The doors throughout the building are of choice white walnut. The wards, halls, and dining rooms have uniform wainscoting. Tall towers connect to each ward and contain the bath and wash rooms. The building is steam heated through coiled pipes in the basement. The wards and other rooms are supplied with grates for open fires. Additional wards were completed in 1870, 1875, 1883 and 1885 bringing the current capacity to 450 patients. The hospital is nearly 100% occupied and additional wards are planned to bring the capacity to 840.