Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 358



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 358

American community—particularly to be available in cases of childbirth, since in these thinly settled districts it is too often impossible to obtain the services of a physician, with the result of a high percentage of fatalities to mothers that should not be tolerated by a wealthy and progressive people. No American mother, at childbirth, should be denied the assistance of professional skill, no matter how far she may live from a physician. And here is where a visiting nurse in every community can become an institution of inestimable value.

Just about this time a group of Philadelphia physicians, headed by Doctor Samuel McClintock Hamill, which had formed itself into a hygienic committee for babies, waited upon Bok to ask him to join them in the creation of a permanent organization devoted to the welfare of babies and children. Bok found that he was dealing with a company of representative physicians, and helped to organize “The Child Federation,” an organization “to do good on a business basis.”

It was to go to the heart of the problem of the baby in the congested districts of Philadelphia, and do a piece of intensive work in the ward having the highest infant mortality, establishing the first health centre in the United States actively managed by competent physicians and nurses. This centre was to demonstrate to the city authorities that the fearful mortality among babies, particularly in summer, could be reduced.

Meanwhile, there was created a “Baby Saving Show,” a set of graphic pictures conveying to the eye methods of sanitation and other too often disregarded essentials of the wise care and feeding of babies; and this travelled,



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