100 Years of Cuyahoga County Board of Health
THE PUBLIC HEALTH NURSE
Soon after the turn of the 20th century, public health nurses became a very important part of the budding American healthcare system. They traveled by horse to remote locations, visiting homes and schools and workplaces to help those in need. The public health nurse was often the only link that many people had to medical care and education.
1918 PANDEMIC FLU
The Spanish flu pandemic infected hundreds of millions of people worldwide. It killed an estimated 50-100 million people, which at that time was 3-5% of the world’s population. Here we see residents of an American town wearing masks to protect themselves against the spread of flu.
THE PALMOLIVE GIRL
During the early 1900s, Palmolive was the world’s best-selling soap. In the name of public health
(and also increasing its number of users per family), Palmolive issued posters showing children
as happy and healthy users of its product. Today, we thank Palmolive for its efforts to promote
the virtues of handwashing.
CHARITY HOSPITAL NURSES
Opened “against the backdrop of a soul-searing Civil War and a spirit saddened by the assassination of a president,” St. Vincent Charity Hospital filled a void in Cleveland’s healthcare landscape. Mother Augustine was the first superior of the hospital. She and seven Sisters took up their duties on October 5, 1865. Their practice of always aiding the sick and suffering regardless of creed, race or ability to pay is still ongoing. Here is a class of St. Vincent nurses from the 1920s.
NURSE WEIGHS YOUNG BOY
Here we see a school nurse weighing a child as part of an examination. Notice the posters in the upper left and right encouraging African-Americans to visit their doctor or clinic.
CUYAHOGA RIVER FIRE OF 1952
Prior to the infamous fire of 1969 which prompted action by the federal government, the Cuyahoga River had previously burned in 1952. A combination of oil and wood ignited a large blaze which destroyed a local shipyard and damaged several tugboats. Today, the river is model of improvement thanks to the Clean Water Act of 1970. Visit NPR to learn more.
DR. LAMBRIGHT OF FOREST CITY HOSPITAL
Dr. Middleton Lambright Jr. was the first black doctor to obtain full hospital privileges in Cleveland when he was admitted to the staffs of University Hospitals of Cleveland and Mt. Sinai Hospital. Lambright Jr. and his father both founded Forest City Hospital, which opened in 1957, in order to provide black physicians with the opportunity to head medical departments. In 1964, Lambright Jr. became the second black doctor in the nation to head a local affiliate of the American Medical Association when he became president of the Academy of Medicine of Cleveland.
More than 1.6 million children, known as “polio pioneers,” participated in the polio vaccine trials of 1954. Dr. Jonas Salk had presented his findings for a cure to the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis in 1953, which then took a “calculated risk” by helping to make the vaccine available to groups of children across 38 states. That willingness to move forward forever changed the course of history. Founded in part by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1938, who was himself a victim of polio, the NFIP was the predecessor to the March of Dimes.
CHILD IN CAR W STRAP
Car seat safety has come a long way over the past 60 years. As shown here, early child restraint systems were not totally effective in fully protecting children. Tennessee was the first state to require car seats for children in 1978.