Conference in San Antonio

Tomorrow begins the Army Medical Department Center and School/AMEDD Museum Foundation WWI Medical Conference in recognition of the 100 year anniversary of the Great War’s end in 1918. The conference will take place at the AMEDD Center and School 22-24 March 2018.  The Society for the History of Navy Medicine is an active participant.  Please visit the website for more information.

http://www.ameddmuseumfoundation.org/   Look under “World War I Medical Conference.”  Thomas Snyder and I will keep you updated on conference events as they unfold.

Annette Finley-Croswhite, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Society for the History of Navy Medicine

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2017 Contribution…only a few hours left!

Dear Friends and Society Members,

Please consider taking time on the last day of the year to make a charitable contribution to the Society for the History of Navy Medicine.

Just go to the Society main page: http://historyofnavymedicine.org and click on Contribute—from there find Donate.

It’s tax deductible!

Thank you,

Annette Finley-Croswhite, Ph.D., Executive Director

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Happy New Year!

Dear Members of the Society for the History of Navy Medicine,

I write to wish you a Happy New Year as we move into 2018.

I also want to mention our challenges as well.  As a small society, it has been hard over the last few years to keep the momentum going.  We want to grow and attend conferences, publish academic papers and explore the history of Navy Medicine in order to bring this area of scholarship into more mainstream academic conversations and publishing.  If you have not been active in a while, please consider coming to our conference in San Antonio in March.   Think of other ways you can support the society.

I’ve always had an interest in Navy Nurses, especially from the World War I period when they were loaned to the US Army who did not have enough nurses.  At this time, nursing included making lavender sachets for bed pillows (lavender is supposed to help one sleep), mucking out soldier troop transport trains (moving ambulances for the wounded), and writing letters back home to family members telling them of their loved one’s final hours, obviously activities far removed from what Navy Nurses do today.  But in World War I, it became clear how important nurses were for patient recovery.  More extensive duties included helping to establish hospitals just behind the front lines, treating mustard gas complications, and helping patients suffering from “shell shock,” a war-complication that was often considered at the time, the result of a soldier not being “man enough.” In the latter case, nurses provided psychological comfort and relief for a little-understood problem.  Because of the filth associated with trench warfare, nurses were particularly helpful in cleaning wounds, and they worked mightily during the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918 as well.   It’s important to acknowledge, however, that working conditions for Navy Nurses were horrific, and none of them were officers.   As women and of lower rank, it was hard for nurses to exert authority.  Nursing was also deadly; 36 Navy Nurses died during the war, the greatest killer in this case being influenza.

The US Navy Corps of Nurses was established in 1908, and during World War I around 1550 Navy Nurses saw active duty.  Navy Nurses took up their first “shipboard” positions shortly after the war in 1920 on the USS Relief.  A few pictures are included below.  Please consider coming to San Antonio in March to hear my talk on Navy Nurses.

The pictures below are from from the BUMED files.  The large picture, Reeve 016486, shows nurses trying to enjoy a moment of culture at the front.  They are having tea provided by the Saturday Evening Post near Sebastopol, France in 1918. The other two show Navy Nurses in 1920 aboard the USS Relief (14-0076-013, 14-0076-019).

For more on this subject see:

https://ceufast.com/blog/nursing-and-medicine-during-world-war-i

Again, have a Happy New Year!

Annette Finley-Croswhite, Ph.D., Executive Director, Society for the History of Navy Medicine

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1918 Influenza Epidemic

As we embark on 2018, it’s interesting to consider what happened 100 years ago in 1918.  For medical historians, the date is significant because it is associated with the influenza pandemic that swept the world and killed over 21 million people.  Oddly enough, the influenza pandemic didn’t seem to make a great impact on collective memory and was soon forgotten.  Historians have pondered this collective neglect and come up with many reasons why people forgot the flu so quickly.  Perhaps, in the pre-vaccine (most of them), pre-penicillin days, death by infectious disease was so much more common that it was more easily conceptualized as “normal.” In reality, coming with the war, I suspect influenza was shelved in terms of memory once the war ended. People moved on.

At any rate, for you reading pleasure today, please find attached a nice article by Carla Morrisey on the 1918 epidemic and the role of Navy Nurse, Josie Mabel Brown, during that time.  https://www.history.navy.mil/research/library/online-reading-room/title-list-alphabetically/i/influenza/the-influenza-epidemic-of-1918-by-carla-r-morrisey-rn-bsn.html

I’m sure we will discuss the epidemic at our upcoming conference in March in San Antonio.  The conference will focus on military medicine and World War I.  (See you there)!

Annette Finley-Croswhite, Ph.D.

 

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End of year contributions!

Perhaps some of you missed earlier messages reminding you of the end-of-year opportunity to make a charitable and tax deducible contribution to the Society for the History of Navy Medicine.

If you have the time and inclination, please consider making a gift this year. All monies go to support the Society, our graduate student travel and research grants, and our book prize.  Any support you can offer is greatly appreciated.

Just go to the Society main page: http://historyofnavymedicine.org and click on Contribute—from there find Donate.

It also is time to renew membership dues which are only $30 for one year.  A Lifetime membership costs $400.  On our website you’ll find a membership button.

Thank you for your support and see you in San Antonio at our conference in March 2018.

With sincere thanks,

Annette Finley-Croswhite, Ph.D.

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Never-too-late Wednesday

Dear Society Members,

Yesterday was “Giving Tuesday.”  Perhaps some of you missed the message or didn’t get around to making a charitable and tax deducible contribution.  Thus today is “Never-too-late” Wednesday.

If you have the time and inclination, please consider making a year end, tax deductible contribution to the Society for the History of Navy Medicine. All monies go to support the Society, our graduate student travel and research grants, and our book prize.  Any support you can offer is greatly appreciated.

Just go to the Society main page: http://historyofnavymedicine.org and click on Contribute—from there find Donate.

It also is time to renew membership dues which are only $30 for one year.  A Lifetime membership costs $400.  On our website you’ll find a membership button.

Thank you for your support and see you in San Antonio at our conference in March 2018. (It’s not too late to submit a proposal.  You have until December 1).

With sincere thanks,

Annette Finley-Croswhite, Ph.D.

Executive Director of the Society for the History of Navy Medicine

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Giving Tuesday

There was Black Friday and Cyber Monday, let’s not forget “Giving Tuesday!”  How many of us “spent” over the last few days?  Today is the day to think about giving back.  At the Society for the History of Navy Medicine, we use donations to help fund conferences, book prizes, and student awards.  We hope to fund a travel grant for graduate students to our conference in March in San Antonio.

If you are able to give a little, it’s easy to do.  Go to the Society web page and click on the “Contribute” tab.  There you will find our TAX ID number and a variety of ways to make a contribution to the Society.  We even have a PayPal button.

https://historyofnavymedicine.org/

You might also think about today as a time to renew your membership.

This morning I’ve been making donations to a number of organizations, including the SHNM.  It’s time to count one’s blessings.  If you are able to make a donation, we thank you very, very much.

Annette Finley-Croswhite, Ph.D. Executive Director, Society for the History of Navy Medicine

 

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