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White Structure

Savanna's First Hospital

   The famous Helen Scott Hay had just recently returned to her hometown of Savanna, in 1922, when the celebration of the opening of the first Savanna City Hospital took place.. The building was purchased from W. P. Rhodes and was transformed into a thoroughly equipped and modern hospital. Helen undoubtedly had much to do with the planning, her being world famous as a nurse educator and experienced from having founded the West Suburbsn Hospital in Oak Park, Il.

   Helen lived just a block away from the Savanna hospital, on Chicago Avenue, for the last 10 years of her life. This home-grown, amazing woman had spent her adult life working to improve nursing practices. They were tested as she was sought after to initiate those practices, within her various leadership positions: at Chicago's Cook County Hospital; within the American Red Cross organization; and, in organizing the first WWI Mercy Ship. For her work among the poor and suffering in Kiev, Sofia, Bulgaria, and other European locations, Helen was granted the esteemed Florence Nightingale Award. 

   All of those accomplishments, and yet this nurse chose to come back home to her beloved Savanna. It must have been a joy for her to participate in celebrating the opening of her town's first hospital.

   (An extensive exhibit of Helen's life can be viewed at the Savanna Museum & Cultural Center, 406 Main).

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