Beacon of Hope: Growth Years
Serving Unique Patients
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Founding Years 1944-1953
Growth Years 1953-1969
Years of Change and Renewal 1969-1993
Footnotes
About the Author

Patient services became more intensive after December 1962, when bed occupancy reached 87% and average length of stay fell from 45 to 30 days.84 Dr. Masur, who served a concurrent term as president of the American Hospital Association in 1961, sought to establish national standards for patient care at the Clinical Center. After the thalidomide controversy, Masur proposed a joint study with two other medical centers to build a data bank on adverse patient reactions to new drugs.85 This project failed to materialize, but Masur’s long-term interest in limiting therapeutic hazards for normal patients brought an end to prisoner testing at the hospital and established special consent procedures for volunteers in investigational drug trials.86

“We must strike a better balance between the wonders of technology and the wonders of human kindness,” he told a Yale lecture audience in 1962.87 The inpatient wards were actively serviced by Rehabilitation and Social Work therapists, with extensive recreation activities sponsored by Patient Activities and Red Cross volunteers. At the beginning of the peak period for inpatient services, 1965-1968, the annual report claimed that the hospital’s highest achievement lay in creating an atmosphere of “personal warmth” for the research patient.88 The effect was quite durable. When Newsweek columnist Stewart Alsop was admitted for treatment of subacute leukemia in 1971, he noted in his journal, “Amazing how nice almost everybody is.”89

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