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Egstad, H. M. (ed.) / The Wisconsin alumni magazine
Volume 35, Number VI (March 1934)

Lyght, Charles E.
Student health at the University,   p. 155


Page 155


        Student Health at the University
                          Dr. Charles E.                                
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Chief Physician
         L     . ht                                                     
                  Dept. of Student Health
   GROWTH SEEMS to                                              hygienic
information and ad-
       be a phenomenon ca -                                             
                 vice; the supervision of uni-
       pable of. capturing the                                          
                 versity food handlers and the
interest and imagination of                                             
                 periodic survey of student
any observer. Whether it be                                             
                 living conditions. In addi-
the development of a child                    THE NEW INFIRMARY WING    
                 tion many universities provide
or a flower, a building or an                                           
                 facilities for bed care avail-
enterprise, there are always those who will pause to admire  able to students
injured or ill while at school, thus acting
or to criticize, those who are impressed or who fail to   in loco parentis,
usually greatly to the reassurance of those
approve. Growth, however, seems to be applauded so long   who send sons and
daughters a considerable distance from
as it results in a product at once properly proportioned  home. Finally,
any well administered student health service
and useful. Beauty may be hoped for, but utility is       will make use of
its paramount opportunity-that of edu-
demanded.                                                    cating the leaders
of tomorrow to expect a high grade of
  Beginning very humbly twenty-five years ago, the Student  medical service
after graduation and to turn to it early
Health Service of the University of Wisconsin has shown   rather than too
late.
a steady growth which has been aimed at matching that       Having begun
in a small house on Langdon Street, and
of the needs of its campus community. Undoubtedly there   after several intermediate
moves, the Student Health Service
have been periods in which advance must have seemed slow  at Wisconsin now
finds itself possessed of a thoroughly
to those most closely connected with its nurturing. There  modern clinic
and infirmary. The first infirmary unit on the
must also have been stages when symmetry was temporarily  present site was
built in 1919, and enlarged in 193,1 to a
lost by excessive growth in one direction at the expense  capacity of approximately
one hundred beds. On its first
of others. None the less, we come to the year 1934 with   floor, which is
connected by corridor with the Wisconsin
an organization that has never lost sight of the necessity  General Hospital,
are the offices of its medical staff. Mem-
out of which it was born, nor failed to apply to the limit  bers of the staff
of the main hospital are also available for
of its resources the principles of its founders.          consultation when
necessary, and certain technical equip-
  Late in the autumn of 1909 a serious epidemic of typhoid  ment of the General
Hospital has not been duplicated in
fever swept the city of Madison, numbering many students  the Infirmary.
Otherwise it is a very self-contained insti-
among its victims. Local physicians labored manfully at  tution, capable
of supplying up-to-date care to its student
their task of treating those ill with the disease, yet it was  patients.
The cost of the health service, including salaries,
soon apparent that lack of a central medical supervision  is met by University
funds, but the infirmary care is made
of students made control of the campus situation extremely  possible by a
part of the incidental fees paid by each
difficult and quite haphazard. The manifestation of a     student.
natural uneasiness among the parents of members of the      It would seem
 a favorable omen that typhoid fever,
student body caused the president and the Regents to decide  whose ravages
led to the establishment of a student health
that medical supervision of students was unquestionably   service at Wisconsin,
has become practically non-existent in
an administrative function not to be side-stepped. To the  modern communities
such as Madison. In an accompanying
dean of the medical school, Dr. Charles R. Bardeen, was   article Dr. R.
H. Stiehm, who recently left the Wisconsin
entrusted the development of plans for a department of    Anti-tuberculosis
Association to become a member of the
Student Health, and shortly thereafter Dr. Joseph S. Evans  student health
staff, tells of the necessity for a program
was appointed as chief of the new service.                   of early recognition
of tuberculosis among those of uni.-
   Only by a few months did Wisconsin miss being the      versity age. He
sketches what has already been attempted
first university in the country to institute medical super-  in this direction
at the University, and suggests what hopes
vision of the health of students, California having won that  the future
holds of ultimate banishment of this disease.
distinction. Today there is hardly an important institution  The sympathetic
understanding and active support of the
of higher learning, little or big, in the United States or  alumni is besought
as the Student Health Service tackles
Canada that does not boast of some form of student health  another vital
phase of preventive medicine and public edu-
service. Some are very elaborate, others it must be con-  cation, that the
seed planted so many years ago may not
fessed rather sketchy, but each is attempting within the  merely grow but
produce fruits worthy of the Wisconsin
facilities it possesses to see to it that certain fundamental  soil in which
its roots are fixed.
principles are followed. These include the careful physical
examination of new students and the re-examination of
others; the early diagnosis of disease and segregation of   The April issue
of the Magazine will contain the story of
infectious cases so that, if humanly avoidable, epidemics of  the cancer
research program which is being planned for
communicable diseases may not succeed in gaining a foot-  under the terms
of the will of Miss Jennie Bowman who
hold upon the campus; the making easily accessible of     willed the University
$300,000.
                                                      Page 155


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