1930: Bradford Memorial Hospital for Babies Opens
When the 60-bed Bradford Memorial Hospital for Babies opened in 1930, that skeptical doctor who kept erasing Nurse Smith’s chalkboard message sent her a note that read, “Kid, you win.”
The Richmond Freeman Memorial Clinic for Infants and Children, though always an outpatient facility, had operating rooms, X-ray, lab and dental equipment that provided an array of services for children up to the age of 15.
During the Great Depression, finding funding to keep the doors open at the Freeman Clinic and Bradford Hospital was challenging.
Dallas community members came up with several innovative fundraisers, including two events at the fairgrounds: a charity horse show that benefited the Freeman Clinic and an admission-only “display” of incubator babies under the care of Bradford physicians.
Doctors and nurses required special training in the health care needs of children. Nurses began rotations through the baby camp, as did medical students from Baylor College of Medicine. Later, medical students from Southwestern Medical College, the forerunner of UT Southwestern Medical School, also trained at Bradford and Freeman. The dental clinic at Freeman earned national recognition for its pediatric dental internship program, started in 1935 by Drs. Younger and Taylor, both of Baylor College of Dentistry.
In the 1930s, Dr. Gladys Fashena was among a few women physicians in Dallas. In 1939 she launched a cardiac clinic at Freeman. According to Dr. Fashena, the doctors of that day “had aspirin, diuretics, prayer, transfusions – and little else.”
Top: The Hess bed used at the Bradford Hospital was an early version of the incubator.
Middle: Auxiliary members provided support through the years.
Bottom: Medical and nursing students train alongside mothers in a classroom at Bradford.