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ARKANSAS.—State Hospital for Nervous Diseases.—The legislature recently made an appropriation of $25,000 for a tubercular building, $25,000 for a dairy and $50,000 for new buildings on a five hundred acre tract recently purchased. This farm and the new tubercular building will relieve the congested condition of the hospital, which is the only one in the state.
A school for feebleminded children is being established here. This is one of the most urgent needs of the hospital.
CALIFORNIA.—At a meeting of the California Society for Mental Hygiene held February 2, 1919, the passage of several bills was urged. One of these creates a psychopathic hospital, another establishes a department of psychology at the state penitentiary, and a third makes it possible for mild mental cases to be admitted for observation to the state hospital on temporary commitments.
CONNECTICUT.—The Connecticut Society for Mental Hygiene held its eighth annual meeting at the rooms of the Hartford Medical Society on December 18, 1918. The following were elected officers: President, Professor Charles A. E. Winslow (re-elected); Secretary, Dr. Thomas N. Hepburn; and Treasurer, Mrs. Josephine B. Bennett.
All patients of the former Connecticut School for Feebleminded at Lakeville have been transferred to the Mansfield State Training School.
- Connecticut Hospital for the Insane, Middletown.-During October and November the hospital suffered from the prevailing epidemic of influenza, there occurring 292 cases. A quarantine for visitors was established, patients' assemblies were discontinued, and the usual prophylactic measures of personal hygiene were adopted. But 7 per cent of the patients suffered from the disease, although over 26 per cent of the employees developed it, a considerable number of the latter living off the hospital grounds, and thus being more exposed to contagion. Twenty-three deaths occurred, or approximately 9 per cent of the total number of cases. The use of the O'Leary anti-influenza vaccine was instituted as a prophylactic measure, but after being administered to 67 persons, 7 of whom subsequently developed the disease, its use was discontinued.
The so-called “Frisbie property," lying between the hospital grounds and a neighboring street, has been purchased. The property is suitable for building sites, but will be used the coming summer for gardens for women patients.
The new concrete piggery has been completed, and is a very satisfactory unit. By the extensive use of patient labor in its construction, the cost was brought slightly below the estimated cost of $12,000.
Patient labor has also been largely utilized in removing the old greenhouse from its former site, adjacent to the Main Building, to its new site, adjacent to and connected with the new greenhouse erected two years
The card system of collecting statistical information was adopted in connection with the uniform statistical records, as was a card system which shows the service records of all employees, and upon which promotions and salary increases will hereafter be based.
The forty-watt electric lamps formerly in use are gradually being replaced throughout the hospital with one hundred-watt lamps, such replacement having been completed in the North Wing, Main Building, and the Middle Hospital. The larger lamps not only give more efficient lighting, but only 25 per cent as many lamps are required, and the life of the lamps is more than doubled.
On December 18 an exhibition and sale of the products of the occupational classes was held in the Amusement Hall. Booths and decorations were all arranged by members of the various classes. During the afternoon and evening approximately 500 persons were present, and over $800 was received from sales. The most interesting booth from a medical standpoint was that containing articles made by disturbed and untidy patients. Such articles were not sold, because of their educational value to new employees.
During the fourth Liberty Loan campaign the officers and employees of the hospital purchased $30,900 worth of bonds. During the War Work campaign in November the hospital contributed $500. During the Red Cross membership campaign in December, 351 members were secured, or approximately 80 per cent of all employees.
IDAHO.—The sterilization of mentally and socially unfit persons has been advocated by Dr. D’Orr Paynter, Superintendent of the Idaho State Sanitarium at Nampa, in his report to the trustees of the institution.
ILLINOIS.— It is announced that new buildings of the cottage type are to be constructed at the Dixon State Colony and that 700 patients are to be transferred to it from other state institutions.
INDIANA.—The third annual meeting of the Indiana Society for Mental Hygiene was held at Indianapolis, December 16, 1918, under the presidency of Dr. William T. Bryan, President of the State University at Bloomington.
-Eastern Indiana Hospital for the Insane, Richmond.-On March 5, 1919, a disastrous fire occurred in the men's building. One patient was burned to death and another was unaccounted for. Twenty-two bedridden patients were removed without mishap. The property loss was $25,000.
MARYLAND.—Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital, Towson.—The Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital suffered a very serious loss on the 21st of December, 1918, in the death of Dr. George B. Wolff, who had been connected with this hospital as an assistant physician since June, 1912.
Dr. Wolff was shot and killed by Dr. Norboru Ishida of Nagasaki, Japan. Dr. Ishida came to America in the latter part of December, 1917, together with two or three other Japanese physicians who were sent over by the Department of Education of Japan to make some studies in various departments of medicine. Dr. Ishida's object was to investigate the conduct of hospitals in this country and to study methods of care of the insane and psychiatry in general. Coming almost immediately to Baltimore early in January, 1918, he commenced work in the Henry Phipps Psychiatric Clinic of the Johns Hopkins Hospital and at the Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital. Until August it was his habit to spend part of the week at the Henry Phipps Psychiatric Clinic and two days at least at the Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital. About the middle of August he came to the Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital to reside and to render such assistance as he could in the work of the hospital, the staff having been depleted early in the year by the entrance of Dr. Humphrey D. Wolfe into the Medical Corps of the United States Army and in August by the entrance of Dr. George F. Sargent into the same service. Nothing unusual was noticed in Dr. Ishida's conduct toward any member of the staff. He was attentive to whatever duties were assigned to him and was busily engaged in doing some special work which he had outlined for himself. It appears, however, that he had commenced to harbor some suspicions concerning Dr. Wolff, but in his relations with the doctor he gave no evidence to any one that he had any but the pleasantest feelings toward him. On the evening before the tragedy he was seen talking and laughing with Dr. Wolff in the library of the hospital, and had that afternoon ridden out in the trolley car from Baltimore with the doctor and the hospital housekeeper, carrying on a pleasant and active conversation with them while in the car. As they left the car at the entrance to the hospital grounds he stated that he was going to Towson, the postoffice town of the hospital, to get some Christmas cards which he had forgotten. In fact, he went to Towson to secure Dr. Wolff's arrest for slandering him and calling him a spy, but was unable to find the magistrate either at his office or his residence. It appears that before coming from town he had also gone to a police station for the same purpose, but was told by the officer in charge that the police of Baltimore had no jurisdiction over residents of Baltimore County. While town he purchased a revolver and as far as can be ascertained did this before applying to the police.
On the morning of the tragedy Dr. Wolff was engaged together with Dr. Dunton from nine to ten o'clock in the hospital library with a class of nurses. At the conclusion of the conference Dr. Wolff walked to Dr. Dunton's office, where Dr. Ishida was sitting, and was apparently shot the first time while standing at Dr. Dunton's desk looking over the report of the night nurse for the night previous. One bullet entered the back and lodged in the spinal column. Another bullet apparently fired after he had fallen, entered the upper part of the abdomen and tore through the inferior vena cava, resulting in the doctor's death by hemorrhage. The third bullet struck his cheek near the malar prominence and passed out near the corner of the mouth without penetrating the buccal cavity and lodged in the floor. Dr. Ishida was seized and disarmed as soon as he could be reached, and said, in explanation, “I have shot Dr. Wolff. He called me a Japanese spy and a traitor to my country and this country." Upon being taken to jail he made a written confession in which he added to what he had already said that he had committed the act for the honor of a woman. He afterwards explained this statement as testified by Dr. Charles G. Hill, who examined him in jail, by saying that Dr. Wolff the Wednesday evening previous to the tragedy had assaulted one of the nurses in the Nurses' Home by pounding and beating her until she cried out, but that no one came to her relief. At the time of this alleged assault by Dr. Wolff the nurse to whom he referred was busily engaged on night duty in another part of the building.
Dr. Ishida was indicted for murder in the first degree, and on the 17th of March was placed upon trial before Judges Burke, Duncan and McLane of the Circuit Court for Baltimore County without a jury. The trial lasted three and a half days and ended in the conviction of murder in the first degree. Because, however, of some apparent doubt in the minds of the judges as to his mental status at the time of the murder, he was not sentenced to be hanged, but on the contrary, to imprisonment for life in the Maryland Penitentiary.
A brief obituary notice of Dr. Wolff appeared in the JOURNAL for January.
Dr. Charles H. Riley, who has been a trustee of the Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital since 1887, and who succeeded Mr. George A. Pope as president of the board early in 1918, died at his residence in Baltimore on January 23, 1918.
Dr. Riley had been a practitioner of medicine in Baltimore since 1881. For some years his practice has been largely confined to gynæcology and obstetrics and for a time he gave lectures on obstetrics in the Woman's Medical College of Baltimore, which institution is no longer in existence.
MASSACHUSETTS.-Gardner State Colony, East Gardner.-A woman has been added to the staff to act as companion (or social service worker within the hospital) to the patients. She, trained as a teacher in the public schools, has a knowledge of music, and will act as companion to the patients, both male and female, encouraging the reading of papers and magazines, library books, playing of games, arranging for special entertainments, assisting patients to keep in touch with their friends and relatives and in writing letters to them, and assisting in every way to make the daily life of the patients happier.
This companion will assist the medical staff in looking after the daily welfare of patients in a manner practically impossible for members of the medical staff to do because of their many other duties. Beneficial results are already being seen in the more active interest in reading, recreation and entertainment, and in letter writing by those patients who require some stimulation, which should result in a greater interest being taken in them by their relatives. It is expected that much good will result from the efforts of this worker.
-Monson State Hospital, Palmer.—The Monson Anniversary number of the bulletin of the Massachusetts Commission on Mental Diseases has just been published. This contains papers which were read at the meeting held at this hospital to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the work it has done. It also contains reproductions of quite a large number of placards which were used at this meeting, and it has a good number of reproductions of photographs showing the buildings and the work of the institution.
The average number of patients at this institution has been formerly in the neighborhood of 1200, although during the past year the number has fallen. Nearly 200 of the patients have been away from the hospital capable of doing satisfactory work, but now that the war stress for labor is lessening, these patients are gradually returning, as they cannot maintain themselves continuously. More have worked during this last year than at any other time in the history of the institution. This has decreased the amount of work done at the institution because the best workers have been absent.
The shortage on the medical staff still continues, although one member has already returned, and of the four others absent there is a fair prospect that two will return within a few months. The shortage of attendants has largely decreased now in the male wards, but in the female wards the shortage continues. The out-patient work has been kept up though considerably diminished during the war period.
There is at present no plan to increase the capacity of the institution until matters are much more settled than they are now.
MICHIGAN.–Kalamazoo State Hospital, Kalamazoo.—A bill has been introduced, at the request of the State Hospital, and is now pending in the Michigan Legislature, the object of which is to permit state hospitals in Michigan to conduct out-clinics and to provide future care and supervision of patients discharged from the institution. As reported in previous communications from this institution, the Kalamazoo State Hospital is already conducting out-clinics on its own initiative, at the request and expense of various counties in its district.
The object of the bill is to enable it to extend work of this kind and also to add to the service, after-care.