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Every hospital has a story to tell.  Regardless of whether it serves a small rural setting or a sprawling urban population, an area’s local hospital plays an integral role in shaping and defining its community.  It is often the heartbeat of a neighborhood, providing support in times of need while also creating jobs and stimulating the economy.  Babies are born within its walls, and loved ones die or are saved from untimely demise.  In many ways, the history of a neighborhood hospital is both the story of its patients and a snapshot of the times in which they live.

Too often, however, these tales are forgotten once a hospital is forced to close its doors. Still, there is much to be learned by these now defunct facilities that have cared for America’s inhabitants and shaped the evolution of her health care system.  Lost Hospital seeks to preserve these histories so that we as a nation might better understand the ways in which our country’s economic, social and political climate have influenced health care’s ability to remain available as a service and sustainable as a business.

America’s hospitals are closing their doors more rapidly than ever before, and now more than ever we must look to the past in an effort to protect today’s facilities. Lost Hospital does not weigh in on the current debate over health care reform.  Instead, it reminds us what provision of care has meant in the United States since the first almshouses tended to the poor and downtrodden in colonial America.  By recognizing the changes in the delivery of medicine over the centuries, we are better able to grasp what we as a nation value in the institution we call health care.  Properly understood, such insight will allow us to assist the hospitals of the future in their struggle for survival, rather than pine for the hospitals we have lost due to the growing pains of a continually evolving health care system.

 

All rights to “Lost Hospital” are owned by Garner Health, LLC.