Title: Ethel Hill [ BMC 1B ]
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00093243/00001
 Material Information
Title: Ethel Hill BMC 1B
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Interviewer: Alan Bliss
Publication Date: June 9, 2005
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Bibliographic ID: UF00093243
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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B: It's June 9, 2005. I'm at the home of Ethel Hill in Crystal River. This is part three
of my interview with Mrs. Hill in connection with the Bayfront Centennial. Mrs.
Hill, I'm looking at some notes that I've made on our conversation here recently,
and wanted to ask you about some specific personalities that you may recall from
your years at Bayfront, especially in the years after you came back to Bayfront
from having worked up north in Indiana. You mentioned the finance director who
came to work at Bayfront when Mr. Swanson came to be the administrator, and
the name of that finance director as I have it is Acton Chalu. Is that right?
H: Yes, that's right. Acton was helpful in working with the finances of the nursing
department as well as [with] the whole hospital. He also helped us remember
how to control our budget so that it would be within balance of what the hospital
was able to operate under. He was very helpful with any financial questions you
may ask him. He was very influential in helping us with our nursing budget, which
is the large part of the budget of a hospital.

B: Is it true that most employees of a hospital are under the nursing department?

H: That's very true.

B: Then most of the materials and supplies that the hospital consumes are actually
handled by the nursing staff as well.

H: That's very true, yes.

B: So the nursing department/operation is really a large part of the expense side of
running a hospital.

H: Yes, and in order to have a budget you could live by, Mr. Chalu was very good at
going over the budget with you-the numbers of people you needed for patient, as
well as the supply costs, and whatever else was anticipated in what we would call
big-budget purchases.

B: Big ticket items?

H: Yes, big ticket items that we would need in the nursing department for the
coming year. He was very good about that.

B: What can you think of that would be a good example of a big ticket purchase for
the nursing program?

H: Well, when you decide to change your patient care a little bit. For instance, we
had regular sheets we had to tuck in and work with to get them in tight. Then the
market came in with what they called fitted sheets. [break in interview] To furnish
a whole hospital with fitted sheets would be quite a large expense, and this would
be considered a big expenditure for the nursing department.

BMC 1B, Ethel Hill, Page 2

B: Just out of curiosity, what kinds of numbers are we talking about in terms of sets
of sheets for beds. You have to change sheets how often, for example?

H: Usually just once a day, but then there were other patients that needed them
changed quite often. It was just a matter of determining how many beds we had
and how many sheets we needed to take care of a patient in a twenty-four hour

B: How many beds did you actually have to plan for at Bayfront during the second
part of your time there, during Ken Swanson's administration for example?

H: Well, you know the patient load varied quite a bit at different times of the year,
and when we had an influx of patients, there would be up to five hundred. I don't
quite fully remember the number of beds at that period.

B: But several hundred in a full house at any rate.

H: Yes, and that's a big expenditure when you think about that many beds, and that
many sheets for the beds.

B: You and Mr. Chalu wound up having to work together pretty closely.

H: Yes, we did work very closely, along with the director of nursing and other people
in nursing who were involved with the item that we were looking at. Then in the
cardiac department we needed to get monitors and things of that sort, and that's
considered a big expenditure. The x-ray department I know has their big
expenditures, as well as the lab.

B: The cardiac monitors are the actual bedside monitoring devices that the nursing
staff then keeps an eye on to observe the condition of a patient.

H: Right.

B: How many of those did you have? Do you recall?

H: Well, I think we started off with two or three and we kept building it up. I don't
know how many they have now, it's quite a big department now.

B: Did the technology change a lot in cardiac monitoring equipment?

H: I'm not real certain, but it did change a lot.

[break in interview]

B: You've mentioned that Mr. Chalu was important in budgeting, and I guess his two

BMC 1B, Ethel Hill, Page 3

challenges as finance director were trying to keep a lid on costs on one hand,
and at the same time, just trying to look around the corner into the future and
figure out what kind of needs you were going to be having from day-to-day and
week-to-week and month-to-month. Who used to do that before Mr. Chalu? Do
you remember any of the people who preceded him?

H: I don't remember as to who did that before Mr. Chalu.

B: You seem to believe that he really made a big difference when he came into that

H: I think he was one of the most important people there. Next to Mr. Swanson, he
was the most important because he always had his finger on the finances and
where we stood and the goals that we were trying to reach, if we were able to
reach them monetarily.

B: When you say goals, how would you define your goals? Give an example of a
goal that you would try to meet.

H: We had a goal one time of setting up a specialized-well, it was the cardiac unit
again. The cardiac unit had to have special kinds of beds, special kinds of
equipment, and to set up that department it would take quite a bit of money. You
needed to know how much usage there would be for that item and estimate the
number of hours it was used [to see] can we afford it, will it pay for itself, or do we
have to wait until we have other funds available? By other funds, I mean
donations to pay for them. He had to have a lot of expertise in how to make the
best use of the money available that could be done.

B: Did he seem to be concerned a lot about having to account for money to the
public or to the hospital's board of directors? Was that a theme in his remarks
about his problems?

H: Well, I think he was more or less telling Mr. Swanson what was being needed
and they were collaborating anyway because you don't just move in and say, we
need this; you have to do a lot of background work to be sure that that is the item
that you really need and that the best use for that department is to have that.
Another thing, it did come in to thought, as to how often it would be used and
how often we could realize return on the investment that the hospital made.

B: When you had to buy a specialized piece of equipment like a cardiac monitor or
some other expensive piece of machinery, would it be Mr. Chalu who would
actually do the research and come up with the buying specifications for it?

H: Yes. Mr. Chalu researched the request as to the cost of a piece of equipment
and he did some studies on how often it might be used. He had a lot of expertise.

BMC 1B, Ethel Hill, Page 4

B: You say that you think his background before he came to Bayfront was as a
business accountant, maybe a tax accountant for a corporation up north?

H: Yes.

B: So he wasn't really a healthcare specialist, but he was a finance specialist.

H: Yes.

B: Would you say that you worked with him everyday, or almost everyday?

H: At times of the year I would meet with him most everyday for just brief periods. It
would depend on what we were doing, like what budget preparation. I'm sure
you've been involved with [that] in someway or another--that you need to have an
idea of what figures you can work with to take care of that certain item or that
certain procedure that you want to do. How long you needed to use a machine
for procedures would enter into how much you would charge for the use of that

B: You were a hospital employee who had the responsibility of making sure that
patients got taken care of.

H: Yes.

B: A lot of times, in any business, the financing department people are seen as sort
of the enemy. [break in interview] I was saying that sometimes the accountants
and the finance department staff sometimes are having a tug-of-war with the
people who actually do the work of a business or an institution like a hospital,
and I'm wondering if you ever had that kind of a feeling about your relationship
with Mr. Chalu and his department. Were you at odds?

H: No. We had, I think, a real good relationship in being able to talk about things
and not to feel like the other person was trying to deprive you of having that piece
of equipment, or could the hospital afford to give it to you to use. I got along with
him very well because it wasn't all give and take-well it was all give and take
actually, he'd give a little and I'd take, I'd give a little and he'd take. It was fine.
Being together when our goal was to get this piece of equipment for the hospital.
[It's] not that they didn't want us to have it, but we had to assure them that this is
an item that we would be using, not just something that would be sitting there
and saying, oh here it is, who's using it?

B: What kind of personality was Mr. Chalu would you say?

H: Well, I especially liked Mr. Chalu, so I think he was a very nice guy. I never had
any problems with Mr. Chalu. He and I got along very well together and I think he

BMC 1B, Ethel Hill, Page 5

was a real fine man.

B: Was he similar to Mr. Swanson in personality or demeanor?

H: I wouldn't say similar. They complimented each other.

B: I wanted to ask also about some of the other personalities that you recall from
this later phase of your work at Bayfront. One interesting name that came up
earlier was a laboratory staff person who I understand you became acquainted
with, at any rate-the sister to Joseph Waller. For the readers of our interview,
Joseph Waller is significant because he was extremely active in St. Petersburg's
civil rights movement. Some would characterize Mr. Waller as a radical, and
apparently his sister Emma worked with you at Bayfront Medical Center. What do
you remember about her?

H: Well, she didn't exactly work with me, but she was on the staff of Bayfront and
she worked in the laboratory. I believe that she was very calm, very quiet, very
friendly, and cheerful, almost the exact opposite of her brother. I'm sure her and
her brother thought maybe basically the same way, but they expressed their
opinions in a different ways.

B: Isn't that interesting that siblings turn out to be so different sometimes?

H: Yes, that is very interesting. It was interesting to know-I said, she never talks
much, she never says hardly anything, and they said, no, she doesn't because
she's not like her brother.

B: Did she use the name Waller?

H: Yes.

B: So she was not married?

H: I don't know about that. No, I guess she's not married if her name is Emma
Waller and she was his sister.

B: That doesn't always guarantee anything, but that's probably true. Do you think
that anyone ever talked to her from among the staff about her feelings about the
civil rights movement or her feelings about her brother's activism?

H: I don't think very many people were aware of the fact that she was his brother
because she didn't talk about it at work.

B: Was there anyone on the staff that you remember that you would say really was
someone who talked a lot about civil rights, or if you wanted to know about

BMC 1B, Ethel Hill, Page 6

something going on in the civil rights movement would be someone you would
ask about that? In other words, were there any activists?

H: The time I was there I don't think they were very actively engaged in doing very
much agitating in the nursing department or even in the hospital that I know of. I
think most of their problems at that time was with the city; the garbage workers.
The mural that hung in the city hall, which I thought was a stupid kind of situation,
they objected to the mural and the reasons they gave for it was in harmony with
the time that we went through that. I think they should have just taken the mural
down and forgotten it. It was just like, I won't give you a bite of my ice cream
because it's mine, and I want a bite of ice cream because it is yours. [I] just want
to do away with what you have and I don't want you to have what I have. It just
seemed sort of petty.

B: Kind of juvenile.

H: Yeah, it seemed sort of stupid at that time. Now other things that they did fight
for, I agree with them.

B: As far as the staff at Bayfront is concerned, those didn't really seem to be big
issues during your time there?

H: No, there was no conversation about [that].

B: You mentioned a couple of physicians who were on the staff at the hospital from
that period of time. I'll drop a couple of names and ask you what you remember
about these people. First of all, Dr. John Thompson, who was he?

H: Dr. John Thompson was in the role of just a neurosurgeon, and he was a
conservative man.

B: A conservative man?

H: Right.

B: How do you mean conservative?

H: Well, he would be sure before he started the operation that this is what would
help the patient. He wasn't just one to fly in there to see what was going on; he
wanted to be sure. I think he was a very excellent man, and I know he was a
good practitioner. He had good results as far as I was aware of, following his
surgery and his treatment of patients. He retired about the same time I retired,
and his reasons for retirement was the insurance cost, because insurance cost
for neurosurgeons was going sky-high.

BMC 1B, Ethel Hill, Page 7

B: He told you this?

H: Yeah. He said, it's not worth the trouble.

B: Do you think he retired earlier than he would have wanted to otherwise because
of that?

H: Well, I don't know because he was a very-I don't want to use the word religious
man-but he went to the Baptist church very close to the hospital there, and he
was a Sunday school teacher, which gives you an idea as to his character. He
had a very nice wife. His wife was an OR nurse.

B: That's operating room.

H: [She was an] operating room [nurse] before they got married.

B: Did they meet at Bayfront?

H: I do not know where they met other than she had been an OR nurse. He had
high standards. We did set up a wing of the hospital for his patients, and his
nurses were specially trained to take care of his patients.

B: Were you involved in supervising those nurses?

H: Yes, I was.

B: So you worked with Dr. Thompson at a level that had more to do than just patient

H: Well, we talked about who he would like to have and what he would like to have.
He would like to have these nurses educated so that they could better take care
of his patients.

B: That's interesting, do you recall anything that he asked for in particular?

H: No, I don't.

B: What would be a characteristic that would be useful to a neurological care nurse,
do you think?

H: Well, they were taught more about the reasons why certain symptoms occur, like
when you're examining the eye after a head injury how your pupils dilate or
contract. [It was] those kinds of things that only doctors usually know about, they
would teach them that so that they could more adequately take care of his kind of

BMC 1B, Ethel Hill, Page 8

B: So he would sort of hand pick people who would work well with patients in his
specialty. Did he get involved in helping direct and guide them and train them as
well, and supervise them?

H: Yes.

B: Did he seem to get along well with the nursing staff?

H: He did. He got along very well. He was a very quiet-speaking man and he was
very nice.

B: Well let's see, I have a name here, a Dr. Sidney Grau. His name has come up
before, but I wonder if you recall anything particularly about him, his specialty
and any interactions you had.

H: Dr. Sidney Grau was a character, but he was a nice man. He was a very
demanding man-I don't know if he was internal medicine or just [a] plain medical
man, I can't remember-but he had high standards for nursing care. When he
wanted the patient to have their blood pressures taken every four hours, that's
what he wanted. If he had any problems in nursing he would give me a call and
we would discuss in a friendly way what could be done about it. I found that
working with Dr. Grau, if you didn't lose your temper and explode, he wouldn't
lose his and explode. So we got along very well. A good example for Dr. Grau
was, one time I was talking to him and he was mumbling about insurances-about
this time everybody in the medical field was wondering about insurances. I said,
well, why don't you retire? Well, I could he says, but what would my office staff
do? They depend on me for a living and that's why I continue to be a doctor.

B: Was he serious?

H: Yeah he was serious. He really thought a lot of his staff.

B: That's interesting.

H: I said, well you're a great man Dr. Grau, not many people would do that. He was
a nice guy.

B: You mentioned Dr. Thompson and Dr. Grau both complaining about the cost of
insurance. I guess this was a common theme among doctors at the time.

H: Yes, it was quite common; it still is I believe a common theme.

B: Oh yeah, it's a big issue, and of course it keeps getting more and more important
every year. In the time that you were a nursing supervisor or director at Bayfront
Medical Center, when this subject came up to do with insurance and the cost of

BMC 1B, Ethel Hill, Page 9

insurance, who got the blame for that cost going up all the time?

H: They didn't seem to give any blame-only to the insurance companies being
greedy. They didn't place any blame on their coworkers who made mistakes.

B: I guess I wondered whether the attorneys came in for any lambasting as a result
of this the way they do now.

H: Not that I remember of, just the insurance companies.

B: Okay, the insurance companies wanted more money.

H: Yep.

B: Well let's see, another name that's come up in conversation here and there has
been a Dr. Mason, and I don't have the first name.

H: James.

B: That's the same name as the actor, James Mason. What was his specialty?

H: He was a cardiologist.

B: Was he an important figure on the medical staff at Bayfront?

H: Yes, he was on the medical counsel and the other physicians did listen to him
and I'm sure took note of his complaints about the nursing staff and about the

B: Did Dr. Mason have a lot of complaints?

H: Well, he wanted to run his department. I guess he got the idea from Dr.
Thompson having his department, so he wanted his department too.

B: A kingdom.

H: Copycat. [Laughing]

B: I gotcha.

H: But we weren't ready to do it yet in the cardiology department. It was still being
organized in the cardiology nursing department.

B: The first official specialty division among the nursing staff responding to a doctor
was this neurological nursing unit for Dr. Thompson. Then what I understand

BMC 1B, Ethel Hill, Page 10

you to say is that Dr. Mason, having observed that, thought that would be a good
thing for his cardiology operation on the staff as well.

H: At that time we had a psychiatric unit as well.

B: I see. Had that already been established before the neurological unit?

H: Yes, it had been established before I even arrived there. They had a special area
for these patients.

B: Psych is a specialty really-a long time specialty.

H: Yes. I remember, and I can't think of the doctor's name now, [but] he went to see
Mr. Swanson.

B: This would be the doctor involved with psych?

H: [Yeah], the one with the psych unit. He came into Mr. Swanson-of course I got
called [in because] this was in this two-year interim where I was the acting
director of nursing-so I went in and we listened to him. We were sort of agreeing
with him and sort of going along with what he wanted. Maybe it's good that I don't
remember his name because as we were sitting there, the next thing I know he
was crying, this doctor. I asked him why he was crying, was it something we
were doing? Then he told us he wanted to run his department as he saw fit. I
said, and what do you consider running your department then? He said, well I
want to interview my own nurses. I said, well I can't have any problems with that;
if you want to interview the nurse from your area, that's okay with me. I'm sure
Mr. Swanson won't object. [Mr. Swanson] said, no, whatever. I said, okay, who
do you want to interview the nurses? Do you want to delegate that to someone?
[He said], well I'll do it to start with, and then I will choose someone in my
department to do the interviewing. The funny part of it was, every nurse I would
send to them, they accepted. I thought, well, if that's all it takes to keep harmony,
so be it.

B: That suggests maybe that it was you who was doing a good job picking out
nurses to send over there to be interviewed.

H: Well, but he didn't realize that, and that's okay with me too.

B: Well the psych unit existed and then Dr. Thompson's neurological unit existed,
and then Dr. Mason wanted to establish a cardiology unit. Apparently that was
controversial because, as you put it to me, the hospital administration didn't feel
ready to do that, I guess because of the cost? Is that right?

H: Because of the cost and the fact that there wasn't anyone properly prepared to

BMC 1B, Ethel Hill, Page 11

run the unit.

B: When you say anyone properly prepared, [what do you mean]?

H: I mean our nurses were still learning how to do cardiology nursing.

B: I see. Did you have such things as cardiac monitors at that point?

H: Yes, we had them, but we were learning the hard way, so we had to send nurses
off to learn about this and to bring it back and teach the other nurses what they
had learned at this conference or wherever they went to. Then we did send them
on some field trips, like we sent them over to Tampa General to look at their
cardiology department. It was rather humorous-I went along on that trip-and I
said to the Tampa nurses, what would you do to improve your department? They
said, burn it down.

B: Really, why?

H: They said, it is not functional the way it is.

B: What was the problem for them?

H: I don't know what their problems were. I had enough of mine; I could hardly listen
to theirs. We did get a good idea how to set up a department by going to Tampa

B: Had Tampa General had a cardiology unit for a long time?

H: They had one in operation; I don't know how long. That was a fairly new, what
would you call it?

B: Sub-specialty?

H: Yeah.

B: About what year was this happening at Bayfront do you think? It was certainly
during the 1970s I guess.

H: Yeah, it was in the early part of the 1970s. We did a lot of growth in the time after
Mr. Swanson came. That was a lot of growth and a lot of new ideas brought into
nursing, as well as into the hospital.

B: Was that because the whole field of medicine was changing a lot at that time, do
you think?

BMC 1B, Ethel Hill, Page 12

H: It was that, and I think because you had an administrator who was willing to listen
and who would put into effect what he thought would be effective. It was a
cooperation of all departments.

B: Dr. Mason, I think you said he was a member of the medical counsel.

H: Yes.

B: Can you tell me what that medical counsel was? That's not something I'm
familiar with.

H: The medical counsel was comprised of the chief-of-staff, the medical staff. The
counsel was-I'm not sure I remember correctly what doctors were in the
counsel-I think to start with it was the heads of the departments like surgery,
medicine, cardiology, urology, psych. All those were represented on the counsel.

B: Was it strictly doctors?

H: Only doctors.

B: There was no one from the nursing staff?

H: The director of nursing was in that.

B: I see. How about the administration?

H: He was always it.

B: What was the purpose of the medical counsel?

H: They brought up problems and discussed problems and what would be good for
the hospital. It was pretty much an advisory sort of thing.

B: The final word still always resided with the hospital administrator I guess.

H: Right.

B: When it came time for the decision to be made about Dr. Mason's cardiology
unit, was that something that the medical counsel considered?

H: Yes, they did.

B: Did they have a scrap about it?

H: Yeah they did, and we did too. They had the doctors who went along with Dr.

BMC 1B, Ethel Hill, Page 13

Mason, of course, and they had the doctors who didn't go along with this idea.
Our own reason was that we didn't feel adequately prepared to set up the

B: Your reason; you're referring to the nursing division.

H: I had my nurses come down to the counsel meeting and tell them why. We asked
to be heard at the medical counsel.

B: How did that seem to go?

H: It went very well. I didn't have to say anything. I just made a statement at the
beginning saying that each one of the nurses here wants to make a statement.
We were sitting like little ducks in a row. They started next to me and they all
went down the [row]. The doctors all listened very politely and then we very
politely got up and left the meeting.

B: What did the medical counsel decide to recommend?

H: They said to wait until we felt adequately prepared to handle it.

B: Is that what Ken Swanson decided?

H: He went along with that, but he was afraid to make too many definitive
statements about it. He had to keep the good will of all the doctors.

B: I understand. The hospital has to attract doctors to come practice there.

H: Yes, and send the patients.

B: And bring patients with them. So there are some delicate politics always going on
between the administration and the medical staff. When it comes to the nursing
staff, I guess the nursing staff sort of has a role to play in that political equation,

H: Yes, the director of nursing is invited to the counsel meeting, but does not have a
voting privilege. She is there to answer any questions concerning the nursing

B: Would you, for example, occasionally find yourself discussing with Mr. Swanson
or Mr. Chalu, I guess it would be mainly Mr. Swanson, these issues that the
medical staff might want that he hospital was perhaps either not ready to do, or
thought perhaps it was better not to get involved in doing? Would you find
yourself trying to help hash out these areas of push and pull between the doctors
and the administration?

BMC 1B, Ethel Hill, Page 14

H: Well first of all, we are responsible to [the] administration to help run the hospital
in favor of the patient care. Then from then on you can talk to doctors and ask
doctors for help in promoting an issue, and they will sometimes help you and
sometimes not, depending on what the issue is. It sort of is a give-and-take
between that-you give a little, you get a little. It's not just strictly yes or no.

B: Do you think the medical counsel is pretty influential with the administration?
Were they powerful would you say?

H: Yes, I think so. I would say [they were] very influential.

B: Do you recall who the chief of the medical staff was at that time?

H: I know Dr. Baker was for quite a few years, but I'm not sure he was at that time.

B: Let me back up for just a moment and ask you a question about Tampa General.
You mentioned going over there with some of your nursing staff to have a look at
their cardiology unit and talk with their nursing staff about it. Did you think of
Tampa General as being a pioneering hospital with things like that? In other
words, on the St. Petersburg side of the bay, did you think of Tampa General as
being more cutting edge or more advanced in any ways?

H: Well, I think Tampa General has some departments that are more advanced than
any hospitals in our area, and at that time they had gone into cardiac nursing,
earlier than we had started. We were anxious to get one going to meet the needs
of our community. So we were doing everything we could do to get the
department ready to function, like having our nurses educated on what they were
doing and why. It's a lot of education you have to do there.

B: Sure.

H: You do have cooperation of the administration to move out into the community
where there's things that you can observe and come back and use the best ideas
that you have observed while you were there.

B: Let me throw another name out on the table for discussion. Crayton Pruitt; who
was he, and what did he do around Bayfront Medical Center?

H: He was chief-of-staff for awhile. He was a surgeon, and I'm not sure if he was a
general surgeon, but he was also a thoracic surgeon who did a lot of chest
surgery. I don't recall him doing any cardiac surgery at all, but he was a very fine
surgeon. If Dr. Pruitt operated on you, you were in fine hands. He was a very
accomplished surgeon.

B: Did he get along well with the other doctors? Was he congenial?

BMC 1B, Ethel Hill, Page 15

H: He was very affable. He was always smiling, he was always shaking hands, he
was always patting people on the back and he was very congenial.

B: Was he easy to get along with for the nursing staff as well?

H: Oh yes, the nurses thought he was wonderful. Dr. Pruitt. You almost had to have
a guard to get him through those halls.

B: I see.

H: He was very nice to the nursing staff. I've known of him doing nice things for
nurses outside of the hospital situation, and helping nurses out. That was still
close to the Depression years yet, because the salaries were not too high. A lot
of nurses got themselves into some financial problems.

B: We're talking about the 1970s here now, right?

H: Right.

B: You're comparing nursing salaries in the 1970s to ...

H: They were not too high yet. Not until Swanson came along did I notice-well not
until we got away from the city because we couldn't give a raise to a nurse until
the city approved. After we got away from the city we were able to raise the
salaries in other areas. Nurses are not always too good at managing their own

B: Well, it's not what they're trained to do.

H: No.

B: It seems to me as though, after you returned to St. Petersburg in the late 1960s,
a lot of things changed at Bayfront Medical Center. The hospital went private and
spun off from the city, Ken Swanson took over as the administrator, medical
specialities started to proliferate. You had people wanting to create sub-
specialities, even among the nursing staff, the technology changed a lot, you had
to spend more to keep nurses happy with their salaries, [and] doctors' insurance
costs were going up. It seems like all of a sudden it must have taken a lot more
money to run that place than it ever had before. Was it always a struggle for you
as you understand it, or for Mr. Chalu to figure out where to get all that money

[End of Tape A, Side 1.]

B: You were saying you remember talking to Mr. Chalu about these finances.

BMC 1B, Ethel Hill, Page 16

H: Yes. To help keep the costs down and yet have up to date premises, like the
fitted sheets against the other sheets. We even tried a procedure where you
have a beach-sized towel that you dipped in the solution and wrapped the patient
in and then massaged them for a bath, instead of a hand bath with soap and
water. That was interesting. Patients liked it.

B: I should think so.

H: I don't know whatever happened to that, I think it went the way of all things.

B: It seems interesting. It just must have been more and more of a problem to meet
the financial requirements of a big, sophisticated hospital like that, especially if
you did what it was that you were saying you were all about trying to do, to keep
meeting the needs of the community, which seemed to be changing quite a bit.
The more there is that's available in the way of medical skill or practices, the
more people want that, right?

H: That's right, you want to go to the best place you can possibly go to take care of
what's going on in your life.

B: How did Mr. Chalu and Mr. Swanson go about trying to juggle all that? Did you
ever get involved in discussing any of that with them?

H: Yes, we did. Mr. Swanson was a great guy to have meetings [with] and listen to
people. He'd have meetings, and it was usually after five o'clock, and we'd sit
there talking and talking and talking and talking and talking. My husband would
say, was there a telephone in the room? I'd say, yes, And he'd say, well why
didn't you call me and tell me you were going to be late? I said, I think you should
learn to expect this thing to happen because Mr. Swanson does like to have a lot
of input into his thinking so he can think about what to do for the hospital. You
know, you do operate on input, you and I, nothing in, nothing out.

B: That's right, the more the better. Those must have been very challenging years.

H: I tell you, it was one of the most interesting times of my life.

B: I should think.

H: I did enjoy working with Mr. Swanson, Mr. Chalu, and with all the doctors. I feel
like I had a pretty good rapport with everybody in the institution; most everybody I
will say.

B: Okay. Well we've added several names to our discussion of people that were
important during that period. Any names that you can think of that you would
throw in here now as we're wrapping up for today?

BMC 1B, Ethel Hill, Page 17

H: I think it's time to wrap up what Ethel Hill thinks.

B: Well, we can think of other things, but I'm going to stop the tape now and say
thanks again.

H: Well, I thank you and I do want you to thank those transcribers.

B: You just did.

[End of Interview.]

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