Kathryn V. Schach, RN, CCRN
Our history begins…
October 9, 1875. Good Samaritan Hospital opened its doors with 25 beds and a staff of five, founded by Bishop Wistar Morris, an Episcopalian leader in Oregon for many decades. He was a man of power and influence, but never lost contact with the common man. Portlanders fondly remembered that frequently “private errands of mercy sent him riding through Portland, on horseback, coattails flying.” In 1880 Bishop Morris succeeded in finding two graduate nurses to come west to work at the hospital. In 1884 Superintendent Emma Wakeman began 20 years of service to the hospital. She introduced greater efficiency and better patient care at the hospital. However she was not a nurse and found her superintendent duties merging with medical—she sometimes oversaw surgical operations. Bishop Morris knew the time had come for a training school for nurses and was able to realize this dream for his beloved Good Samaritan Hospital. His vision, faith and generous spirit opened not only a hospital, but created a legacy.
In 1890 a new era began, when Emily Loveridge arrived to establish the first school of nursng in the Northwest. Emily Loveridge was a graduate of New York’s Bellevue Hospital School of Nursing—the first nursing school in the United States. She brought and taught the latest in nursing, as well as operating room techniques. Prior to Emily Loveridge’s arrival, the practice was to stick threaded surgical needles in the window shade!
She began the school on June 1, 1890 with five students, three of whom were on the hospital staff at the time the school opened. A desirable student was described as “…must have a good constitution,” “…must have some education, the more the better,” and “…she must have a sympathetic nature.”
Training under Emily Loveridge meant caring for patients for 12-hour shifts, then attending evening classes in her room. Miss Loveridge later remembered: “as instructress I often wanted to go to sleep, so did those tired girls who had worked hard all day. But we had our hour of anatomy, physiology, material medica…or an hour in Clara Weeks Manual of Nursing.” Under Emily Loveridge’s meticulous eye,they cared for patients suffering diseases prevalent at the time—typhoid fever, malaria, syphilis, tuberculosis and diphtheria, plus worker injuries from logging, farming, mills and construction. The training and patient care extended beyond Emily Loveridge’s classroom and the bedside. The nursing students and graduates “were an integral part of hospital operations.” They did any work that needed to be done--sewing, cleaning, painting, as well as spending time in the diet kitchen while in training.
What a glorious day when the first graduating class of 12 women graduated from Good Samaritan Training School for Nurses in 1892. As the hospital grew so did the School of Nursing and the reputation of excellence. In 1896, Good Samaritan was the fourth largest Episcopalian Hospital in the U.S.
In 1898, 11 graduate nurses left Good Samaritan to serve in the Spanish American War. The hospital was proud to hear from a high ranking Army officer that the “women were the BEST surgical nurses.” During World War I, 103 graduate nurses went to work in army hospitals, and Emily Loveridge wrote to each and every one of them. Good Samaritan nurses treated patients at the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland, refugees from the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, and in 1918 cared for 1,200 patients during the Pacific Coast flu epidemic.
Emily Loveridge became Superintendent of Good Samaritan Hospital in 1905. She was the first woman in the nation to administer a 300-bed hospital. She not only provided leadership and service to the hospital and school of nursing, she also served in professional organizations, including Vice-President of the American Hospital Association. She raised the level of professionalism, working successfully to attain the registration law for nurses and the betterment of conditions and regulations. The class of 1924 was the first class of graduates who took an examination before the state board of nurse examiners. Emily Loveridge’s own Oregon Nursing License was #6, issued October 19, 1911. Even as administrator, Emily Loveridge kept an “inflexible rule” of a daily visit to each patient.
A very prestigious visit came in 1909. United States President William Howard Taft visited a friend hospitalized at Good Samaritan. He complimented administrator Loveridge on the hospital’s “fine appointments.” At that time Good Samaritan was a block long brick hospital housing 250 patients.
A letter dated 1927 from the Medical Director of Activities, American College of Surgeons: “The Good Samaritan Hospital, Portland, is an excellent institution. They have a splendid training school and any graduate from this hospital has much to her credit. Miss Loveridge, [is] head of the hospital…possibly there is no other woman in the US who has rendered such magnificent public service. I would therefore heartily recommend this school of nursing to anyone interested.”
Emily Loveridge retired in 1930 after 40 years in her life’s work. She embraced her students as her girls, employees as her family and excellence in care of patients as her mission. A picture of Emily Loveridge in her cap, uniform and cape bears her inscription “Love to this family of my children.” Emily Loveridge set the course for generations of Good Samaritan nurses. “Her sincere manner caught the love and gratitude of every patient….she was to rear an institution and educate a community in kindness.”
Woven into the fabric of the Institution…
Hazel Hinds served 1948-1952 as Director, Good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing, and 1952-1968 as Director of Nursing, Good Samaritan Hospital. When Hazel Hinds took over the School of Nursing, there was only a temporary accreditation. Within six months she had turned the school around. She changed the curriculum from “working “ courses to “education” courses using NLN (National League for Nursing) material. As Director of Nursing at Good Samaritan Hospital, Hazel Hinds sense of team, innovation and vision set forth many lasting accomplishments. These included both the first centralized supply and sterilization, and the first recovery room in Portland, as well as the development of the first intensive care unit and the first dialysis department in the state of Oregon. Perhaps this statement made by Miss Hinds summarizes her humble perspective regarding her career at Good Samaritan: “I am not strong on the idea of recognition for work I have done, as it was done with the help of many excellent head nurses. Along with faculty we made many improvements so our student nurses could see and practice good nursing.”
Woven into the Fabric of the Institution…
The Lloydena Grimes Years: 1952-1982.
When Lloydena Grimes became Director of Good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing, the philosophy of that time was that the rigid, multiple rules for student nurses “promoted discipline and prepared nurses for the professional and moral standards of their craft.” Over the years, Lloydena Grimes guided the school with changes toward modernization and unification, and helped the school develop an international reputation for excellence in nursing education. Enrollment tripled, she saw the admission of the first male nursing student in 1970, and with Loveridge Hall dedicated in 1966 and the Education Building—now Petersen Hall—opened in 1968, the classrooms, nursing labs and faculty offices were under one roof for the first time.
Lloydena Grimes made many lasting contributions to nursing and to the community. Her major goal was to successfully transition the last diploma School of Nursing in the United States to successfully merge with an excellent institution of higher education—Linfield College—so graduates could be awarded baccalaureate degrees in nursing. “EVERYONE wants our graduates. It ‘s sad to have to phase out the [diploma] program, but this is the trend of the times. We have to move along or we are lost.”
In June 1985 the lastclass of Good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing graduated. A cumulative of more than 4,000 nurses were graduated in the 95 year history. The closing ceremony for the school featured Governor Victor Atiyeh as keynote speaker, who commended the school for 95 years of excellence in nursing and conveyed the appreciation of all of the people of Oregon “touched by the caring hands of graduates of your proud institution.”
The transition completed, the lamp lit and passed, Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing moved forth with a boundless future of excellence in nursing education to add to the tapestry of history.
Woven into the fabric of the Institution…
Dr. Pamela Harris, Dean, Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing, 1984-2002.
Pam Harris led Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing through formative and challenging years. She was described as “dean, director, teacher and almost a den mother.” She provided the leadership for the development of a new cutting edge curriculum, steadfastly represented the school in state and national nursing organizations, helped develop and enhance the school’s relationship with Legacy Health, and increased the enrollment. Pam Harris helped innovate and implement the Bridge to Practice Program that helped students make the transition from student to practicing nurse. At the time of her retirement in 2002, Linfield graduates had the highest pass rate of any BSN program in Oregon. With an ever-present grace and passionate dedication, Pam Harris set the standards for her successors with her commitment to the highest ideals of nursing and higher education. Pam Harris stated near the time of her retirement, “I love this program. My blood, sweat and tears are here and I‘m really proud of all that’s been accomplished. It’s sort of like my child, my family.”
Woven into the fabric of the institution…
Bishop Wistar Morris, Emily Loveridge, Hazel Hinds, Lloydena Grimes, and Dr. Pamela Harris, with their legacies, are deeply woven into the history of Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing and Good Samaritan Medical Center along with many others throughout years of history and caring moments. There have been so many who helped sustain and advance the profession of nursing and nursing education locally and globally, as well as the mission, traditions, unity, wisdom and course of these institutions.
Upon her retirement in 1930, Emily Loveridge wrote Reminiscences of Forty Years in Hospital Work, in which she says: “Retrospection may not give us as much pleasure as looking forward, but it has its compensations… If the next forty years witness the same advancement in hospital work that has been made in the last forty, what will those who come after think of us today?... It has been my pleasure to see the hospital grow from a cottage type hospital to the metropolitan proportions of the Good Samaritan Hospital today. My life has been largely woven into the fabric of the institution and it has a very dear place in my heart.”
[Adapted from a presentation delivered to the Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing faculty and staff on October 22, 2012, commemorating the installation of the Peterson Hall historical display.]