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The 1950s

The Fifties were a busy decade for South Shore Hospital, marked by many accomplishments, including the Hospital's first accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). The Associates of South Shore Hospital, a men's guild, was established in February 1950, and elected Harold F. Robinson of Braintree as its first president. A Social Security plan was first offered to employees in December of that year. In August 1951, the Hospital purchased the Government Building from the PWA for $20,000.

1953 was marked by the first Employee Service Awards ceremony, a new IV therapy service, a newly formed tissue committee, and the formation of a dental staff. To keep pace with technological and medical advances, the medical staff established monthly clinical meetings to discuss medical and surgical cases, and nurses formed the South Shore Hospital Nurses' Club.

Aerial shot of SSH campus from 1950s. Route 18 is on left,
Columbian St. is at top. Surrounding sweeping driveway (l-r)
is the power plant, West Wing at at angle, connected to
Administration building and Center building.

The medical staff organized a drug committee and became an affiliate of the Post-Graduate Medical Institute in 1954. The Institute arranged monthly lectures by selected instructors from Boston medical education centers, bringing teaching hospital expertise to the South Shore. In December 1954, the Hospital received a gift of approximately $50,000 from Children's Sunlight Hospital and earmarked it for improvements to the pediatrics department.

The new West Wing, with 43 new beds, opened to patients in 1955 and was acquired debt-free. The total number of beds was now at 152, including 57 bassinets. The Hospital began autoclaving needles and syringes, and established a genitourinary X-ray room, as well as a rotating emergency physician schedule to improve emergency coverage. In fact, South Shore Hospital became one of the first community hospitals in the country to arrange 24-hour emergency physician coverage.

Surgery, 1950s
A physician and nurse prepare
for surgery in the 1950s.

The Hospital expanded again in 1958 with the opening of the Children's Division, financed with funds from Children's Sunlight Hospital, the Ford Foundation, and public support. Beds now totaled 188.

The Hospital also opened a histology laboratory with a full-time associate pathologist, established a school for radiology technicians, and opened its first recovery room. Prior to 1958, patients had to recover in their own rooms.

As the decade drew to a close, the medical staff began to teach nurses what doctors were learning through the Post-Graduate Medical Institute by offering in-service education programs. Other highlights were improvements to cardiology services, (including the acquisition of pacemakers and a defibrillator), establishment of an outpatient EEG department, and a 40-hour work week and increased wages for nurses.

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