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The 1940s

Weymouth Hospital began the decade by becoming a member of the Associated Hospital Service of Massachusetts. Its occupancy level had continued to grow and was now at 93 percent. The pre-war period brought steadily rising admissions, due in part to an increase in industrial accidents and obstetrics patients. To help ease the strain, an admitting officer was hired in 1940, and in 1942, the Hospital reduced maternity stays from 12 days to seven. Still, more space was needed.

Youngster getting discharged, 1940
Nurse Pearl Hastay and
physician discharge
a youngster in 1940.

In 1944, W. Carleton Barnes resigned as president due to ill health, and Albert Vinal was elected in his place. Under Vinal, the Board of Trustees expanded from 21 to 27 members to better represent the towns surrounding Weymouth. Vinal also hired the Hospital's first full-time accountant to keep the growing volume of financial records in order.

The year 1945 brought a new Hospital director, a new building, and a new name. Dr. Arthur Perkins was named as the Hospital's first director, a post he held until 1967. Perkins took over at a hectic time, but his combination of skills as a highly-trained physician and an experienced hospital administrator enabled him to provide the leadership that Weymouth Hospital needed.

Edith Morris and child, 1943
Edith Morris and newborn
baby in 1943.

1945 also brought a new addition as an influx of government workers intensified the need for more space. Leased from the Public Works Administration and known as the Government Building, the addition housed admitting and general offices, accident rooms, a pharmacy, kitchen and cafeteria, maternity, pediatrics, and a nursery. The bed complement now totaled 117, including 40 bassinets.

The Hospital's growth and the reality that it was serving residents well beyond Weymouth's borders led to a name change in 1945: South Shore Hospital. The new moniker reflected the regional nature of its services and also stronger board representation from the surrounding towns.

Nurses in 1940s
Nurse Mary Morrissey (left) maintains
inventory while nurse Grace Hurley
prepares to deliver medications. 

In 1947, under the guidance of the trustees' public relations committee, The Friends of South Shore Hospital, Inc., was formed to replace the Women's Guild, with Mrs. Herbert French as its first president. The Friends would continue to function as a vital source of generating goodwill for the Hospital and also raising funds for new programs and services.

During the remainder of the decade, the Hospital progressed on several fronts, adding a new blood bank, instituting a stipend for living expenses for nurses (who no longer had to pay room and board), and opening The Friendly Gift Shop, operated by The Friends, in 1949. The medical staff liquidated the remainder of the debt from the 1936 PWA building by donating $14,000, and the Hospital continued to lease the 1945 PWA building. Guided by its trustees and aided by the medical staff's donation, the Hospital ended the decade in solvency.

Friendly Shop, 1949
The Friendly Shop opened in 1949. From left to right,
Beatrice Jenkins, Margaret Knox, and Eleanor Cormach.

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