Our Medical Administrators' Council, held October 17-19, 1937, in the Battle Creek Sanitarium, prior to the Autumn Council, proved from several viewpoints to be a most profitable occasion. That this opportunity for studying the mutual problems of institutional and departmental work was greatly appreciated, we judge from the frequent expressions heard from those present, and as crystallized into a motion and vote at the close of the council.
Besides the members of the Medical Department of the General Conference, there were present medical directors, business managers, chairmen of sanitarium boards, and superintendents of nurses from nearly all of our North American sanitariums, besides others not directly connected with denominational or private institutions. Dr. R. J. Brines, from the Yencheng Sanitarium and Hospital, China; Dr. Douglas Semi-liens, from the Gifford Mission Hospital, India; and I. E. Gillis, manager of the Seoul Sanitarium and Hospital, were present and gave a world touch to our convention.
Each morning the devotional hour brought instruction and inspiration through studies conducted by Eider Montgomery on "The Motive in Service," and by Elder McElhany, who pointed out that the material things with which we may be daily occupied will be destroyed, but only the vital, all-essential spiritual things will remain,—"The things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternaL" And the study conducted by Elder Spicer on "The Spirit of Prophecy in Relation to the Development of our Medical Work" was highly informative.
Dr. H. M. Walton, the chairman, ably guided our deliberations. His discussion of "The Pattern and Objectives of Sanitarium Work," and of our proposed Medical Missionary Association plans, was most constructive.
The council agenda was a full one. Many topics of wide interest were studied in general session with all the groups present. Items of a more specific nature were assigned to the medical and nursing section, and to the business section. The studies were enlightening and constructive. The counsel of wide experience, of which we received the benefit in considering the many present-day problems in sanitarium administration, was very profitable. Such councils do much to make for unification and greater cooperation in institutional work.
In view of the widespread need for trained administrative workers, it is planned that some of our institutions provide further training for such workers as medical directors, managers, superintendents of nurses, matrons, technicians, chefs, etc. Special emphasis was placed upon the need for more intelligent and more extensive use of physical therapy, especially hydrotherapy and massage, and the adequate training of nurses highly skilled for such work. Wage schedules, group hospitalization, the sick poor, improved service standards, nursing service, business methods, sanitarium family life, future of nurse graduates, health education (institutional and public), ethical advertising, institutional buying, insurance, credits and collections, all received their share of discussion, and much help and unification in denominational procedure resulted from the mutual exchange of ideas.
The interest shown and the large attendance were encouraging. The delegates were very faithful in attending meetings, and manifested an excellent spirit. The discussions were free and frank and helpful at all times. A resolution was passed requesting future meetings of this nature.
M. A. H.