Medical history on display

Published 6:55 pm Friday, February 11, 2011

Recognizing and celebrating your history is a key part of growth.

Lord Bolingbroke once wrote, “History is philosophy teaching by example and also by warning.”

Thursday evening I had the pleasure of taking in Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital’s new History Exhibit.

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The display, located along the hall near the Wellness Center, is quite an undertaking and an impressive production.

Photos of administrators and key personnel date back to Bryan W. Whitfield himself. Artifacts, building drafts, scrapbooks and photos date back nearly as far.

Chrissy Brooker, Director of Public Relations at the hospital, certainly had her hands full in coordinating this display and soliciting items and medical artifacts.

However, the initial end result could hardly be more impressive.

As of now, the collection is relatively small but I expect it to grow as more and more people see the value in putting their items on display in a museum setting.

History, like art, is to be appreciated. Huddling it together in a closet, old shoebox or attic robs the masses of what can been seen and what can be learned from.

If you missed the opening Thursday, I encourage you to stop in and look at the Medical History of Marengo County. It offers a deepened appreciation for advancements in medicine and a glimpse into how our grandparents and beyond would have sought and received medical attention.

And, if you have any old medical items – including bills, photos of staff, doctors or facilities from Marengo County medicine – please contact the hospital and offer them for display.

Among the items Brooker is looking for are photos taken of employees while they’re on the job. Photos from families in the hospital are also welcome and encouraged.

All items unique to the Marengo County medical field are welcome, not just items from the hospital.

Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital, in conjunction with the Marengo County Historical Society, has worked hard to preserve an oft-forgotten part of the county’s lineage: medicine.

That’s an area that has, and continues to touch all aspects of our lives and deveres to be understood and appreciated.

Jason Cannon is the publisher of The Demopolis Times.