Remember St. Clare's

1970s - Milestones in Patient Care

1970s | Dedication | Photos | News Clips | Headlines

Cover Story - The Clarion
July, 1976

Dedication of the New and Renovated St. Clare’s to be Held on Hospital Grounds Sept. 1; Twenty-Seven Years to the Day the Institution Opened

St. Clare’s Hospital, now more than twice its original size, will be formally dedicated at ceremonies Wednesday, Sept. 1, at 3 p.m., on the hospital property. Announcement of the event was made by The Rt. Rev. Msgr. Howard Manny, President of the Board of Trustees, who also is serving on the arrangements committee.

Committee chairman is Roger Calkins, Assistant Administrator-Personnel Services. Other members of the committee include: George O’Connell, Director of Materials Management; Mrs. Jeanne Swanson, Director Volunteer Services; Sister Eileen, Department of Pastoral Care; Rosemary Reilly, Director of Nursing Service; John Halpin, member of the Board of Trustees; Doug Menzies, Administrative Assistant, and Mrs. Betsy O’Neal, who serves as Secretary of the group.

The event will be of added significance in that the dedication ceremonies will be held twenty-seven years to the day that the hospital formally opened its doors.

The Bishop of the Albany Catholic Diocese, who serves as Chairman of the Hospital Board, will be invited to present the Imposition and Blessing upon the dedication of the Crucifix to be placed in the main lobby. Msgr. Manny will act as ceremonies chairman.

An effort is being made at this time to have several local civic, business and professional leaders on hand during the program, as well as representatives from area hospitals.

Tours will be held, under direction of volunteers, and these areas will include the Teletracer, Pediatrics, Physical Therapy, Maternity, Pharmacy, Radiology, Medical Library, Pastoral Care, Chapel, Security, Pacemaker Monitoring area and the Laboratory.

A filmstrip will be shown in the room to be named for Sister Bonavita, Formerly Associate Administrator. Invitations have been extended to Sisters Bonavita and Alphonsine and, hopefully, both will be able to attend. Sister Alphonsine was St. Clare’s second Administrator, succeeding Sister Lamberta, the hospital’s first.

St. Clare’s threw open its doors to all faiths on Sept. 1, 1949. Ground breaking ceremonies were held on Oct. 27, 1946. At this time, the late Dr. William Gazeley, President of the Schenectady County Medical Society, and a member of St. Clare’s Advisory Board, hailed the ceremony as "an occasion that doctors of Schenectady County have anticipated for more than twenty-five years."

It was in 1917-18 that a plot of land near of land near Central Park was purchased by the late Bishop Thomas F. Cusack of Albany Catholic Diocese; The land was to be used for a hospital. But the death of Bishop Cusack postponed continuation of the dream.

In 1942, sixteen additional acres were purchased from the Furman Estate, and after petitions were circulated throughout Schenectady, a meeting of 300 persons was held in the Hotel Van Curler in June, 1945, and it was unanimously decided that the hospital project should begin.

The public responded enthusiastically. A drive for $1.2 million was launched and oversubscribed by nearly $300.000. But rising costs created a demand for more capital and a second fund drive was launched and this, too, proved successful, with $1,553,809 pledged.

Those were difficult years; along with rising costs were problems of materials. In July, 1946, for instance, the Civilian Production Authority denied permission to erect buildings "due to the shortage of the materials and facilities required." But the CPA shortly afterwards reversed its stand and granted the authority. World War Two conditions impeded progress, but did not destroy it, and St. Clare’s was finally completed and opened.

Now the hospital is more than twice its size, modernized in all respects; important departments centralized in location, and its reputation firmly established throughout the northeastern United States.

It is the NEW St. Clare’s which will be dedicated, the new representing the past, the present, and hopefully, advancements to be made in the future.

1970s | Dedication | Photos | News Clips | Headlines