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6
The Mount Sinai Hospital Bulletin

... Mr. Harlow then presented the memorial to Mr. Blumenthal ... (Applause).

Toastmaster Speyer: I am not going to introduce him. (Applause).

Mr. George Blumenthal: Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, my friends: I needn't say that I appreciate this evening more than I can express. My heart is touched by all you have said, by your expression of devotion, by the  great gift that has been presented to me.

When reference was made to two Trustees, one of whom was a pacifist, I suppose I was meant as the man of battle. So I take it that the man who told about the battle meant me. There is a battle now going on in me. I am trying to find out whether you know me better than I know myself or whether I know myself better than you know me. I really do not believe that all these things which you have said about me are true, but far be it from me to tell you what I know about myself. (Laughter). I made a similar remark once, last year, when a dinner was given to the head of the Business Council of Federation and after six or seven speeches eulogizing him had been made and I was asked as the last one to put my stamp of approval on everything that had been said and to add a little to it. I said I believed the only one who would add anything to what had been said was the honored guest of the evening, but I was afraid what he would say would not be appropriate to the occasion and might better be left unsaid. And so, the same thing to-night.

Dr. Goldwater has referred to a few of the intimate remarks once in a while made to him. At times I believe he has tried to convert me to his belief and he has not succeeded. I have peculiar views of life, and I adhere to my opinion that whatever we do we do for more or less selfish reasons; and if we try to do what people consider good, what people consider beneficial for others, we do it for the pleasure we get out of it.

Mount Sinai Hospital to me has been a continuous pleasure. The little I gave in return was not full pay for what I did get through my connection with Mount Sinai Hospital. If there is a debtor in the case, it is not Mount Sinai Hospital but it is George Blumenthal. I have to apply to myself the yardstick I apply to others and I have spoken in the same strain twenty-five years ago to trustees who felt so proud because they came to the Hospital on Sunday morning. If said if there was anything else in the world that would give them more pleasure, they would not come to Mount Sinai Hospital. It is the same with me. I get pleasure out of it. I do not know exactly what it is. It is not the desire for power; it is not the desire to earn gratitude; it simply happens to be my nature. And if, incidentally, my selfishness has done good, so much the better for the others and for myself.

Now let me get away from Mount Sinai Hospital and speak about something else for a few moments.

I am grateful to all of you who are here this evening to honor me. But I am particularly grateful and particularly appreciative that a lady whose time just now is so precious, whose duties are so great, has given up the evening, has torn herself away from obligations much more important than this one and has graced this assemblage with her presence. I speak of Mrs. Herbert H. Lehman. Mr. Lehman just now after four years of tenure of office as Lieutenant Governor has been nominated Governor of the State of New York. He has been nominated because Nature has gifted him with qualities which have been found good. We all hope for his success. And I believe I may speak in your name when I ask Mrs. Lehman to take home a message from this meeting, the message that we wish the Governor success in this new undertaking; we wish that he may win the battle, which he deserves so much to win, and to say to him that when he comes out of it successfully we shall come and shake him by the hand and say, "Thank you, Governor" and that we will then congratulate ourselves and the community that we have such a man in office as Governor. (Applause).

Now to come back to Mount Sinai Hospital - the work I have done I could never have done had I not been supported so loyally by a Board of Trustees which became better and stronger and stronger as the years went on.

I never was a believer in the old idea that the old people are the ones who know and the younger generation must look back and learn and follow in their footsteps. I think very frequently the  younger men can help older men to grasp new ideas and to help them carry them out.

Forty years is a very long time and perhaps it is time for me to make room for somebody else. But when look around and see that I have two colleagues, Mr. Cullman and Mr. Lewisohn, who are with us thirty-five years, that is only five years less than my term of office, and when I see that I have four co-directors who are with us thirty years, the Chairman of this Meeting, Mr. Speyer, Mr. Hugo Blumenthal, Mr. Wimpfheimer and Mr. Arnstein, who have stood by me through many tribulations, then I say as long as those who work with me think I can be of use, and helpful to the Hospital, I shall be very glad to be with them not only for the good of the institution, as they see it, but also for my own selfish pleasure, as I see it.

Federation has been mentioned. Federation is represented by a very enterprising young man. He never looked for an easy job, but knowing that it was rather difficult to get money in these times he said I am the man to handle it and we all were willing to bow down to his demand and we made him president.

There are two difficult situations to be faced at the Hospital. One of them arises when positions are to be filled on the medical staff. Of course, every associate thinks he is fit for the highest position. Every adjunct thinks he is fit to be associate as a stepping stone to the highest rank. There is no longer much wire pulling because for many years wire pulling has proven to be rather more harmful than beneficial. Still, it is a very difficult situation because at times you can appoint only one and many are fit for the place.

The other thing relates to Federation. They are a lovely Federation when they want something. They are lovely when they ask you for statistics. And then comes the worst thing when they think they know something about medicine and they give pills. At present their favorite prescription is pills for reduction. The medical fraternity calls them, I believe, reducing pills. I can assure you we were given so many reduction pills this year that there is danger that we may pass out if we get any more. (Laughter).

No, Ladies and Gentlemen, I really do not think I can add anything more. I just want to thank the members of 

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The Mount Sinai Hospital Bulletin   7

the medical staff for the devotion they have given at all times to the Hospital because there is really only one class of people more important to the Hospital and more necessary to the Hospital than the doctors and that class is made up of the patients. Without the patients the doctors would be absolutely useless. So there are three categories in the Hospital, the doctors, the patients and the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees, of course, in the eyes of the doctors are a self-sufficient lot, a necessary evil. But really, we are not quite as bad as our friends and doctors think, and in fact we get along very well together. I hope this will continue and that our friendship will grow firmer and firmer as we go along.

Thank you all for the great honor you have conferred upon me. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the compliment you have paid me. And I bid you all Godspeed. (Rising Applause).

Toastmaster Speyer: Ladies and Gentlemen, I am sure you all feel as I do that in honoring Mr. Blumenthal we are honoring ourselves and we wish him many more years. (Applause).

... The meeting then adjourned ... 

GUESTS ATTENDING THE DINNER

LOUIS W. ABRONS
LEO ARNSTEIN
NELSON I. ASIEL
GEORGE B. BERNHEIM
EDWIN M. BEROLZHEIMER
GEORGE BLUMENTHAL
HUGO BLUMENTHAL
H. WALTER BLUMENTHAL
MRS. ALFRED A. COOK
JOSEPH F. CULLMAN
MYRON S. FALK
ALBERT FORSCH
MAURICE FRANKFORT
DR. S.S. GOLDWATER
FRED H. GREENEBAUM
ARTHUR H. HARLOW
MRS. WALTER A. HIRSCH
LEONARD A. HOCKSTADER
SAMUEL JACOBS
CHARLES KLINGENSTEIN
WALDEMAR KOPS
MRS. HERBERT H. LEHMAN
ADOLPH LEWISOHN
ARTHUR LORSCH
DEWITT MILLHAUSER
BENJAMIN MORDECAI
HENRY MORGENTHAU
DR. RUEBEN OTTENBERG
ERNST ROSENFELD
ALFRED L. ROSS
W.D. SCHOLLE
DAVID A. SCHULTE
JAMES SPEYER
MRS. ROGER W. STRAUS
HAROLD D. WIMPFHEIMER
HENRY F. WOLFF
DR. GEORGE BAEHR
DR. EDWIN BEER
DR. ALBERT A. BERG
DR. SAMUEL BOOKMAN
DR. JOSEPH BRETTAUER
JUDGE WILLIAM N. COHEN
DR. ROBERT T. FRANK
DR. ISIDORE FRIESNER
DR. HERMANN GOLDENBERG
DR. ISIDORE GOLDSTEIN
DR. LOUIS GROSS
DR. HENRY HEIMAN
DR. WALTER J. HIGHMAN
DR. LEOPOLD JACHES
DR. CARL KOLLER
DR. RICHARD LEWISOHN
DR. EMANUEL LIBMAN
DR. HOWARD LILIENTHAL
DR. CHARLES H. MAY
DR. A.V. MOSCHCOWITZ
DR. P. WILLIAM NATHAN
DR. HAROLD NEUHOF
DR. BERNARD S. OPPENHEIMER
JUDGE JOSEPH M. PROSKAUER
DR. ISADORE ROSEN
DR. BERNARD SACHS
DR. KAUFMAN SCHLIVEK
DR. ISRAEL STRAUSS
DR. JOSEPH TURNER
DR. FRED WHITING
DR. HEINRICH F. WOLF
DR. JULIUS WOLFF

When Mr. Blumenthal First Joined the Board
From the President's Report for 1892

"Total Receipts... $127,229.98
Total Expenditures for support of Hospital and Dispensary, also improvements and repairs... 114,275.36
Entire Assets, exclusive of Hospital and Dispensary buildings and contents... 186,123.23"
***
"For many years past, as the reports have shown, the facilities of the hospital have been taxed to the utmost, and the ever increasing demands, consequent upon the natural growth of the population and large immigration, make it incumbent upon us to provide for a greater number of the army of unfortunates. 

"It is therefore evident that the question of increasing our capacity has presented itself to us from time to time and with irresistible urgency. For a number of years you have been informed that our facilities were inadequate, and we can no longer view this condition with indifference. As your executive officers, we deem it our duty to impress these facts upon you and to state that the time to act has arrived.  

"At a meeting of the Board of Directors the following resolutions were unanimously recommended and adopted:
FIRST. That a new fireproof building be erected, on the present site of the hospital, or elsewhere, for the accommodation of 300 to 400 patients.
SECOND. That the necessary funds be obtained by issuing bonds."
***
From the Report of the Executive Committee for 1892

General Statistics

"Percentage of patients treated gratuitously... 88.61
Percentage of pay patients... 11.39
Total number of patients treated this year... 3,159.
Average daily number of patients... 193.23
Average length of stay in hospital - days... 22.39
Number of days in hospital care for the year... 70,738.
Number of days of hospital care gratuitous for the year... 61,700.
Cost per diem per capita ... $1.27 3/4"

***
"While the resources placed at the disposal of the management of the hospital have been most carefully husbanded, they have not kept pace with its increased expenses and the greater demand for its benefits. It is generally conceded, however, that the progressive and liberal policy by which our institution was governed for so many years has created the larger field occupied by the hospital at the present time, and has resulted in the high standing accorded to it in this and other communities.

"The present building was dedicated and occupied on the 29th of May, 1872. The tabulated statistics of that year, therefore, represent but a part of the work for 1872. It is necessary, on that account, to use the statistics of 1873, from November 20th, 1872, to December 1st, 1873 (the period of time covered by the report of that year), to enable

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