Sunday, June 21, 2015

Book Review: Images of America: Baystate Medical Center

Baystate Medical Center (Images of America Series)

by Thomas Higgins, MD and Linda S. Baillargeon
Charlestown, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2015

I've always been a local history buff and so I was excited to see this new edition from Images of America focusing on Baystate Medical Center, the largest medical facility in the Springfield, MA area. The roots of the medical center go back to Springfield City Hospital which opened its doors in 1870 in a farmhouse. It is interesting to read the historical text and view the images of the various institutions, buildings, and charitable donations would ultimately lead to the medical center we know today, which is still always in a state of change, evolving to better care for patients. The number of transformations also explains the various wings and configurations of the hospital, a building I get lost in every time I visit!

The medical center also has a storied history as a center for nursing and medical education. Images of the students and their dorms are also very interesting. One might be surprised to find that many of the doctors and nurses are photographed with a cigarette in hand - a sign of very different times!

This book would be of value to anyone who enjoys learning about Massachusetts history as well as to those who are interested in the evolution of medical care.

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