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Vision of the hospital: Hill-Burton and hub-and-spokes

The Hospital Survey and Construction Act (P.L. 79-725) was signed into law Aug. 13, 1946 and had two major purposes — 1.) to help states survey and plan for health resources needs; and, 2.) to provide funds to help build new hospitals and other health facilities after the Great Depression and World War II.  Known as the Hill-Burton Program, it was a significant federal initiative.  In this article, then Surgeon General Dr. Parran’s thoughts about the future role of hospitals is mentioned: 

  • “He visualizes the hospital of the future as having a broader and more important function than in the past.  It should be an instrument for total community health, an institution prepared to promote health and prevent disease as well as to treat the sick.”

That has a modern day ring to it!  This little gem of an article also has a nice description of the concept of hub-and-spokes regionalization of health facilities.

Source: Hoge, V.M.  The Hospital Survey and Construction Act.  Social Security Bulletin;9(10):15-17, Oct. 1946.  Click here for full text: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v9n10/v9n10p15.pdf Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org


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