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January 25, 1947


JAMA. 1947;133(4):250-251. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880040036013

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Washington Letter  (From a Special Correspondent)Jan. 23, 1947.

Opposes Transfer of St. Elizabeths to District of Columbia  In vigorous fashion Dr. Winfred Overholser, nationally known superintendent of St. Elizabeths mental hospital, has expressed his opposition to the proposal that it be transferred from the federal government to the District of Columbia for use as a master hospital and welfare center. He said: "I have no enthusiasm, personally, over seeing the hospital transferred to the District as an omnium gatherum, hodge podge bedlam for various city institutions. It would cost the hospital its reputation as a nationally recognized teaching and research institution. It would be a return to the Middle Ages. A calamity." He pointed to slashes in health department budgets and cited the psychiatric ward at Gallinger Municipal Hospital to illustrate what would happen to St. Elizabeths under municipal direction. "An elevator shaft was built years ago when the

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