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October 10, 1977

Primary Hospital for a Presidential VisitRecommendations for Designated Community Hospitals

JAMA. 1977;238(15):1635-1636. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280160029021

HOW DOES an 82-bed community hospital respond to the official White House designation of "primary hospital" for emergency services during a presidential visit? The Clinton Hospital was faced with this dilemma when President Carter decided to visit Clinton, an industrialized but relatively isolated town of 13,900 population located in north central Massachusetts. His visit was part of a campaign promise to keep in touch with the people. His advisors chose Clinton as a typical American town. The President accepted invitations to participate in its town meeting held March 16, 1977, and to remain overnight in the home of a private citizen. During his participation at the town meeting, President Carter was greeted by 15,000 people outside and 850 people inside the town hall. This was reported recently in a supplement entitled The Visit in the Clinton Daily Item Press, April 21, 1977.

In the absence of formal guidelines, our hospital's