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Interview with: Frances Heyck
Interviewed by: Dorothy Houghton / Deidre Denman Glover
Date: March 4, 1982
Archive Number: OHJL25.01
I: 00:06 This tape was produced on March 4th, 1982 by volunteers of the Junior League of Houston at the Houston Public Library. It is one of a series on the history of volunteerism in Houston. This series is a segment of the oral history collection in the Houston Metropolitan Archives at the library. The interviewers are Dorothy Knox Howe Houghton and Deidre Denman Glover. The subject of our interview is Ms. Frances Heyck.
I: Ms. Heyck, you’re a native Houstonian and a member of the Junior League of Houston. In 1943, you became a volunteer at the Junior League Clinic, and then you joined the clinic staff, an association which continued for many years. Thus, you have firsthand knowledge of the Junior League’s major health projects, both from the point of view of the hospital itself and also from the volunteer’s point of view. We want to ask you about the history of the league’s involvement in children’s health care as far back as you have observed it. How did you become as interested and committed to the field of children’s health care as you have been?
FH: Well, actually my conscience hurt me because one, the clinic at that time was a Junior League health center downtown in the Stewart Building, and it was the main project for the Junior League. And I had never worked in the clinic. When I became a volunteer of course I was a provisional for one year in the Tea Room, and then I worked 2 more years in the Tea Room assisting the musical chairman one year and then they tapped me, Mrs. Linda Jones, and said “We know you want to be chairman of the Friday musical” so I said “I hadn’t thought about that” and she said “Oh yes. Don’t worry, Ms. Carr and I will back you up.” I’m talking about Marjorie Carr, who was a longtime supporter of the Friday musical. So I became Friday musical chairman. So you can see that I had a very fine history of training for health care. Three years in the Tea Room and 2 years as Friday musical chairman. Well, summer time it was always hard to fill the volunteer positions downtown, and we had a Friary Clinic chairman, Nellie Black, and she got up in the Junior League and proverbially kind of shook her finger at everybody there and said “Now we have to have volunteers and this is your clinic, and we need some help.” I guess I felt like the famous Uncle Sam poster with the pointed finger, and so I tentatively volunteered and I was really very uncomfortable with it because I was not married and had no children and had never been around babies and children. I just wasn’t very—but I did because I felt that if I was going to be truly a member of an organization, and this was their main project, I should support it. So I went down and volunteered and fortunately for the clinic they didn’t need me as a volunteer for about a month because I really don’t think I was a very good one. I was afraid of it. But, of course, this was the war time, and they had about half—the secretary that was a Junior League member, who typed the doctor’s notes and kept the records and made the appointments. And the League member who had that position at the time was Mrs. Hastings, and she came to me one day and she said “Frances, you have got to take my position because my husband’s gone to war and I’ve got to have a full-time position. I have a child to raise, and you’re the only one I know that can type.” See, in those days, not many League members could type. In fact, there were practically no professionals, and my war effort was to go to typing school. As a graduate of Rice you were not taught to have a career, so we had no work skills. I can’t say that the Tea Room and the Friday musical gave me much except it taught me how to get up in front of an audience so my experience was actually very, very good. With Marjorie Carr’s help I learned to get up before an audience. So, because I could type Louise said “You’ve just got to take this.” I said “Oh, I don’t think I could. You know, I’m not sure I can do this.” “Oh yes, you can.” So again, I did it not because I really thought I could, because somebody said “You’ve got to.” She had to have full-time. Well, I guess that’s what happened. Now the health center in those days of course was just the opposite from what the Junior League or outpatient probably is today. The Junior League health center was essentially a well-baby center where we could do lots of immunizations, give lots of ultraviolet treatments, prescribe vitamins. We had a practicing pediatrician who came every morning Monday-Friday and—
I: 06:16 That was Dr. Boyd at that time?
FH: No, we had different ones. He was one of the ones. We had a different one. We had all the lady pediatricians who had not gone to war, like Dr. Fickel and Dr. Blish and someone named Dr. Calloway who was too old for the draft. You know, the war was there and the pediatricians were drafted and left Houston covered with just a bare handful. And we paid them the magnificent sum of $5 a month to come. We had 2 nurses. At one time we had one who went out and made home visits and one who stayed in the office. We had lots of good volunteers that would come in the morning. We had a part-time secretary.
I: 07:06 Were the home visits follow-ups to patients who had been to a well-baby clinic?
FH: No, ours was the well-baby clinic. There were not any city well-baby clinics.
I: So you saw the babies, and then you’d also see some of the mothers? Was there an obstetrical component?
FH: No, not when I was there. When the women’s clinic first started it was an OB/GYN when they first started. At one time when it was in the First National Bank they had—and Dr. Boyd was at one time—he was the paid doctor, the only doctor. But you see, they changed from that when they moved to the Stewart Building, I think. They changed from an OB, prenatal, well-baby clinic to a general clinic. Now when I say well-baby, what I’m saying is that relatively speaking there were few—we could see children who were not really sick. We could treat ear aches and sore throats and colds, and I think at one time they did some certification, but I’m not sure. They didn’t while I was there. But if a child was really sick, it was referred to the—
I: Okay, so that was part of the cooperative arrangement with Hermann that—
FH: And the Hermann did the lab work too. And Hermann gave us a space for the clinic, because the Stewart Building was owned by Hermann. Now, I understand the reason why that came about is that back in the early ’30s, ’32 or ’33, an evaluation was made of the original health center, which was in First National, and thought was given to maybe moving it into the outpatient of Hermann, which was the private charity hospital. And the management of Hermann said, “Rather than do that, we will give you office space free in our Stewart Building, and you in effect remain downtown.” And we were kind of probed into doing, which is a change from prenatal to general pediatric care, relatively uncomplicated diseases.
I: 09:46 And that’s right, and at that time I believe was when the OB patients were turned over to the Hermann clinic area. Okay. Did the move to Hermann Hospital in 1944, when it moved to become the Junior League Clinic of Hermann Hospital outpatient department, did that significantly change the nature of the clinic?
FH: Yes, uh-hunh (affirmative). It really did, and of course it was the beginning of what we called the medical center complex, or concept. Every institution in a medical center has 3 goals: patient care, of course, teaching, and research. And of course, the teaching and the research lead to better and better patient care, and we added 2 dimensions to our care when we moved into the medical center. We had always been doing quality patient care, but then we became affiliated as a teaching clinic, Baylor Medical School, which had just moved to Houston. And through that, we became part of their program of training pediatricians and other child care professionals, and also being on the forefront of the latest developments in care. So it was not an accident, for instance, that the very first heart surgery in Houston was a Junior League medical patient at Hermann, that the very first treatment for influenzae meningitis were all Junior League patients. That was really the exciting time for all of us because we could see right under our very eyes with our own patients the exciting advances being brought to Houston by the research that was done all over the country and then translated into patient care right under our eyes. And my excitement was to let everybody else in Houston know about this.
I: 11:59 Right. Let’s stop for a second. Excuse me. So the teaching and research functions of the Texas Medical Center really transformed the nature of the clinic into (unintelligible).
FH: Yes, we became a part—in fact, a forefront of pediatric care in Houston, and the training of pediatric personnel, pediatricians. You know, before the medical center, if you wanted to be a pediatrician I believe the closest training was possibly St. Louis Children’s or in New Orleans, something like that. It reflected in the patient care. If you had a really sick kid and had a lot of money you’d go to one of those pediatric centers.
I: Did Hermann Hospital have its own teaching program for physicians?
FH: Oh yes. Yes, and they had a very fine teaching program in certain of the specialties, some specialties, like obstetrics, surgery and urology. But not a well developed pediatric specialty, meaning they had internship in general medicine and that you could get pediatrics upon it, but not a graduate residency program is what—
I: So the presence of the clinic at Hermann contributed to the development of that special program?
FH: We added—the concept is that—and incidentally, I might back up a minute and tell you why we were in Hermann in the first place. We associated with Hermann in the first place to get doctors for our children. I found out real quick since I was the secretary—this was during the war, you know—and I remember a lot of the pediatricians were declared “nonessential” and that means that they were drafted in the army, as many doctors were. So Houston was left covered by less than a dozen pediatricians, those that the army didn’t want, like women in those times, and some of those elderly are more—you know—they were over the age. So we had a different pediatrician coming down to the health center every day, and they were also covering all of Houston, all of their private patients as well as the patients at Jeff Davis, which was the charity hospital then, and ours too. And many a time I would schedule appointments, and the phone would ring and it’s 8:30 and the secretary would say “I’m so sorry, Dr. Fickel will not be able to get to the clinic today. She has an emergency in Hermann in one hour.” And you just turn around and say to a room full of mothers with babies and sick kids that had come a long way to get there and have to tell them “I’m so sorry, but we don’t have a doctor today, and we’ll have to reappoint you.” Just do that a few times and you realize you don’t have much of a clinic. You have some lovely nurses and some lovely volunteers and a struggling secretary, but you don’t have a clinic.
I: 15:26 You need a doctor.
FH: You need a doctor, there’s no question about it. And that is the very simple principle upon why we then moved to Hermann, because the doctors—our doctors—simply couldn’t compete. They simply couldn’t cover everything. And so when Baylor came, our fiery clinic chairman went to the dean and said “Dr. Morrison, can you send us some doctors? Can you send us some medical students? Can you send us any help whatsoever? We have lovely patients. We just don’t have a doctor.” And he said “Ms. Black, I’ll do better than that. I will send you our first full-time pediatrician, Dr. George Simmon, who is coming as an instructor in pediatrics from St. Louis Children’s Hospital.”
I: 16:07 And let’s see, Baylor came—the Baylor program came along after Hermann already had an active teaching program, and then Baylor also established one, right?
FH: Baylor brought an undergraduate, you see, training medical students. You see, when you’re talking about a teaching program there are different levels of teaching. There’s undergraduates—
I: Right, so it was the Baylor medical school. Okay. What was the pediatric ward program that was established in 1946?
FH: Well, when we moved the clinic—I might add that the decision to move the clinic from downtown in the health center to Hermann came about when Baylor started sending us pediatric help. You need to know this, because Dr. Salmon started coming down and taking one of our days and seeing some of our patients, and he recruited 2 army doctors, one from Ellington—two from Ellington—also, so that we had our days covered again, thanks to his help. But, he came to the clinic chairman one time and he said “You know, we’re being asked, I’m being asked, to cover the clinic in Hermann. They have a pediatric clinic in Hermann. I’m trying to cover your clinic, I’m trying to cover the clinic at Jeff Davis, and we’re just so short. We can’t do it all. What would you think if—why don’t we move your patients, your money, your volunteer support, your interest, and combine it with the pediatric clinic in Hermann and then we can serve you better? We will provide medical supervision. You help provide the maintenance by getting what money you can. Hermann will provide the space and the personnel, the nursing, the secretarial, whatever, and you can provide your volunteers.” So that was a very fine tri-partnership, you see. The medical school provided the medical supervision, and the League provided volunteers and monetary support, and Hermann provided the space. And that is a principle that is still in operation.
I: 18:42 Was is because of the support of the physicians that the move actually to Hermann occurred at that time when earlier (talking at the same time) but earlier the decision that had been considered, I guess, but the decision was to move to the Stewart Building instead, that Hermann would prefer that the League be there rather than actually in Herman Hospital.
I: Then the pediatric ward program was sort of an add-on to that clinic program.
FH: Well, yes. When we moved to Hermann, then our volunteers of course started working in the—working at Hermann, and it became the Junior League Clinic of the Herman Hospital, outpatient part. And at that time the healthcare for children—Hermann had about 25 inpatient beds and they were in rooms—there were 3-4 children to a room. At that time, mothers were not allowed to stay with their children, and what would happen—unless the child’s critically ill. There were visiting hours. A parent was allowed to visit between 3:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon I think, and again between 7:00 and 8:00 at night. But otherwise, the child—you know—was there. So we—some of us got interested in this and said “Well, there’s perhaps a good opportunity for a volunteer program.” And so we met and discussed it, and the Hermann administration and medical staff agreed and nursing agreed, so we hired a retired—the Junior League hired—a retired kindergarten teacher. She was just great, and we established what we called a “ward program.” It was really a play therapy program, a play program was really how truly therapeutic in a way—but a play program, simply because the children—they were just lying out there, or whatever. And it worked terribly well, and every morning—we had the program from 9-12, Monday-Friday, and in those days the League gals were wearing pink uniforms. And I would go up on floor at about that time and get off the elevator and you could see these little heads sticking around the door and they’d say “Is the pink lady coming today? Are the pink ladies coming today?” It really added a dimension to their lives. And in retrospect of course—and incidentally I think we were the—perhaps the first to start such a program in a hospital in Houston. Methodist had the Bluebird volunteers, the Bluebird clinic, and they worked in their clinic, but I don’t believe they worked on the floor. Now, Jeff Davis had a volunteer—they literally, Jeff Davis literally was the first to volunteer in a hospital in Houston—they had the “Women in Yellow” and they were truly pioneers. But the Junior League was kind of a pioneer in establishing a play program, a volunteer play program, in a children’s ward. We did a great thing in those days, but in retrospect it was absolutely ridiculous in this way, if I may make a little comment. You see, our volunteers were in effect substitute mothers. So in effect what we did is send the real mother home and bring in a substitute. And now, I ask you, who can really take care of a child the best? Now, we don’t do it that way now, but this is why Texas Children’s Hospital needs to be recognized, because this is one of Dr. Batton’s contributions. The Texas Children’s Hospital building was built in 1954, based on experience of the care of children in hospital, and in other hospitals, and particularly the experience that the English had with their children after the war, World War II. You know what they found, they sent their children in order to get away from the bombing, of course, they sent their children, most of them, out to the country, separated them from their parents, and they were in foster care. Well, when they brought the children back, there was just a tremendous amount of emotional upset. And so, the English began to write papers about separation of children from parents in a stressful situation is not necessarily the best kind of care. And of course hospitalization is a stressful situation for a child, so separating him from his parent at that time obviously—now it’s obvious, we didn’t know it then—was not good. So this is why Texas Children’s built—the wards were built—deliberately to allow a parent to stay with a child. Many people realize this now, but it was a very farsighted decision.
I: 24:03 The recreational therapy volunteers now provide more of the function of just giving the parents a break when they need to get out for a little bit.
FH: Well, yes. You see—well, actually that’s very true. As a result of the fight for Texas Children’s, we had what we call “live in” facilities for parents from the very beginning. The importance of having a play program at that time was not as great, and so when we finally got a play program in Texas Children’s, which was about 1970 something—a formalized one. There’s always been a play program—the auxiliary has always provided some diversion, they provide a toy cart and some things. So they had had a program but a formal with a paid child development professional and staff working and guiding them was not put in until—I forget—about 1975, something like that. And the reason for it, as you say, is because we found that the mothers were staying with the kid and that was just fine, but they needed a break, which a play program could provide. And a staffed playroom also provides a group situation for children, and they need that too. It’s important for children to be with other children who are in a hospital, in effect, in their same situation—you know—miserable. So it’s an interesting—when I travel around to other children’s hospitals, and most of the big ones, the old ones like Johns Hopkins, Boston Children’s, Toronto Children’s, they were built without accommodation for parents originally, and they put in their plan from a long, long time ago because they didn’t have the parents. Now they’re trying to put the parents in. It’s interesting, I was in Toronto a couple years or so ago and touring around and went into a room where there were about 6 cribs, and underneath each crib there was a kind of roll, looked like a little pallet or blanket. I said “What’s that?” “Well, that’s for the parent.” They had no room. You see, they were built without room, so they are trying to put a parent in ‘cause they recognized it. We have the best of both worlds now at Texas Children’s.
I: 26:46 Let me go back to the beginning of Texas Children’s a little bit. From at least the early 1930s the Junior League had shown interest in the development of a children’s hospital for Houston. That interest began to bear fruit when the League joined with J.S. Abercrombie and the Houston Pediatric Society to sponsor the Pin Oak Horse Show in 1947. Why did League members believe that a children’s hospital was needed?
FH: Well, when the medical school moved to Houston, Baylor Medical School, and they set up a training program in pediatrics, they helped the pediatricians in Houston by providing leadership forums. It used to—the pediatric society had been trying as I understand for a long, long, time—many years—to have a special children’s hospital. As I understand it we’re about 25 years behind Dallas in getting one. Dallas had one long before Houston. And the reason the pediatricians wanted the Houston Pediatric Society, wanted the children’s hospital, was because of the nature of the care of children. Children are not little adults. They are not an extension of you. They are their own unique—as I understand it—individual. They have a unique way of responding to medication, a unique way of growing and responding to their environment, and they need specially trained people who understand that. It’s one thing to give, for instance, an aspirin to an adult and then give aspirin to a child, so having—it isn’t that Houston never had children’s beds, they did. They had them in every hospital, St. Joseph’s, Methodist, (unintelligible) but they were a wing of the general hospital, and that’s a little bit different than if you have it all focused and where everybody who comes to that hospital is interested in children. That’s why they’re there and they are trained specifically. Your dietitian, your nurses, your doctors, your lab people.
I: 29:12 Do you think that the doctors of the Pediatric Society really helped interest the development of the project?
FH: Yes, because they had the interest already and when the medical school came Dr. Salmon became a part, of course, of a member of the society and as a full-time teacher of pediatric care, he was asked to help start the Texas Children’s Foundation which included League members on it as well as people—pediatricians from the Houston Pediatric Society. They’re the ones who interested the League. The League was obviously a good source since they were already in child care.
I: 30:03 Are you aware of any particular activities in the League towards the development of a hospital before that time, other than just discussion that it would be a good thing to do?
FH: Only in looking in some old records that the public relations gal sent out to the clinic a long time ago. I found in the records some reference that—I believe it’s a report from 1933—something to the effect of the Junior League looking forward to the time when there would be a children’s hospital in Houston, and I was amazed at that.
I: So an interest in it. Why was the Junior League’s support requested for the horse show in 1947? It was following 2 shows for a different charity that Mr. Abercrombie had sponsored in previous years, and then they decided to do the 3rd annual show, he and the pediatric society and the Junior League. Do you know why they involved the Junior League in it?
FH: Well, again, because of the interest of the—they needed an organization, a group, who was interested in children and who would help sell tickets, and I think they asked the League if they would be interested in helping sell tickets and sponsoring an auction.
I: Is it true that the horse show was—that the first 2 years of the horse show—benefited another charity? Is that correct?
FH: Yes, uh-hunh (affirmative). This I think was during the war, right after the war, and there was a group of some couples in Houston who wanted to do something for veterans and they formed an organization, “Houston Holidays” I believe.
I: When did that—
FH: They were—(tape ends 32:02)
I: (tape begins 32:10) Ms. Heyck, why was it that the horse show—why was it that they chose to benefit Texas Children’s Hospital for the 3rd year of the horse show when the first 2 years they had benefited another charity?
FH: Those I’ve stated, the group that sponsored the horse show for the Houston Holidays, the need was not for them to continue. Their project was phased out because the war was over and the need was not there anymore. In the meantime, this horse show had built up an audience, and so there seemed to be a real interest in Houston to continue a horse show. Well, the horse show didn’t want to make money. They were looking around—the horse show association was formed in order to continue the horse show because of the interest expressed. But then, of course, as I say, they didn’t want to make money, so they were looking for a good cause to give the money to. Well, it was a natural, it seemed, because some of the members who had put on the horse show at the Houston Holidays, one of them was the former clinic chairman, Mrs. Nellie Black, and in fact, the members of that original group were Junior League members except for about 2 or 3. So they were all interested in the children’s projects through their League association, and so the Houston Horse Show Association offered to give the proceeds towards planning for a children’s hospital and approached the Junior League for help in putting on the first one.
I: And that show in ’47 raised $42,000 for the children’s hospital foundation, which was more than any single fundraising project that the League had previously sponsored. Why did the League choose to sponsor it for just the one year and then turn it over to the horse show to run in subsequent years?
FH: Well, it became—as I say, the interest in having a horse show was growing, and the audience was obviously growing, so it was apparent that the Houston Horse Show Association was here to stay, and that they were going to run a horse show every year, the Pin Oak Horse Show is what they call it. They wanted to broaden their base of support, so in keeping with Junior League policy, it seemed a natural time—the League had started it, and were going to continue to support it, but the Houston Horse Show Association really wanted more outlets to sell their tickets and to promote the show.
I: The League has a policy of trying to start projects which they can then turn over to other people to carry out.
FH: That’s right.
I: How did the Junior League’s further support of Texas Children’s Hospital develop after that initial—
FH: 35:42 Well, when the hospital—when plans began to be made for the building of Texas Children’s Hospital—incidentally, you might like to know why it was called “Texas Children’s” instead of “Houston Children’s.” Well, it was to indicate that it was for all the children in Texas—you know—not just Houston, that it was going to be a center of care, and that led to some confusion at one time because Dallas had a hospital which was called “Children’s Hospital of Texas.” Then, of course, we had some other confusion when somebody sometimes would think it was a state-supported hospital. But the original reason for choosing it was to indicate this would be a center of care for the children of Texas everywhere. Well, the League of course was associated with Hermann and running their clinic at Hermann, and that—it was based on the experience of that clinic that the Texas Children’s Hospital became a reality. As I say, the pediatricians in Houston had been trying for a long time and now they had a sponsor. So plans began to be made, but when the hospital actually came into fruition, then the decision had to be made whether the League would stay, would move over and support the clinic at Texas Children’s, or would they stay with Hermann. Well, there seemed to be a need for both, so they moved what they called “sick bay” clinic from Hermann to the outpatient department at Texas Children’s and ran—helped in the same way by providing support, financial support, and volunteers. Baylor medical school provided the medical supervision, and the Texas Children’s Hospital board and administration provided the maintenance and space and so forth. The same arrangement by agreement. We had an agreement with the Texas Children’s Hospital board, the same kind of arrangement that we had with the board of Hermann Hospital. But the Hermann clinic then became a what we call “well-baby” clinic, meaning that the emphasis went from taking care of the complicated or sick type of care into preventing, that is, giving well-baby checkups, immunizations. I think it was in the Hermann clinic that they introduced the first measles/rubella vaccine, that sort of thing. (talking at the same time) So the focus of child care was—
I: Was it still the only well-baby clinic in town or were there city clinics?
FH: I’m not sure whether it was the only one. The city clinics did come along. I’m not sure, and as the city clinics developed more and more to take over the well-baby care, which of course is probably more ideally done in neighborhoods, that is when the Junior League phased out their well-baby clinic at Hermann.
I: But it is true that the Junior League had the first well-baby clinic in Houston?
FH: As far as I know, it’s true. But you see, we didn’t really have a city health department, I don’t believe. I don’t know, you’ll have to check me on that. But I think that if there were any, it was very sparse. And you know, it wasn’t until 19—this is also I think an amazing fact—it wasn’t until 19—when Jeff Davis was the city county—was the first charity hospital I think it was 1935 or 37 or something like that, which is relatively late, I would think. But you know how we took care of our charity poor? The city paid St. Joseph’s for ward beds. And I remember when a little girl would go—everybody went to St. Joseph’s to see somebody, it was like you go in the door and to the right you’d go to the right, you’d see private—you know—to the left you’d go down the long corridor, that’s where all the—
I: 40:10 You mean the wards?
FH: The wards, yeah.
I: How—let’s see, Dr. Blatner, Dr. Russell Blatner was involved both as head of the Junior League clinic at Hermann and also on the staff—the teaching staff at the Baylor Medical School. What was his involvement in the decision to develop the 2 separate clinics at Hermann and at Texas Children’s when Texas Children’s opened?
FH: Well, he was chairman—his title was Chairman of the Pediatric Department at Baylor and Physician in Chief at Texas Children’s Hospital, and he was Chairman of the Pediatric Unit at Hermann Hospital, so he was trying to provide comprehensive care and teach comprehensive care of children in various units and utilizing resources that were available. So he needed not only a sick baby clinic or service to teach about illness but he also needed a unit to teach medical students about well baby. So his decision was to try to utilize all these resources to the best advantage.
I: Was he pretty heavily involved in the Junior League’s decision to develop the 2 clinics separately?
FH: Well yes, as head of both, yes. He was the chief advisor.
I: Was the Hermann Hospital volunteer auxiliary established in part of—as a result of the Junior League’s lesser participation at Hermann?
FH: I would say so. You’d have to ask them, but you see, before the League, before the Junior League involvement, Hermann had no volunteer group and the Junior League were the first volunteers to work in Hermann. Well, we liked to think it was such a good experience that therefore Hermann decided to form their own auxiliary.
I: 42:33 But the League’s volunteer work at Hermann was confined pretty much to the League clinic, wasn’t it?
FH: Junior League clinic and the wards.
I: Right. Oh, the wards—(talking at the same time) Whereas the volunteer program that Hermann now has is much more comprehensive.
FH: Yes, it’s a true auxiliary in the hospital. You know, there’s a difference between working as a volunteer in the hospital—or have a volunteer group such as the League work in the hospital—and then have the hospital have its own complete auxiliary.
I: Did you personally maintain some contact with the well-baby clinic after you moved to Texas Children’s?
FH: Yes, I think the Junior League continued the well-baby program, I don’t know exact dates, but—
I: But you personally?
I: Were you personally involved with it at all?
FH: No, no.
I: Tell us a little bit about the development of the Junior League Diagnostic Clinic as it was called at Texas Children’s in the 1950s. How was it received by the community? Supported? Just—it started in 1954 when the hospital opened, and I’m not clear how it was related to the other outpatient services at Texas Children’s Hospital. Was it purely the diagnostic clinic and then there were other specialty clinics or how did that work?
FH: Well, what we did is every morning they would have what we’d call “general medical or diagnostic clinic” and that was the Junior League clinic and the idea was that children would first go through—if they were referred for a workup they would first go through—get a general checkup, a general medical checkup in the Junior League diagnostic clinic. And then when it was determined what the problem was, if they needed—for instance, if the children came through the general medical clinic and had a heart problem, then he would go to the heart clinic which was held in the afternoon. Or he had an ear problem, he could go to the ear, nose and throat clinic which was held in the afternoon. Each afternoon had different subspecialty clinics.
I: 44:55 And those were held in the same—
FH: Same area, same nursing personnel, just different times, different days. It’s a kind of a—it was a matter of scheduling with the personnel. The only difference was of course they would have a different doctor for a different disease.
I: And did the volunteers for the Junior League work only in the diagnostic clinic or did they work at both, both in the morning and the afternoons?
FH: I was started out working just in the morning, but I believe then started working in the afternoons, expanding.
I: In ’62, the project was renamed the “Junior League Outpatient Department of Texas Children’s Hospital” and a new contract was negotiated between the Junior League and Texas Children’s. What changes in the relationship occurred at that time?
FH: Not really any. It just was an expansion of the program as it was originally begun. It was again a tri-partnership of Baylor Medical faculty providing medical supervision with the staff at Texas Children’s. Texas Children’s providing the nursing personnel and administrative personnel and the Junior League providing volunteers and monetary support. Now, when I came to work for the hospital, I should—I might back up and say that as the clinic secretary at Hermann I worked strictly for the Junior League. The support of my position came strictly from the Junior League. I worked for the hospital in the afternoon as my own personal experience, but I was paid by the League. Then when Dr. Blatner came and they started the Department of Pediatrics they moved from the old Sears warehouse which was the first offices that Baylor had down on Allen Parkway. When the medical school building was completed and Dr. Blatner came to take over the position of head of the department, he took over what—Dr. George Salmon had started the pediatric program, but he went into private practice. Blatner came, took over as chairman to build the department up. He came to me and asked me if I would be his part-time secretary, that I would work in the Junior League clinic at Hermann in the morning and go to him in the afternoon. Now, obviously the reason for that was that I had a history, and he wanted to continue the relationship with the Junior League and I could provide him with—learned to type pretty good by that time—and I could provide him with the typing skills plus—you know—the contacts. So I became—I worked for the League in the morning and worked for Baylor in the afternoon. That continued for—let’s see—until Texas Children’s opened, and then at that time, when Texas Children’s opened and the League was going to move their sick clinic bay, which was what I had been in effect managing at Hermann, than the decision was I probably needed to go full-time with the clinic when it moved to Texas Children’s, full-time manager. So I then—that’s what I did. The support of my position then became half Junior League and half from Texas Children’s. In 1962—or I’m not sure exactly when it was—I guess I don’t really know—but eventually somewhere along the line, Texas Children’s Hospital took over complete support.
I: 49:19 Maybe that was part of the reorganization in ’62?
I: What—in 1964, I found a mention that a day hospital had been established through an agreement between the Texas Institute of Child Psychiatry and the Junior League and the Texas Children’s Hospital. Do you remember what that was and what the purpose of it was?
FH: It was an attempt to provide psychiatric facilities here at Texas Children’s and in Houston. Houston had a great need for more psychiatric care for children with emotional disorders and really needed residential care, but residential treatment is so very, very expensive that the day hospital was designed by the child psychiatrist at Baylor at that time to in effect just simply provide some more facilities for children that had psychiatric problems. And we tried to (talking at the same time)
I: Did the League volunteer to work with the children or did the League provide financial support? Why was it involved in that?
FH: No. Junior League members were on the board of that unit and provided—lent some of their board expertise in organizing it. I’m not sure what financial support was given. I think grants were made at the time.
I: Yeah, there were some specific gifts.
FH: I don’t think it was the regular maintenance though, was it? I think there were grants. It was designed as a unit under the outpatient department, but because it was housed separately it really functioned separately. (tape ends 51:21)
(tape begins 51:31 and repeats duplicate information previously transcribed at 12:06; duplicate information continues until end of tape 72:12 and continues throughout audio file “frances-heyck_OHJL25_01_D2” until the end of that tape at 19:27)