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In this section, we highlight tidbits from past issues of the magazine. These messages from yesteryear remind us of the pace of change as well as of some timeless truths.

From the Spring 1987 issue

In 1987, when DHMC's Lebanon campus was only a blueprint, we wrote about the process of planning it: "It's a rare thing for the people who use a hospital to be asked to help design one, but this is the opportunity some Hitchcock patients have had in a recent series of meetings. Selected DHMC patients, organized in focus groups, have been telling the experts—the architects and caregivers planning the new Medical Center— what they hope to see in their hospital of the future.

"Senior citizens were the first to meet with planners. They praised the naturally lighted areas designed by the architects but also pleaded for more private or semiprivate rooms. . . .

"The handicapped participants . . . pointed out [that] handrails are usually placed at a level convenient for ambulatory patients, not those in wheelchairs. . . .

"Planners heard at the next focus meeting, attended by 15 women who have had babies at MHMH, that what is good for handicapped patients is also good for parents with baby strollers. . . . One mother asked if there would be a place for a parent of an ill baby to stay overnight. Lloyd Acton of the architectural firm said this was something they had not thought of. 'I'm glad you brought that up,' he said.

"All the focus participants were curious to know if their suggestions could be implemented at this stage of planning. JoAnn Kairys, an administrative director at the Hitchcock Clinic and chair of the focus meetings, explained that although the square footage of the planned new hospital is set, the configuration of rooms is still open." Many of the participants' suggestions, including all those mentioned here, have been implemented.

This photo of DHMC being built—from our Spring 1990 issue— dates from a couple of years after the focus groups described above.

If you would like to offer any feedback about this article, we would welcome getting your comments at DartMed@Dartmouth.edu.

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