Thursday, October 10 at 7pm
Grand Rapids Public Library
From Managerial Void to the Medical Mile:
The Evolving Roles of Women and the Enduring Presence of History
Join us on Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 7:00pm at the Grand Rapids Public Library where Julia Bouwkamp will present From Managerial Void to the Medical Mile: The Evolving Roles of Women and the Enduring Presence of History.
Known for its thriving medical institutions, Grand Rapids today soars above its past, having forgotten whole chapters of an early medical history where government played virtually no role in providing civil services. Early “managerial voids” were commonly filled by the efforts of voluntary associations–associations most often led by women.
On October 10
, Bouwkamp will unfold the history of Grand Rapids medical institutions growing out of the efforts of hard-working, charitable nineteenth-century women. Early women citizens are rarely heralded as community builders, and Bouwkamp will reveal a story often obscured by sentimentalized assumptions that women were not seriously involved in “public” works, even in the organization of institutions that cared for the sick, the elderly, and orphaned children.
In fact, these early citizens impacted our community to a remarkable degree. Fleshing out the specific history of women founders of early Grand Rapids medical institutions, Bouwkamp will reveal a pattern where they were pushed from the centers of organizations they had created into the more feminine realm of nursing–where once again their hard work and creativity revolutionized a struggling profession by “raising standards and giving scientific value to the business of being a woman.”
Balancing benevolence and business sense, they understood that the “intelligent saints” in the caring professions should be honored for their skills and with a living wage.
Co-sponsored by the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council,
the Grand Rapids Historical Society, & the Grand Rapids Public Library