Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » You Have Been Listening to the L.D.S. Children’s Hospital Broadcast, 1933

You Have Been Listening to the L.D.S. Children’s Hospital Broadcast, 1933

By: Ardis E. Parshall - September 24, 2013

Radio Services, Sunday, Feb. 12, 1933

Under the Auspices of the Primary Association General Board

by Isabelle S. Ross

The Primary association maintains, as a part of its health program, the Children’s hospital in Salt Lake City, offering care to children whose parents are unable, financially, to provide such service.

The work of the hospital has been a blessing to hundreds of boys and girls who have been returned to their homes better equipped to enjoy life as children should and to take their place in life’s activities. But its influence has been even more far reaching, for it has provided for all children of Primary age, as well as for all of us who are in sympathy with the movement, the happy experience of helping others. For the hospital is kept up almost entirely by the Primary organization.

When its doors were first opened in the spring of 1922, a definite need of such an institution had been keenly felt. In fact, we believe that it was the first of its kind in this district. But, without a building the work had made some progress, for already fifty-two patients had been helped by contributions.

The buildings were equipped and made ready by funds provided by the First Presidency of our Church. They were then turned over to the Primary to maintain. There is a staff of twenty-two doctors who give the best of medical skill freely and generously. Of these doctors, the one who has been with us the longest and whom both parents and children remember most lovingly, is Doctor Samuel C. Baldwin. His name has been so closely connected with the children’s needs, that to think of them brings to mind the devoted service that he has given. We are happy to have him with us tonight and he will speak to you.

Dr. Baldwin – It is always a pleasure to talk about the Children’s hospital, and to express our appreciation of those who have helped to make it what it is.

Besides the Primary association, many others have made donations which have been wonderful helps and to all of those we are most grateful.

The work in the Children’s hospital is exceedingly interesting. Children as a rule, are very appreciative and work with them is different from any other class.

We have a wonderful morale there – the children mind and as a rule, let us do what ever is necessary for them without complaint.

We learn to think a great deal of the children there and if there should happen to be some who have been patients in the past listening in at this time, I want to say that I am happy to greet you again.

The work at the Children’s hospital must, of necessity, be limited somewhat as to scope, but it is broadening out some and as more funds become available it can continue to broaden and other classes of cases besides the ones that we can now serve, and which need attention, can be taken care of.

We have some of the very best men in the state on our staff who are willing and glad to take care of these worthy cases, and I cannot say too much in praise of the work which they are doing.

We are striving to make this hospital equal to the very best in the country, and how well we are succeeding can only be judged by those who are familiar with institutions of this kind.

There is no question but that we fall short of our aim many times, but our effort shall always be to do better in the future.

The maintenance of the hospital has been a labor of love from the tiniest contribution of the tiniest tot to the expensive sun-lamps and operating tables given by influential clubs and by individuals and organizations who wish to be silent donors. There are artists who arrange for an hour now and again and who bring in another world of picture and song. Thee are those who come tot ell stories chosen especially to bring laughter – and how that audience does respond!

And our blue-coated policemen! How lovingly they carry the tiny forms to the ambulance when a trip to the big hospital is necessary; how gladly they lend a hand when it’s picnic day in the park. Oh, there are hundreds who give when no one sees – a farmer gives a load of his harvest or crop, many of our Primary teachers, our mothers, and even our bigger girls bottle quart upon quart of fruit; a kindly soul whose time is much taken, sends a check and a message. “It’s my birthday but I’m not having a party; order ice cream and cake for e3very child in the hospital instead.”

Many classes of girls make bed furnishings and table linen as part of their summer project. There is always need for pert little dolls and cuddly stuffed animals. Sometimes teachers lend ah and with new night clothes.

This year a group of little boys decided to see that the hospital had turkey for Thanksgiving. Pennies were carefully saved and when November came there was enough to provide a Thanksgiving feast for all the hospital children.

Among the most joyous supporters are the Primary children who are the same age as the little patients. As birthdays roll around, each child puts a penny for each year in a tall bottle; they love the clatter the coins as they leave the chubby hands and go rollicking to the bottom. Fathers and mothers often add their bit and laugh with the little folks at the extra jingles. Here is a Primary class and we can see how the ceremony goes on.

Teacher – How many have had birthdays since last week? Hands high. Sidney and Merl. How old are you Sidney?

Sidney – I’m five and I’m going to be six next year.

Merl – I’m six today. It’s my birthday today.

Teacher – Oh, then we must have our birthday son. We’ll sing “Happy Birthday,” for Merl and Sidney, too. I’ll play the piano and we’ll all sing together.

(Class sings Happy Birthday, two verses.)

Merl – I like to have a birthday on Primary day.

Sidney – Where’s the birthday penny jar Miss Rose? I have my pennies. Five of ‘em. Mother put them in my pocket so’s I wouldn’t lose ‘em and they’re hard to get out.

Merl – I have my pennies, too. Only one’s a nickel.

Voice I – Shall I put the penny jar here on the table?

Teacher – That’s fine. Now I’ll play the penny song and then Merl and Sidney can drop the pennies in.

(Class sings, “Give said the Little Coin”)

Sidney – Here’s my pennies. Listen to ‘em go in.

Merl – Mine will only go two times ‘cause one of mine is a nickel.

Teacher – Never mind Merl, they will do just as well as the pennies.

Sidney – Where do the pennies go when they get out of the jar, Miss Rose?

Teacher – Straight to the Children’s Hospital, dear, and there they help the little people to get well.

Sidney – But just five pennies isn’t much, Miss Rose – that wouldn’t make anyone well. When you’re sick it takes lots of money.

Teacher – But just thin, all the Primary children give their pennies as you gave yours today, Sidney. That means that ever so many children who need hospital care are helped because each one of us give a little.

Sidney – I hope they all get better, Miss Rose. Every one.

Merl – Mine, too!

All the children – Me, too!

Once inside the door of the building it is rather hard to remember that this is indeed a hospital. Where children laugh and chatter contentedly one always thinks of home. Even mother love is there. Miss Anna Rosenkilde who has been with t hospital from the very beginning, is not only a professional nurse of very high standing, but a loving woman who has dedicated her life to these little ones. Her soft gray eyes are anxious when the sledding is rough for one of the little fellows, but they sparkle with fun as she tells of Mary’s or John’s latest caper. It doesn’t seem like a hospital where beds have counterpanes of Boy Blue and Bo-Peep, where quilts are put together with dainty blocks, where tray cloths have a touch of embroidery, where there are play houses and doll furniture and trains and airplanes. Getting well is rather a joyous business in these surroundings. We often hear that little folk who have been dismissed are homesick to come back for a visit.

Dinner is served at noon on individual trays. Each child knows that he has the one planned for him, for there is a neat place card on each one. The little people marvel that there is always enough but seldom much left over.

Then comes the hour of quiet. Like the children in “Sleeping Beauty,” they all relax where dinner left off. Sleep comes quickly to many, especially the babies. Some of the older ones drift happily in that fair country between dreams and reality. Only a nurse is alert. She stands where she can see everyone while she adds fresh dresses to the pile of clean clothes for tomorrow morning.

One by one the sleepers begin to stir. A recent arrival looks fondly at the new doll which was given to her when she entered. She will be operated on day after tomorrow so that the little hip will be well. Raggedy Ann will lie beside her during the first hours of recovery and will be tucked in the grip when she goes back to her own home all better.

A boy of te looks inquiringly at a small engine to confirm the story that only his fingers have been able to tel him up until now. Sight is such a miracle when the darkness is near.

If we listen we can hear the doctor speaking to a boy who may be going home.

Doctor – Well, Bert, you don’t look to me like a very sick boy. How goes it?

Bert– I’m fine – you’re just kiddin’ me. Boys with casts on their feet aren’t sick.

Doctor – Not sick, eh? Well, now suppose you let me have a look at this cast. Might be possible that this can come off today, shouldn’t wonder if it wouldn’t be a good idea. Unless, of course, you want to keep it on a little longer, eh?

Bert – D’ya mean it, Doctor? Is it all coming off – and then – will I know?

Doctor – We’ll have a look anyhow. Here, now, pop this piece of peppermint in your mouth while – I just – see – The cast cutters, please, Miss Rosenkilde.

Miss R. – Yes, doctor.

Doctor – If you’ll just hold this here, now till – I – get – this thing – started. I’m not going to hurt you, Bert. Won’t be a minute now. (Rasping of cutting cast.) Now if you hold this down there, Miss Rosenkilde. Now I’ll get this part right here. There, now, that will be fine. If you’ll stay back on the pillow just a minute, Bert, till I see how this is coming. Umm – umm – just take this, Miss Rosenkilde. Thank you. Umm-mm, now let’s have a lot at that other foot. There you are. Now, Bert, we’ll let you have a look, too. Up you come. Can you sit there?

Bert – Yes, sir (gulping). Yes, sir. Gee, they’re both alike. D’ya suppose – it’ll stay like that? – I mean, d’ya think I can walk on it – like my other one?

Doctor – Well, that’s what it looks like, all right. Now let me see. I wonder if you could wiggle those toes.

Bert – They’ll go all right!

Doctor – ow can you bend it this way?

Bert – Ah, sure, that’s easy. See it’s just like e other one! It’s going to be all right! And I won’t use my crutch, and I’ll be going home – and, oh, gee I ain’t cryin’ – guess I got sort of a cold.

Doctor – That’s all right Bert, lots of us get that special kind of cold when we’re very happy. Miss Rosenkilde will write to your father and it won’t be long now till you’ll be going home.

Bert – With my foot straight an’ everything – ah, gee – I can’t believe it hardly – but – but –

Doctor – But what, young man?

Bert – I never thought before, but I’ll miss being here, Doctor.

Miss R. – You mean you have had some good times even in a hospital?

Bert – I won’t ever forget some of them – Christmas time and the tree an’ everything, oh boy! – an’ Hallowe’en party – an’ my birthday cake an’ the candles and the shows that the Primary children gave for us, an’ the Primary class right here in the hospital – you know about that, don’t you, Miss Rosenkilde?

Miss R. – And your school lessons, Bert. He’s kept right up with his work, Doctor. When he gets home he can go right on with his grade.

Doctor – You’re a fine boy, Bert. You put up a mighty good fight. I guess we’re both happy today.

Bert – Yes sir, an’ Doctor Baldwin, I’d like – I want – I mean – thank you – for all the things you have done for me – I won’t ever forget –

Doctor – That’s all right young ma, I’ll see you again before I leave. We won’t need any of these bandages now, Miss Rosenkilde. If you’ll just fix him up I’ll go over and have a look at that new boy. Good-bye Bert (fade) good-bye.

Miss R. – I’ll straighten this now in half a jiffy – this blanket here – that pillow –

Bert – Miss Rosenkilde, my dog, Jack, d’ya suppose he’ll know me?

Miss R. – Oh, yes, and won’t he be pleased to see you come again!

Bert – An’ school – maybe the teacher won’t have to send me on special errands when the dancing starts – an’ Primary – that’ll be better than ever, now –

Miss R. – You mean –

Bert – Yes’m. I never could have guessed what it could mean to other boys like me – I mean t birthday pennies for the hospital– maybe it don’t seem so much when your birthday comes, but oh, can’t it mean a lot in here!

No description of the Children’s Hospital would be complete without mention of the person who takes the responsibility of its management among the other affairs of an already crowded day. She makes the adjustments between those within its walls and those from without. Just how she keeps the morale high and the maintenance low, only she could tell. There are always exacting, often heart rending decisions to be made many hours of anxiety to be lived through. Of course, there are hundreds of letters from grateful parents and these always give a lift of encouragement. Kind assurances of appreciation from those nearest and dearest, cheer her heart. But somehow she seems to get her highest recompense when she stands by a bed and a smiling child says, “I know you – you’re Sister May Anderson.”

During the years that the hospital has functioned, over fourteen hundred children have been helped by the skill of physicians and the blessings of our Father in Heaven. It has meant much to the other thousands of children who have found joy in being their brother’s keeper.



  1. I was very small– about two– when I needed some medical tests that our my parents couldn’t afford, so my dad drove me down from SE Idaho to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City to have them done. I have very vague memories of the large, dark room where they did the x-rays, but what I remember better is my dad telling the story later about how the techs at the hospital weren’t too keen on him being in the room with me until they realized that he could get me to hold my breath for the x-ray. As I remember him telling it, we had to go a couple of times, and the second time, the staff said, “Oh, yes, Mr. Cox, we remember you; go right on in.”

    My mom normally utterly refuses to give to any charity that isn’t the Church itself, but she always found spare change for “pennies by the inch,” which is the philanthropy that collects donations for Primary Children’s.

    Comment by S — September 24, 2013 @ 8:40 am

  2. I guess I got sort of a cold this morning too. :-)

    Comment by Carl C. — September 24, 2013 @ 9:01 am

  3. I remember two events that I always looked forward to. The first, was taking a dime or quarter to school once a week to buy a US Savings Bond stamp to put in my SB book. When it got full I got a savings bond. The other was taking pennies to Primary to donate to the Primary Childrens Hospital. We’d have a hugh jar up front and we walk in turn and drop in pennies. Lots of pennies. Even though I lived far far away from the hospital, I knew it was important to donate for kids that needed help. Good memories. Thanks for the walk down an old road.

    Comment by Mex — September 24, 2013 @ 10:38 am

  4. I have a friend that took her daughter to Primary Children’s today. She has a pretty serious problem, and the specialists are there and she can’t afford anything else anyway.

    I remember Loving Pennies at Primary. The one having the birthday got to hold the jar and the piano played while everyone came up to put in their pennies.

    This is better than any Pennies by the Inch pamphlet!

    Comment by Carol — September 24, 2013 @ 11:53 am

  5. And, I just sent a link to another friend who just posted on facebook that she’s in the waiting room with her daughter as we type. This was a good day for this story.

    Comment by Carol — September 24, 2013 @ 11:59 am

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