TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview of the Collection

Historical Note

Scope and Content

Arrangement

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Container List

Series 1. Administrative and Subject Files 1939-1940

Series 2. Investigation of Norwich State Hospital, Transcript of Testimony 1939


RG 042, Commission on the Prevention and Care of Sickness

Inventory of Records

Finding aid prepared by Connecticut State Library staff.

Copyright © 2007 by the Connecticut State Library


Overview of the Collection

Repository: Connecticut State Library
Creator: Connecticut. Commission on the Treatment and Care of People Afflicted with Physical or Mental Disabilities
Title: Commission on the Treatment and Care of People Afflicted with Physical or Mental Disabilities records
Dates: 1939-1940
Quantity: 1 cubic foot
Abstract: In 1939, the General Assembly enacted House Bill 1650 that established a five-member commission appointed by the Governor to study the problems associated with physical and mental diseases in Connecticut, delivery of services by state facilities and expenditures made by them and those that the state should make. Originally called the Commission on the Treatment and Care of People Afflicted with Physical or Mental Disabilities and sometimes known as the Barker Commission, the group was better known as the Commission on the Prevention and Care of Sickness.
Identification: RG042
Accession: Multiple
Language: The records are in English.

Historical Note

In 1939 the General Assembly enacted House Bill 1650 that established a five member commission appointed by the Governor to study the problems associated with physical and mental diseases in Connecticut and the delivery of services made by the State. It was originally known as the Commission on the Treatment and Care of People Afflicted with Physical or Mental Disabilities and sometimes known as the Barker Commission. 1650 directed it to report to the governor on or before January 1, 1941. Lawmakers granted the power to issue subpoenas and to examine any records of a state institution under study. The commission's mission was to propose legislation and recommend what expenditures should be made by State agencies.

Connecticut's health services at the time were in a process of change, and hence the focus of much controversy. Overlap and inefficiency of state agencies and institutions was criticized, and in some cases (Norwich State Hospital, Mystic Oral School) serious charges were made.

Due to demographic and economic changes in the state, health needs were shifting. The population was increasingly elderly and urban. At the same time, peoples' expectations as to the extent and nature of state services were changing. There was an increase in demand, and the General Assembly wanted to know why. The Commission was to examine this increase in demand, the building program, coordination and cooperation between agencies, laws concerning the commitment of mental patients, the problems of alcoholics (which were only beginning to be considered), and many other topics. They were also to examine the State's role in disease prevention through public school health education, with particular emphasis on hygiene and nutrition, and whether the schools should offer immunization, dental service, and physical examination programs. There was also a need to train more health personnel and to strengthen the State Department of Public Health.

Thus the task this Commission took in hand was one with broad implications, necessitating detailed and comprehensive study, and closely affecting the lives of Connecticut's citizens.

Membership fluctuated but during the life of the commission included the following: Honorable Kenneth Wynne, Judge of the Superior Court, New Haven; Wilmer A. Allen, M.D. Director, Hartford Hospital, Hartford; Creighton Barker, M.D., Executive Secretary, Connecticut State Medical Society, New Haven; William H. Coon, M.D., Member of the General Assembly, Easton; John A. Markham, Attorney, Hartford; Hon. Joseph B. Downes, State Senator, Norwich; Ira V. Hiscock, Sc. D., Professor of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven; and Lucius F. Robinson, Attorney, Hartford.

The Commission proceeded in two stages. At the request of Governor Raymond E. Baldwin, it first investigated charges made against the administration of the Norwich State Hospital for the Insane and submitted a report in November 1939. The commission next addressed the areas designated by HB 1650. It held meetings and public hearings and submitted its final report in 1940.

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Scope and Content

The record group documents the commission's study of State agencies and institutions and their services and contains minutes of commission meetings, supplementary studies, public hearings, correspondence, draft findings and recommendations, and the final report. Of particular note is a paper analyzing the growth of cases of cancer. Also included are records of the commission's deliberations, studies, and investigation of Norwich State Hospital. Half of the files consist of transcripts of testimony taken under oath.

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Arrangement

Series 1. Administrative and Subject Files, 1939-1940
Accession: 1941-002
Accession: 2002-083

Series 2. Investigation of Norwich State Hospital, Transcript of Testimony, 1939, Accession: 1941-002

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

These records are stored at an off-site facility and therefore may not be available on a same-day basis.

See the Rules and Procedures for Researchers Using Archival Records and Secured Collections policy.

Restrictions on Use

See the Reproduction and Publications of State Library Collections policy.

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Related Material

RG 005:027, Governor Raymond E. Baldwin, 1939-1941, "Norwich Investigations" and "Norwich State Hospital," Box 428.

Connecticut Documents, G251pmd/repn, Report of the Study of Conditions at Norwich State Hospital, August 15 - November 15, 1939.

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Index Terms

Organizations:

Connecticut. Commission on the Prevention and Care of Sickness
Connecticut. Commission on the Treatment and Care of People Afflicted With Physical or Mental Disabilities

Persons:

Barker, Creighton

Subjects:

Connecticut. Commission on the Prevention and Care of Sickness -- Records and correspondence
Connecticut. Commission on the Treatment and Care of People Afflicted With Physical or Mental Disabilities -- Records and correspondence
Mentally ill -- Care -- Connecticut
Mentally ill -- Care -- Connecticut -- Norwich
Norwich State Hospital (Norwich, Conn.)
People with disabilities -- Care -- Connecticut
People with disabilities -- Connecticut
Psychiatric hospital care -- Connecticut -- Norwich
Psychiatric hospitals -- Connecticut -- Norwich

Document Types:

Correspondence
Minutes
Reports
Testimonies

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Administrative Information

Provenance

Dr. Creighton Barker, the second chairperson, turned these files over to the State Library on July 15, 1941.

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Container List

Series 1. Administrative and Subject Files, 1939-1940
Box Folder
Accession: 1941-002
Tentative outline of purposes and procedure, 1939 August 1 1
Summary of Commission's work and purposes, undated 2
Minutes of Commission meetings (Dr. Barker's copy) 3
Supplementary studies 17
The Connecticut State Hospital 18
Report on Mansfield State Training School and notes of meetings with Trustees of Newtown and Middletown Hospitals 19
Mystic Oral School for the Deaf
Hearing, 1940 May 2 20
Correspondence and Reports, 1940 21
Mansfield Training School - Correspondence and Reports, 1939-1940 22
State Mental Hospitals - Correspondence and Reports 23
Memo on cancer treatment resources from Tumor Committee, State Medical Society, 1940 October 24
Correspondence regarding Norwich State Hospital, survey of state facilities and other matters and draft recommendations 25
Miscellaneous: Program and Reference Book, 29th annual meeting of the Connecticut Conference of Social Work, Hartford, CT, 1939 October 25-27 26
Report of the Commission, 1940 27
Accession: 2002-083
Report of the Commission, 1940, original typescript, 1 folder in shared box
Series 2. Investigation of Norwich State Hospital, Transcript of Testimony, 1939, Accession: 1941-002
Violet May Park, John William Clark, Charles L. Maxson, William Alfred Jervis, Katherine O'Connell, Anna Thomason, 1939 October 9, 3 copies 1 4
Dr. Maurice Roberts Moore, Dr. Ronald P. Kettle, 1939 August 21 5
Dr. Chester Waterman, Dr. Vanderveer T. Carr, 1939 October 12, 2 copies 6
Dr. Charles Ricksher, Dr. Robert J. Carson, Dr. Edward G. Rowland, 1939 October 12, 3 copies 7
Dr. Virginia Hale, Dr. Olive Pippy, Dr. Arthur W. Ogden, Dr. Eilhard von Domarus, 1939 October 17, 3 copies 8
Dr. John Fritz, Dr. Pauline L. Riendeau, Mrs. Beatrice Darragh Potter, 1939 October 19, 1939 October 25, 3 copies 9
Dr. Fernand Riendeau, Mrs. Marguerite Hart, Mrs. Mary Nickerson, John T. Egan, William P. Galligan, 1939 October 19, 25, 2 copies 10
Testimony of employees, 1939 October 27-28
Dr. Coon's copy 11
Dr. Barker's copy 12
Dr. James J. Donahue, Dr. John W. Callahan, 1939 October 27
Dr. Barker's copy 13
Dr. Coon's copy 14
Dr. Virginia Hale, Dr. Alfred L. Burgdorf, Miss Lena May Thurlow, Dr. Charles Ricksher, Dr. Chester Waterman, Dr. Joyce Springer Morris, 1939 November 9
Dr. Coon's copy 15
Also contains typed memoranda from notes of visits to Norwich State Hospital on October 13, 17, 25 and November 1, 1939.
Dr. Barker's copy 16