Archive for August, 2016

World War II Kaiser ships named for labor leaders

posted on August 24, 2016

Lincoln Cushing
Heritage writer

 

Fore 'n' Aft, 1942-09-10, RMH

Labor day launchings in Richmond, Calif., Fore ‘n’ Aft, 9/10/1942.

Naming a ship after someone is a high honor. The United States Navy recently announced plans to name the fleet oiler T-AO-206 after the gay rights activist, San Francisco politician, and Navy veteran Harvey Milk. Several ships in this class commemorate social justice heroes and heroines, including the T-AO 187 USNS Henry J. Kaiser.

During World War II, when production was maximized and the workforce was essential to victory, labor and management made great efforts to be as cooperative as possible. On January 12, 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt reinstated former President Woodrow Wilson’s National War Labor Board to anticipate and resolve labor-management conflict.

Labor Day ship launchings often feted the local labor community, but trade unionism was further elevated during the war by naming Liberty ships after labor leaders.

Announcement of launching of the SS Furuseth, Fore 'n' Aft, 1942-09-17, RMH

Launching of the SS Andrew Furuseth, Fore ‘n’ Aft, 9/17/1942.

Five Liberty ships named after labor leaders were launched on Labor Day – September 7 – 1942, and three of them were built in Kaiser shipyards. A sixth ship (the SS Samuel Gompers) was launched on June 28, 1944. Seven additional ships named for Jewish American labor leaders were launched between January 21, 1944, and October 13, 1944.

Labor took the lead in this campaign. In July, 1942, the Sailors’ Union of the Pacific petitioned the United States Maritime Commission and the War Shipping Administration for a Liberty ship to be named in honor of Andrew Furuseth, the longtime president of their union.

The plea was reported in the Oakland Tribune, July 14, 1942, in an article titled “Mariners ask ship to be named for union leader”:

Members of the West Coast Local No. 90 of the National Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots of America today petitioned the United States Maritime Commission to name one of the new Liberty ships after Andrew Furuseth, one of the founders of the Sailors Union of the Pacific.

In a resolution forwarded by Captain C.F. May, president, the Commission was asked to select one of the ships to be launched on Labor Day, September 7. Captain May told the commission that, if the committee selects a vessel to be named Furuseth, it “will not only be honoring an outstanding labor leader and citizen, but also recognizing the American marine seaman of today for his bravery and sacrifices which he is making to win the war.”

Logo (scan from production idea award certificate), Labor-Management Committee, War Production Drive, 1944

Logo, Labor-Management Committee, War Production Drive, 1944

On September 7, 1942, the United States Maritime Commission arranged to have five ships launched that were named for labor leaders. The launch ceremonies, held at four different shipyards around the country, were to be linked by a coast-to-coast broadcast and feature speeches by John P. Frey, an executive of the American Federation of Labor, and John W. Green, president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations. The two organizations would merge in 1955, and the AFL-CIO remains the largest federation of unions in the United States.

An Associated Press account described the Labor Day launching event in Baltimore:

With thousands of workers looking on, three Liberty ships slid down the ways at the Bethlehem-Fairfield shipyards Monday as the climax to a Labor Day celebration attended by political notables and ranking labor leaders. For the rest, it was just another working day for Bethlehem-Fairfield workers as they followed the lead of other defense industries and stayed at their jobs. Two of the new vessels were christened in honor of outstanding labor leaders and one of them was constructed in the record-breaking time of 39 days.

Yard General Manager J. M. Willis keynoted the ceremonies when he said “In all the history of America never has there been a Labor Day as significant as this one.”

Labor men everywhere, Willis continued, “have turned their parades into the shipyards and other defense industries in order, that not one hour of their productive effort be lost.” John Green, national president of the Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers of America, spoke of the steady growth of unionism. “By persistent work and unrelenting efforts the workers have achieved recognition. Our organizations are accepted as a necessary part of free American society. Our job now is to demonstrate that we are worthy to inherit the Promised Land made possible by the struggles of our pioneers,” Green said.

 

BW 1945-11-09

“Labor to be honored at Friday’s Launching,” The Bos’n’s Whistle, Oregon, 9/9/1945.

Even as the war wound down, labor was honored. A November 9, 1945 article titled “Labor to be Honored at Friday’s Launchings” informed readers that “Labor of the entire area will be feted for the part it has played in the Portland-Vancouver Kaiser company shipyards during the war in a huge ‘All Labor’ launching of the Mount Rogers at Vancouver … the entire program will be arranged by the Portland-Vancouver Metal Trades Council.”

Here are details of those five labor leader ships:

Essi-med

Norwegian-flagged Essi, formerly the SS Andrew Furuseth, circa 1960s.

SS Andrew Furuseth. Built at Kaiser Richmond shipyard #1; sold to Norwegian interests as Essi, 1947. Scrapped in Japan, 1967.
Norway-born Furuseth (1854-1938) was a merchant seaman and American labor leader. He helped build two influential maritime unions: the Sailors’ Union of the Pacific and the International Seamen’s Union. Furuseth served as the executive of both for decades.

SS Peter J. McGuire. Built at Kaiser Richmond shipyard #2; scrapped 1968.
McGuire (1852-1906) co-founded the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America in 1881 and was one of the early leading figures of the American Federation of Labor. He is credited with first proposing the idea of Labor Day as a national holiday in 1882.

SS James Duncan. Built at Kaiser Oregon Shipbuilding (St. Johns, Ore.); scrapped 1962.
Duncan was a Scottish-American union leader and president of the Granite Cutters’ International Association from 1885 until his death in 1928. He was an influential member of the American labor movement and helped found the American Federation of Labor.

SS John W. Brown. Built at Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard, Baltimore, Maryland.
John W. Brown (1867-1941) was a Canadian-born American labor union leader and executive of the Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers of America. This Liberty ship is one of two still operational (the other being the SS Jeremiah O’Brien, berthed in San Francisco) and one of three preserved as museum ships. The John W. Brown is berthed in Baltimore.

SS John Mitchell. Built at Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard; scrapped 1967.
Mitchell was a United States labor leader and president of the United Mine Workers of America from 1898 to 1908.

A sixth labor ship, launched June 28, 1944, was the SS Samuel Gompers, built at California Shipbuilding Corporation (Calship) in Sausalito. Gompers was the first and longest-serving president of the American Federation of Labor. She replaced a cargo steamship with the same name which had been torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine in the South Pacific on January 30th, 1943.

Seven other Liberty ships launched in 1944 were named for Jewish American labor leaders.

January 21: The SS Benjamin Schlesinger was launched from the Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards. This was followed by the January 22 launching of the SS Morris Hilquit. Both were honored for their wartime contribution through the International Ladies Garment Workers Union.

The SS Morris Sigman, launched from Baltimore on February 4, honored the former president of the ILGWU, followed by the SS Meyer London, another ILGWU leader.

The SS B. Charney Vladek was launched from the New England Shipbuilding Company in South Portland, Maine, on July 7. She was named for Baruch Charney (1886-1938; he added “Vladek” as a nom de guerre surname in Tsarist Russia). Vladek emigrated to America in 1908, and was a Jewish labor leader and manager of the Jewish Daily Forward.

The SS Abraham Rosenberg was launched from the New England Shipbuilding Company in early October, named for the former ILGWU president. And on October 13 the SS Morris C. Feinstone, named for the the late general secretary of the United Hebrew Trades, was launched at the St. John’s shipyards in Florida. AFL President William Green paid tribute to Mr. Feinstone as “a devoted member of organized labor.”

Also see:Liberty and Victory Ships named for African Americans” and”Henry Kaiser and merchant sailors union: the curious case of the SS Pho Pho” about the SS Harry Lundeberg, 1958

 

Photograph of the Essi courtesy Den Norske Libertyflaten, (The American Liberty Fleet and other U.S.-Built Merchant Ships) Vormedal Forlag, Norway, 2015. Did you know that Norwegian for “scrapping” is “opphugging”?

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Kaiser Permanente Nutrition in the Past, Present and Future

posted on August 18, 2016

Caitlin Dong, guest writer 

 

Frances E. Weir [KFSN nusrsing student?], Cooking Laboratory, Kaiser Vallejo Rehabilitation Clinic, 1947-11

Kaiser Foundation School of Nursing student Frances E. Weir in the Cooking Laboratory, Kaiser Vallejo Rehabilitation Clinic, 1947

Imagine a health care system that emphasizes prevention, instead of focusing only on treating diseases. Oh wait, no need to imagine – Kaiser Permanente already exists.

Dr. Sidney Garfield, physician founder of Kaiser Permanente, sought to create a new economy of health where providers and members turned their attention toward preventative care. Early in its history, Kaiser Permanente expressed to members and patients the importance of balanced diets and how what we consume affects our health.

In a 1965 edition of Planning for Health, a quarterly newsletter available to Kaiser Foundation Health Plan members, an article titled “The Importance of Diet” takes a look at “proper diet and related factors contributing to longer, more healthful living.” The writer asks if it is possible to prevent heart attacks by proper dieting and then answers this question, noting that eating healthier foods can minimize cardiovascular diseases.

Today, Kaiser Permanente physicians, dietitians and others in the organization remain focused on the link between diet and health. Kaiser Permanente Dietitian Carole Bartolotto notes, “So many diseases and conditions we develop are directly related to what we eat.”

Planning for Health newsletter 1965-Spring

Detail from illustrated chart of “Desirable Weights for Men” (and women), Planning for Health, 1965

Bartolotto works as a senior consultant in Southern California on a variety of projects relating to diet and heart disease. She is responsible for nutrition publications and is chair of the committee that reviews those publications. Their goal is to ensure that whatever is published is up to date and matches the most current evidence available.

Kaiser Permanente makes every effort to ensure that members can easily access accurate and helpful information to guide their nutrition and diet choices. Research articles, such as this one that explores whether consuming sugar and artificial sweeteners changes taste preferences, are part of this effort.

And, if you’re looking for healthy food recipes, Kaiser Permanente’s Food for Health blog is a great place to start!

Knowing the advantages of preventative care, let’s make healthy food choices. Our future selves will thank us.

 

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The story of the Color Coded Files – Kaiser Walnut Creek Hospital, 1953

posted on August 10, 2016

Lincoln Cushing
Heritage writer

 

ColorCodedFiles2

 

 

Jack Chapman photo and caption, KaiPerm Kapsul, 1958-06

Jack Chapman, KaiPerm Kapsul, June 1958.

Jack Chapman was hired in 1951 by Kaiser Permanente physician founder Sidney Garfield to be the assistant administrator of Oakland Hospital. Chapman personally supervised the construction of our Walnut Creek Hospital for Henry J. Kaiser and became the hospital’s first administrator. He was also a keeper of Kaiser Permanente’s heritage and a master teller of corporate folklore to generations of employees.

When Jack left this earth in 1999 a Kaiser Permanente obituary called him “a legend in his own time.”  This is one of his stories captured in an interview, about the brand-new Walnut Creek Hospital that opened September 15, 1953 and the open house held August 23-30.

 

“Sunday morning, it was about 5 o’clock in the morning and the phone rings.” Jack!” “Yes, Mr. Kaiser.” He’d call you all times, time did not mean anything to him. “We’re having a meeting at 8 o’clock down at the Clinic.” “Okay, yes, right, you bet, Mr. Kaiser.” “I want you to be there.”

So, Wally Cook, Fred Pellegrin and myself, yeah, that was just the three of us. Well, we got there. Sidney is there, Ale Kaiser [Henry J. Kaiser’s second wife Alyce, whom he married in 1951] and Helen [Helen Chester Peterson, Dr. Garfield’s second wife, whom he’d married less than three months earlier].

“Jack, what’s this filing system you have concocted here?” I said, “It’s called the terminal digit system. Filed by the rear numbers. We have been filing by numbers, Mr. Kaiser, in sequence. But, God, if you misfile, how do you find the thing. This way, you always have the last two numbers and misfiling is very rare. Some people will invert them, a 90 can become a 09 or sometimes people will put them upside down like 06 or 09 but at least you can go to those bins and, you know have a pretty good chance of finding the record.”

I said, “Well, I don’t think that is any good at all.”

Ale then says, “We don’t want to treat our members as numbers.”

I tried to argue, you know, and I got about from here to the end of that desk and that was the end of it. “It is going to alphabetical.” “Alphabetical, oh God,” I said.

Filing medical records, 1965 [circa]

Nurse filing paper medical records, Kaiser Permanente Oakland hospital, circa 1965.

“And, we are going to have a color code.” “You mean, different colors for the different letters of the alphabet.” “Yeah.” “Fine” I said. So here we are, we pull all the charts out and here’s the A’s and Mr. Kaiser is putting the A’s, and the B’s, C’s. Finally, with charts on the floor on a Sunday morning, I said, “Jeez, I wonder if they have enough colors to cover the alphabet.” “We’ll have them make ‘em up.” So sure enough, I don’t know what those chart jackets cost, it must have been ungodly to have these all made up. You know, we had puce, purple and all different colors, my God! Lime green, you know, it looked like Jell-O up there.

“But anyway, we had color codes and then you had to understand what each color meant, that that was an A color and a B color and a D color or whatever. I can recall that incident so well, oh my goodness gracious. Well, it was kind of funny. Finally, the hospital was really going along and we were getting ready to open … we got the whole thing dolled up. We had an open house here like you’ve never seen in your life. We went on for two weeks, every night. 35,000 people marched through this hospital.”

 

Short link to this article: http://k-p.li/2bjsVuo

 

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Kaiser Permanente at the Olympic Games

posted on August 4, 2016

Lincoln Cushing
Heritage writer

 

 

Bob King wins high jump at Olympics, in The Capital Times (Wisconsin) 1928-07-30

Bob King wins high jump at Olympics, in The Capital Times (Wisconsin) 7/30/1928.

This year’s Thrive advertising campaign begins its launch on August 5 during opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Kaiser Permanente first began airing what was then its ground-breaking new campaign during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Then, as now, it focused on total health, demonstrating Kaiser Permanente’s long-held mission to improve both the health and well being of members—to help people “thrive.”

Kaiser Permanente has also been involved in the Olympics up close and personal, through participation by members, physicians, and employees.

 

Robert King, MD, one of the six original Permanente Medical Group founders, won a gold medal for high jumping at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam.

Tom Waddell, MD, (1937-1987) was a decathlete in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico and a physician at San Francisco General Hospital’s emergency department. He founded the 1982 “Gay Olympics” (later named the

“Joe Rios’ 5’4” size didn’t handicap him at the U.S. Olympic trials in New York. “You can always compensate size with skill,” his teacher told him. Joe proved him correct.” KP Reporter, 8/1/1980

“Joe Rios’ 5’4” size didn’t handicap him at the U.S. Olympic trials in New York. “You can always compensate size with skill,” his teacher told him. Joe proved him correct.” KP Reporter, 8/1/1980

Gay Games after a challenge from the United States Olympic Committee). Dr. Waddell was diagnosed with AIDS in 1986, and his struggle to improve the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients at Kaiser Permanente was a continuation of his “never give up” spirit.

An article in the Kaiser Permanente Reporter featured this employee story:

Joe Rios, chief engineer at our Richmond (Calif.) Medical Center, finally realized his dream. “I made the team – the U.S. Olympic Fencing Team.” Although the United States didn’t compete in the 1980 Olympics, trials were conducted for selection of competition teams. Joe competed in two forms of fencing- foil and sabre – and won medals in both. Each event began with 75 participants. Six were finally chosen for the team. Comments Joe, “I fenced in an 11-hour match to win the silver medal in foil and a 15-hour match to win the bronze medal in sabre. It was absolutely the most fantastic experience. Everything seemed to fall into place for me.”

Shirley Craddick, RD, trains to carry the Olympic torch. Planning For Health 11/2/1984.

Shirley Craddick, RD, trains to carry the Olympic torch. Planning For Health 11/2/1984.

The United States had boycotted this Summer Olympic Games in Moscow as a protest of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

In opening the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Shirley Craddick, a Kaiser Permanente registered dietitian, carried the Olympic torch for one kilometer as a representative of the Oregon Dietetic Association. Craddick was active with the Health Service Research Center’s “Freedom From Fat” project.

The Olympic Games and Kaiser Permanente – carrying the flame for fitness and health.

 

Short link to this article: http://k-p.li/2alJM2m

 

 

 

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