Weathering Depression, Flood, and War, 1920-1945
From the 1920s through World War II, Jewish Hospital confronted a series of crises, moving from the brink of closure to the decision to build a new hospital. As a charitable institution, the hospital faced ongoing deficits. After a 1926 Louisville Times headline announced “Jewish Hospital May Shut Doors as Funds Needed,” the hospital managed to raise enough money to remain open and expand.
A new addition to Jewish Hospital opened at the end of 1929, right at the onset of the Great Depression. Adding to the financial troubles of the times, the 1937 flood damaged the facility and forced a temporary evacuation. Just a few years later, World War II mobilization led to worker and supply shortages, and Jewish Hospital struggled to remain adequately staffed and equipped.
Toward the end of 1944, Jewish Hospital took stock of its overcrowded and outdated facilities. The Board of Trustees decided that the only way to keep pace with medical developments was to build a new hospital in a new location.