McGoogan News

From the archives: Olga Stastny

By John Schleicher

Olga (Sadilek) Stastny, M.D. (1878-1952) was a leading Omaha physician during the first half of the 20th century.  She was born in Wilber, Nebraska, and graduated from high school there in 1895, and the same year she married dentist Charles Stastny, and they had two children.  Stastny Olga 1913Her husband died in 1907, and Stastny went back to school, eventually earning her M.D. in 1913 from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine.

She did postgraduate study at the College of Medicine, New York; as well as at Mary Thompson Hospital, Chicago.  She also travel led to Prague, Czechoslovakia, and Berlin, Germany, 1913-14, for further postgraduate work.  She was an intern at the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Boston.

She practiced medicine in Omaha from 1913-16, and in 1918 she volunteered to become an anesthetist in the American Women’s Hospital in France during World War I.  From 1919-20, she was a faculty member of the School of Social Service, Prague; and from 1919-22, she was director of the International YMCA’s Department of Health for Czechoslovakia.  From 1923-24, she was the supervisor of a quarantine station for refugees from Greece and Asia Minor.

She returned to private practice in Omaha and also served as volunteer faculty for the University of Nebraska College of Medicine from 1925-1948, in the area of obstetrics and gynecology.  She was president of the American Women’s Medical Association from 1930-31.

From the archives: Irving Cutter, M.D.

By John Schleicher

Irving Cutter, M.D., was born in 1875 in New Hampshire, and as a boy he came to Nebraska with his family.  He graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1898. For six years following graduation he worked as a high school teacher and principal. He graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in 1910, at age 35. After graduation Cutter practiced medicine in Lincoln for three years, and was also an instructor in physiological chemistry at the University of Cutter_Irving_S_1925Nebraska. In 1913 Cutter became professor of biochemistry at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine.

Dr. Cutter became Dean of the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in 1915, and served in this capacity until 1925.  He then became Dean of Medicine at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago. Cutter remained at Northwestern University for 16 years, retiring in 1941. While at Northwestern University, Dr. Cutter also acted as Medical Director of Passavant Hospital in Chicago.

Beginning in 1934, Cutter was medical editor for the Chicago Tribune, writing a daily column on health called “How to Keep Well.” The various topics of his columns cover a wide range of medical topics, from diabetes to poison ivy, and worry as a cause of heart disease to hardening of the arteries.

Cutter served in World War I as a Captain in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army from 1918-1919, and held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Officers’ Reserve Corps from 1920-1929. In 1923 Cutter was elected president of the Association of American Medical Colleges. He was president of Phi Rho Sigma from 1927-1934. He died in 1945, at age 69, of prostate cancer.

 

From the archives: Centennial sculpture

By John Schleicher

Some of the artwork on the UNMC campus often goes unnoticed and unappreciated. The centenCentennial sculpturenial sculpture (pictured), located in the passageway between Wittson Hall and the hospital is one of those works of art. The sculpture honors the 100th anniversary of the College of Medicine, and was dedicated in October 1980. Originally the sculpture stood outside, between Bennett Hall (then called South Lab Building) and the Lied Transplant Center (then the site of Conkling Hall, former School of Nursing building). Created by artist Danny Whetstone, the sculpture is the centennial logo, representing the past, present and future generations of the college. When located outside, the sculpture included an eternal flame that demonstrated the college’s continuing commitment to health care.

In March 1996, the demolition of Conkling Hall began, to make way for the Lied Transplant Center. The sculpture was removed and later placed indoors in the passageway where it now stands.

To visit the UNMC archives, contact the Special Collections Department to schedule an appointment or inquire at the AskUs desk on the 6th floor of the library.

From the archives: 19th century pocket guide

By John Schleicher

“The anatomical remembrancer; or, complete pocket anatomist: containing a concise description of the bones, ligaments, muscles, and viscera; the distribution of the nerves, blood-vessels, and absorbents; the arrangement of the several fasciae; the organs of generation in the male and female, and the organs of the senses.”Anatomical Remembrancer

This is the title of a little book from the rare book collections of the library. It is the eighth edition of a work published by William Wood & Company in New York in 1877. This little book, not much bigger or thicker than a cell phone (it is 3½ by 5 inches and is about ¾ of an inch thick, with 297 pages), contains easily usable information, with a description in the preface saying it will “make it calculated to assist alike the practitioner and the student.”

The book belonged to and was used by Edgar C. Swift, M.D. (1857-1927), while a student at Syracuse Medical School in New York state. He received his M.D. in 1881. Some of his descendants later came to Omaha.

So, next time you pull your smart phone out of your pocket to access online resources from the McGoogan Library of Medicine, remember Dr. Swift’s little anatomical book.

From the archives: McGoogan delivers holiday cheer

By John Schleicher

Everyone knows that the stork delivers newborn babies! But for many years in Omaha, that “stork” was Leon S. McGoogan, M.D. (1900-1993), namesake of the McGoogan Library of Medicine at UNMC; whose personalized Nebraska license plates were emblazoned with the word “Stork.”McGoogan tree small 2

By his own estimate, McGoogan delivered 9,000 babies from the time he started practice in Omaha in 1930 until his retirement. During World War II, being one of only five obstetricians in the city, he delivered an average of 50 to 60 babies a month at Immanuel Hospital where his practice was located. He served as chair of UNMC’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology from 1950-55, and again from 1961-62; for nearly sixty years he was an instructor in the department.

While busy delivering babies, teaching medical students, and volunteering for numerous civic organizations, Dr. McGoogan occupied some of his free time by creating beautiful holiday decorations for Immanuel. For Dr. McGoogan’s service to the library of medicine at UNMC, the library was named in his honor in 1978. Two of his beautiful holiday creations are among his papers and other memorabilia in the library’s Special Collections.

Happy holidays to all from the McGoogan Library staff! Dr. McGoogan’s “warm, friendly, traditional” holiday spirit lives on in the facility named for him.