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"1855 to 1974: The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Perspective" for the Dedication Observance of the Children's Hospital and Child Guidance Center, 1974 May 6

 File — Box: 23, Folder: 6
Identifier: i
Series II: Public Relations

The second series, “Public Relations,” is one of the most complex series within the CHOP Records. Consisting of 26 boxes, divided into 6 subseries, this series has a date range from 1949 to 2004. The majority of these files were generated and/ or collected by Shirley Bonnem, whose tenure at CHOP stretched from the years 1966 to 2000. Bonnem worked in a number of capacities within CHOP’s Public Relations Department, and claimed the following successive titles: Assistant Administrator, Assistant Vice President, and finally, Vice President of Public Relations. Bonnem wrote two books on the CHOP, including: The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 1974-1994: Two Decades : An Informal Report (of which two copies can be found in Series IV), published in 1995, and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 1995-2001: A Hospital on the Move: A Report on Change, published in 2003. Notes for A Hospital on the Move, and Two Decades, An Informal Report can be found in Subseries A, “Correspondence, Internal Files, Committees.” Please refer to Series V, “Biographical Files,” for transcripts of historical interviews conducted by Shirley Bonnem as part of her research for these two books.

Highlights of the first subseries, “Correspondence, Internal Files, and Committees,” include a number of files pertaining to race relations in Philadelphia during the late 1960’s. In 1968, a Race Relations Committee was established at CHOP, the purpose of which was to address tensions and educate people on contemporary race relations. The Race Relations Committee was formed in the after math of the Reasoner Report, which had in turn been written in response to the race riots in Detroit during the previous year of 1967. The seminars sponsored by the Race Relations Committee were all delivered by African Americans, and were attended by CHOP medical and administrative staff. Topics covered were cultural and included such issues as housing discrimination and the psychological roots of prejudice.

This subseries also contains correspondence concerning the implementation of the “Philadelphia Plan” in October 1969. CHOP was awarded the first contract under the “Philadelphia Plan,” for which the US Department of Labor required federally assisted contractors to hire a certain percentage of minority workers. This contract was for construction of the new CHOP building at 34th and Civic Center Blvd. for which construction began on in the late 1960’s, and was completed in 1974. The second subseries, “Programs and Affiliate Hospitals,” highlights various national and international institutional alliances that CHOP fostered over the years. Included is information on local CHOP affiliations, such as with the Ronald McDonald House of Philadelphia, and satellite locations in the tristate area. International affiliations include the Great Ormand Street Hospital in London, the American Children’s Hospital in Krakow, Poland, and CHOP’s participation in Project HOPE.

The third Subseries, “Events and Historical Exhibits,” contains a number of PR-planned events which occurred throughout the years. This subseries provides insight into the planning and execution of a number of such events at CHOP, such as the groundbreaking and dedication of the new building at 34th and Civic Center Boulevard in 1974. Other events include memorial services for CHOP doctors and staff, medical conferences and seminars, and a number of historical exhibits for which the displayed items and text were prepared by Shirley Bonnem.

The fourth subseries, “Press Releases, Fact Sheets, and Histories,” include all information released by CHOP’s PR department to local, regional, and national news outlets. Press Releases are filed chronologically, with those on seven sets of conjoined twins separated by CHOP surgeons concentrated together. Quick reference can be made to the Fact Sheets and Histories, as they provide excellent summarization of CHOP medical departments, procedures, new medical advancements which occurred at CHOP, as well as dated hospital histories and list of medical “firsts” achieved at CHOP.

Subseries E, “Publications,” contains all serial and unique publications produced by the PR department. These include early newsletter, such as “Pediatric Brevia” and “”Thermometer.” Also included is a sub-subseries entitled “Informational Brochures,” who were aimed toward a public audience and provided information on CHOP services. In separate sub-subseries are publications such as “Children’s Hospital Times,” “Notes,” and “Children’s View.” Bound copies of these publications can also be found in the “Bound Volumes, Books” series, along with a bound volume of “Pediatric Pioneering” issues.

The final sub series in the “Public Relations” series is “Volunteer Organizations.” There were a number of volunteer organizations which served CHOP throughout the years, the largest and most long standing of which included the Auxiliary and the Women’s League. The Auxiliary was responsible for Daisy Day, and the Women’s League was responsible for the Carousel Ball, both annual fundraisers for CHOP.

Also in this series are files pertaining to the Executive Council of Volunteer Organizations (EVCO), an umbrella volunteer organization formed to encompass the Auxiliary and Women’s League. Please refer to Series VI, “Bound Volumes, Books,” for 7 volumes of meeting minutes recorded by the earliest CHOP volunteer organization, the Lady Visitors. These volumes date from 1858 to 1925.


  • 1974 May 6


From the Series: 26.0 boxes


Repository Details

Part of the Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Repository

19 S. 22nd Street
Philadelphia PA 19103 United States