PHILADELPHIA REFLECTIONS
Musings of a Philadelphia Physician who has served the community for six decades

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New topic 2013-02-05 15:24:06 description

Cost of Medical Care

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Milton S. Hershey

On several occasions, Richard A. Kern M.D. (1891-1982) told the story of his part in the founding of the Hershey School of Medicine. Dick Kern was a distinguished professor of Medicine at Temple University, well known for his contributions in the field of asthma and allergy, a past president of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and a former Grand Master of Pennsylvania Freemasonry. The Milton S. Hershey School was considering the creation of a medical school and needed advice.

Milton Hershey had been a strict Mennonite, which is closely related to Quakerism, and had accumulated a huge fortune making chocolate candy. He left generous trusts to endow a theater and various other public services in the town of Hershey, but his ownership shares in the chocolate company had been left to the Hershey School for orphans. The value of the shares had far outgrown the ability of the school to employ them usefully, and they were considering a medical school. In 1963, as at present, everybody else was wondering how to get out from under the crushing cost of running a medical school. The sudden inquiry from a donor both willing and able to start a whole new medical school from scratch was an opportunity not likely to appear again soon. Kern carefully considered the options, including the danger of scaring off the naive potential donors with too high a price. Finally, he screwed up his courage and suggested a price to the trustees, of fifty million. The prompt answer was, done, you've got your medical school.

In due course, Kern found himself on the platform at the inaugural ceremonies of the school, sitting next to the guest of honor, that man who had made such an instant decision. Chatting amiably, Kern mentioned that he had always wondered how high the Hershey Foundation would have been willing to go. The answer was just as prompt as the original one. "Hundred-twenty."

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The contribution to the medical school was the first major frontal assault on the Hershey's Deed of Trust, and opened the door to subsequent trampling of the Deed for non-child care agendas.
Thank you Dr. John O. Hershey!
Posted by: AdrianTaylor47   |   Oct 5, 2006 8:16 AM
This money was not theirs to give. It is a breach of the Hershey Trust. The money was for orphan boys only. What kind of friend was he of Milton S. Hershey,not much.
Posted by: unclelarry   |   Oct 4, 2006 11:05 PM

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