207940 Community-based work programs during the Progressive Era

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ruth L. Schemm, EdD, OTR/L , Department of Health Policy and Public Health, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
According to recent US Census data, over 60% of Americans who are disabled are also unemployed. This paper will use historiography to describe goal directed activities used by public health advocates to improve the lives of people with mental and physical disabilities from 1880-1920. The strong connection between community programs and social networks provided outlets to sell hand made products that offered an early, tentative link to employment. Arequipa Sanatorium for Working Women, (1911-41), Marblehead Pottery (1907-26) and Consolation House (1908-1921) were widely recognized by lay and professional audiences as programs that fostered productive community living among people with disabilities. Program goals were designed to gradually increase work tolerance and focus skills on employment.

This presentation will use primary sources and images to describe these programs and outcomes. Phillip King Brown, the founder of Arequipa Sanatorium, prescribed pottery making for working class women with TB. A similar program developed by Herbert J. Hall at Marblehead Pottery gradually strengthened tolerance using a “work cure” so participants would have “half a loaf”. George Barton (Consolation House) cured his own paralysis by prescribing work like medication and set up a workshop in Clifton Springs, New York. These leaders recognized the need for more streamlined reconstruction efforts because of the numbers of WWI soldiers who needed to learn industrial tasks. Efforts to integrate these programs into communities smoothed recovery from a disrupting life event and created a collaboration between medical and social rehabilitation programs and policies.

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe a collaborative model to improve health using activities and community resources 2. Discuss the roots of community-based programs designed to address mental health and physical activity needs

Keywords: Community Collaboration, Community Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Research and articles, prior presentations
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.