Photo taken at the refugee camps on the island of Macronissi, Greece after the evacuation of Smyrna (Izmir), Turkey.
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Although the Allied countries did not permit women to serve as officers in the military medical corps, there was a desperate need for doctors in the wake of World War I. The desire to advance women in the medical profession and to relieve those suffering in post-war conditions prompted American women physicians to form the first American Women’s Hospital in France in 1918. The American Women’s Hospitals (AWH) was founded to provide medical care to the people of war-torn France during World War I, and subsequently established hospitals in other parts of Europe, continuing to provide medical care to devastated populations after wars and conflicts had officially ended.
In 1922 the American Women's Hospitals (AWH) established services on Macronissi to care for the refugees from Smyrna. The photograph of a young woman weighing the day’s food ration outside a tent illustrates the harsh conditions of the refugee settlement and the meager food available. The AWH photographed the refugee situation in order to document the severity and scope of the crisis, and the AWH’s role in alleviating it. AWH published photographs like this to raise awareness in America about what was happening, and to appeal for more money and support to continue their work among the refugees and improve conditions.
Creator: American Women's Hospitals
Item Number: a144_185
Size: 14.3 x 9.5 cm
Physical Collection: Records of American Women`s Hospitals 1917-1982, ACC-144
Finding Aid: http://dla.library.upenn.edu/dla/pacscl/detail.html?id=PACSCL_DUCOM_WMSC144
Link to OPAC Record: http://innopac.library.drexel.edu/search/c?SEARCH=ACC-144
Cite this source: Title of document, date. The American Women’s Hospitals and the Fire of Smyrna: Millions of refugees, almost totally without men. Doctor or Doctress?: Explore American history through the eyes of women physicians. The Legacy Center, Drexel University College of Medicine Archives & Special Collections. Philadelphia, PA. Date of access. http://lcdc.library.drexel.edu/islandora/object/islandora:1492
American Women's Hospitals
Women's health services
Missionaries, Medical- Turkey
Macronissi (Makronisos), Greece
New York (NY)