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Medical Missions

SPC Red Cross Expedition to Station at Auja al-Hafir, 1914.jpg

Red Cross/SPC Expedition to Auja al-Hafir, Palestine, 1915, Archives and Special Collections, Jafet Library, AUB

In January 1915, the American Red Cross, assisted by SPC, sent a medical  expedition to Auja al-Hafir  in Palestine. An inspection of the tents, equipment and medical supplies to be sent to Palestine was performed at SPC on campus, a few days before departure. The expedition team was headed by Dr. Ward of SPC and by Reverend George C. Doolittle, of Sidon. SPC Medical Students as well as some nurses from the SPC affiliated Johanniter Hospital also joined the team. The party reached its destination in time to help the wounded soldiers who were repatriated from a major battle in the Suez Canal. After completing its mission, the expedition team returned to Beirut in April 1915. Throughout this mission, and many more to come, the SPC doctors and medical staff and students received high praise for their professionalism, state-of the-art training, dedication, and work ethics. The College had a lot to be proud of in the person of these men and women. Many had to pay a heavy price with their own lives: by the end of the War, 32 medical doctors had perished in the battlefields. Most of the 32 medical doctors were of Lebanese, Armenian or Arab origin.


Nursing Class of 1913.jpg

Ms. Jane Van Zandt with Nursing Training School Class 1913 among them Ms. Raja Saliba (N.T.S. 1913) and Nezhah Swayd (N.T.S. 1913), Archives and Special Collections, Jafet Library, AUB

"The Beirut, Syria, Chapter of the American Red Cross has sent a unit to Constantinople at the request of Ambassador Morgenthau. It sailed on Monday morning, May 17th on the U.S. collier "Vulcan". The party consists of Dr.  Ward, Professor of Surgery in the S.P.C., his orderly, Mr. Mirza Aflatun, a Persian subject, a student in the third year of the school of medicine, Miss Jane Van Zandt, Head Nurse and superintendent of the S.P.C. Training School for Nurses, Miss Nitingale, nurse to the American community in Syria, and Miss Najla Saliba and Miss Nezha Swayd both graduates of the Nurses' Training School of the S.P.C. The party arrived in Constantinople, on May 21st. After a few days they were assigned to special hospital quarters where they have been busily engaged ever since in caring for the wounded and the suffering."

Al-Kulliyah Magazine.1920. Beirut: A.A.A.U.B., v. 6, no. 3, p:22