Florida East Coast Railway Hospital St. Augustine Florida
East Coast Hospital Railway employees first went to the Alicia Hospital but space reserved was so inadequate and the attention so poor that during a latter part of the year none of the employees needing attention could be prevailed upon to enter the hospital Next they rented a house (at least for the whites - blacks were treated in a barn). 50 cents per month was assessed from each employee for their health care.
The original building was occupied in 1891. The hospital was originally for the treatment of the ill and injured among the employees and their families of the F. E. C. Railway throughout the state. In the 1894 Chief Surgeon Annual report $361.50 was paid to surgeons, 136 people were treated at the cost of $2.65 per patient. Dr. Shine was the chief surgeon that year.
The original building of the Florida East Coast Railway Hospital burned on November 27, 1901. At the time of the 1901 fire all the patients were removed and sent to the barracks hospital. The x-ray machine was also saved.
Dr. S. G. Worley helped establish the hospital. He had been in Kissimmee for seven years when he was called to St. Augustine to organize the railroad hospital and establish a training school for nurses in connection with his duties as chief Surgeon. He was chief surgeon by at least 1896. He was born in Tennessee, attended Tulane University and was graduated from the Atlanta Medical College. Before Florida, he practiced in Louisiana, Georgia, and Texas.
In 1914 he resigned as surgeon to open a private hospital across the street on the site of today's Broudy's Liquor.
Dr. Murray W. Seagears was the chief surgeon in 1916. He published a book of rules and regulations for the East Coast Hospital Association that may have been the rules before 1916. The Chief Surgeon appointed the doctors, nurses, etc. for the hospital subject to the consent of the Executive Committee.
The booklet stated that the hospital was open to the treatment of sick and disabled persons of any creed, nationality or color. This does not mean that the hospital wasn't segregated into wards based on color , but it did treat African-American patients. There were some exclusions for payment of treatment rendered: All persons suffering from venereal disease or injuries resulting from vicious practices such as fighting, wrestling, etc. are not entitled for treatment for such ailments not to be paid for by the association. While persons were entitled to free vaccinations the hospital could not care for smallpox and yellow fever.