In 1917 the founder of Children’s Mercy wrote an article in the Mercy’s Messenger newsletter. It was a small publication, but it makes a powerful statement that is still true today. (A quick thank you to Tom McCormally and the For All Children Everywhere blog for bringing this wonderful resource to light.) In the article, Dr. Katherin B. Richardson asks the question:

“Why Mercy Hospital Wants Laboratories, and Asks Your Help in Securing Them.”

On some level, we are all still asking this question–why are we doing research and why we need help to support this important work. Here are a few of the answers that Dr. Richardson provided in 1917:

“Because modern medicine is the product of the test tube and the microscope.”

“Because Mercy Hospital furnishes a wonderful opportunity for the discovery of a cure for the frightful, death dealing child diseases.

“Because with a small Staff and a fine Laboratory Director, it is possible to welcome all honest investigators, and to so guard their work that no harm can come to the children.”

“Because we want to do the very best for every little creature that comes to us, and because we feel that out of the wonderful advantages of Mercy Hospital should come great discoveries for the actual prevention of the awful deformities which at present we can do little more than modify.”

It is sometimes amazing how potent the needs of the past relate to the present.