Jan. 10, 2020 marked the 110th anniversary of the arrival of Donald Guthrie, M.D. in Sayre as surgeon-in-chief of the Robert Packer Hospital and what became the Guthrie Clinic, where his practices, organizational skills and ideals are still the core of how the institution runs today. The following highlights an account from the Towanda Daily Review from his 40th anniversary as Surgeon and Chief in 1950 ...
Jan. 10, 1950, Towanda Daily Review
For the Past Forty Years
A Resume of Development of the Robert Packer Hospital Under the Inspired Guidance of Dr. Donald Guthrie Presented at the Guthrie Anniversary Banquet January 10, 1940.
By Dr. George W. Hawk
Forty years ago today, Dr. Guthrie took up his duties as surgeon-in-chief and superintendent of the Robert Packer Hospital. At the time of his election to the position, the board of trustees were satisfied that they had chosen a skillful surgeon, but did not realize what a great career was to begin unfolding.
The assets given Dr. Guthrie on Jan. 10, 1910 to start his career was a hospital housing a few patients, a small dispensary, a small nurses training school, no administrator, one intern and practically no endowment or reserve fund.
To these meager assets, let us add two admirable aims which Dr. Guthrie had to form the basis of his life’s work: (1) to always provide the best possible modern medical and surgical care for patients, whether rich or poor, never sparing time or expense in administering, nor turning anyone away who required medical or surgical attention; (2) to form a staff that would provide this community with a center to which people could come to receive the benefit of the latest diagnostic methods and most modern treatment. Thus, he has laid the foundation for his great achievements.
As head of the institution his first official act was to appoint an associate and X-Ray technician. He had now formed the nucleus of his staff consisting of himself, and associate, one intern and an X-Ray technician.
The early days of his administration were not a bed of roses. The eyes of the community were upon the new young surgeon and a false step or poor judgment could have meant his downfall. There were the usual number of skeptics and critics. However, Dr. Guthrie’s keen foresight to keep his mount of pitfall.