Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.
50 years ago
July 10, 1963
COOPERSTOWN — Contributions of a doctor to the hospital, to patients, and to the many surgeons “who have been fortunate enough to have been trained under his guiding hand and helpful eye,” were lauded, when Dr. John H. Powers, retiring Surgeon-in-Chief and now Surgeon-in-Chief Emeritus of Bassett Hospital was honored at a reception on the front lawn of the hospital Friday.
The affair was a tribute to Dr. Powers upon his retirement after 33 years on the medical staff, the last seven as surgeon-in-chief.
Dr. James Bordley 3rd, director of the hospital, acting as master of ceremonies, talked of Dr. Powers’ early years in medicine, his education, training and his many years of service at Bassett.
Dr. Monroe A. McIver, former surgeon-in-chief, currently surgeon-in-chief emeritus and the predecessor to Dr. Powers, told the large gathering of hospital employees of Dr. Power’s coming to Bassett, of his training here and of the glowing praise which Dr. Harvey Cushing of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston mentioned in recommending Dr. Powers for the surgical position in Cooperstown.
Dr. Powers came to Cooperstown in December of 1930 as associate surgeon. A native of Gardiner, Maine, he graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, in 1919. A member of Phi Beta Kappa at Bates, he was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University where he received an honors degree in physiology in 1923.
While abroad he studied anatomy in Paris and Edinburgh during summer vacation periods. He returned to the United States and received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1925.
Dr. Powers was one of the pioneers in early post-operative ambulation for patients who had undergone major surgery, a practice now widely used throughout the world.