VELLORE: Dr Ida Scudder, founder of the Christian Medical College (CMC) here, was remembered on her 54th death anniversary on Saturday. M Gunaseakaran, head of the NGO ‘Dr Ida Anbukarangal’ paid tributes at her cemetery.
The idea of establishing the hospital was conceived in 1890 when Ida had come from the US to Vellore to help her missionary parents. She was requested by three men to help their wives who were in labour pain. Young Ida not being a doctor then, was afraid and reluctant to offer help, following which all three women died. The incident changed her views and inspired her to take up gynaecology as a profession. Ida died a spinster aged 90 in 1960.
The hospital was established in 1900 as a single-bed dispensary with the help of a grant from New York-based banker Schell. In 1903, Ida began training several compounders and six years later in 1909, she started the School of Nursing. Her most treasured dream was realised when a medical school for women was started in 1918, which trained licentiates in medicine and through her efforts it became a Medical College in 1942.
Today, the college offers 85 recognised training programmes in medicine, nursing and allied health fields. Now, the hospital is a 2,500-bed super-specialty facility attracting patients from all over.