JOHN BARTLETT

“If one of his parishioners were very sick, he would first prescribe for him, then pray with him. If the case was likely to prove fatal, he wrote the sick man’s will, watched with him the last night of his life, comforted the mourners, made the post-mortem examination, officiated at the funeral, then presented the will for probate, gave bonds as executor, and was appointed guardian of the children.”

-Friend of John Bartlett

JOHN BARTLETT

Reverend John Bartlett was a pastor who co-founded two of the first hospitals in the United States, including Massachusetts General Hospital. Bartlett, a graduate of Harvard, studied theology before becoming a chaplain for an organization that cared for the poor in Boston. He also studied medicine to assist him in serving the impoverished of the city. 

 

After observing the conditions of the poor in Boston, Bartlett visited the only public hospitals in America at the time-- in New York and Philadelphia-- to research the latest advances in medicine. He then persuaded prominent physicians and wealthy patrons in his community to create two hospitals to provide state-of-the-art medical care in New England, while also providing opportunities for medical education. Mass General was one of these hospitals, which also became the first teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.

CENTERED ON CHRIST

A devout Christian, Bartlett was an ordained pastor in Massachusetts. One of Bartlett's friends said about him, “If one of his parishioners were very sick, he would first prescribe for him, then pray with him. If the case was likely to prove fatal, he wrote the sick man’s will, watched with him the last night of his life, comforted the mourners, made the post-mortem examination, officiated at the funeral, then presented the will for probate, gave bonds as executor, and was appointed guardian of the children.”

Massachussetts General Hospital

Massachussetts General Hospital

The Bulfinch Building, 1941

John Bartlett

John Bartlett

Plaque for John Bartlett

Plaque for John Bartlett

Plaque for John Bartlett located at Mass General Hospital

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