JD Camp Sr. Society

jd-camp-241The JD Camp Sr. Society was created to honor and recognize the generosity of forward-thinking individuals who have made the important choice to support the mission of Broward Health through their estate plans. The following types of commitments qualify you for membership in the JD Camp Sr. Society:

  • A bequest provision in your will or revocable trust
  • A life-income gift that names the Broward Health Foundation as a remainder beneficiary, such as a charitable remainder trust or a charitable gift annuity
  • A charitable lead trust that provides income to the Broward Health Foundation for a donor’s lifetime or a term of years;
  • A gift of a life estate
  • A gift or assignment of qualified retirement plan assets, such as an IRA, 401(k), or 403(b)
  • A gift of life insurance

If you have considered including the Broward Health Foundation in your estate plans, but haven’t done so yet, we encourage you to contact us for a confidential discussion without any obligation. To learn more about the role you can play in securing the future for Broward Health and become a member of the JD Camp Sr. Society, please contact Dennis Stefanacci, President & CEO of BHF at – Phone: 954.712.3980 | Email: dstefanacci@browardhealth.org.

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About JD Camp Sr.

The 20s were definitely “roaring” for Broward County. Land booms and then busts made for a volatile economy. The aftermath of the great hurricane of 1926 and extreme economic hardships fueled the need for healthcare in Broward County. As a result, the Broward County Medical Society was formed consisting of those physicians interested in the improvement of sanitary conditions and medical facilities. With several futile attempts at establishing hospitals, there was a desperate need to find an answer to the community’s healthcare needs. It was reported that during the past 16 years, ownership of private hospital facilities had changed six times. The Broward County Medical Society (BCMS) felt that private hospitals could not be relied upon for continuity of service and only a community owned hospital would offer security.

In May of 1937, the BCMS adopted a resolution calling for an appointed committee to “explore the general feeling toward a community drive for a publicly supported hospital.” Members of the BCMA met with citizens and community members to discuss the crisis.

Looking back, this meeting was a huge milestone in the healthcare of Broward County. The consensus was to build a hospital supported by the city, county or a hospital district. The doctors present promised that the Broward County Medical Society would work in full harmony with any lay committee toward bringing a community hospital to the area. The result of the meeting was a unanimous motion to form the Broward Hospital Association (BHA).

From that point on, the BHA began its mission to raise the funds needed to build a hospital. The Chairman, James D. Camp, as well as the other members, explored every possibility of finding funds. Members of the community were “more than willing to give anything from one dollar to several hundred” but even that was only enough to furnish the hospital; not enough to build one.

The next step was to find a building suitable for conversion. After a long search, it was agreed that the Granada apartments, located on Southeast First Avenue between 16th and 17th streets, “could be remodeled into a hospital that would accommodate 45 patients with acceptable operating rooms, delivery rooms, laboratories, and x-ray space.” With the physicians’ approval, Camp and his committee found that the property could be bought for $26,000 cash. The City Commission approved the request and Camp was ready to complete the plans for the purchase of the property. The Broward Bank approved the first mortgage of $15,000 and the Medical Society members would underwrite the balance of $11,000.

Members of the community also joined in. Many donated their work at cost, contributing their fees to the “hospital fund”. A “drive” was also implemented and equipment donated. Finally, after months of hard work and dedication, the 45-bed hospital opened its doors as the new Broward General Hospital (now Broward General Medical Center). Dr. R.L. Elliston admitted his first patient, William Miller, on January 2, 1938. The total cost of property, conversion, and remodeling was $57,500.00.

Between 1935 and 1940, the population of Broward County grew from 20,000 to approximately 30,000. To keep up with the growth, the addition of a new wing was crucial, but without funding the expansion would be close to impossible.

Dr. Russell B. Carson, Broward General Hospital urologist, the 26th physician in Broward County and a board member of the Broward County Medical Society, remembers discussing the crisis over lunch at Brown’s Restaurant at what was called ‘the pot roast table’.

“All of us used to go to Brown’s Restaurant for lunch; Mr. Brown was on the Board so all the board members, newspaper reporters, physicians and lawyers would come talk around this big table we liked to call the ‘pot roast table’. We used to talk about the sore need for an addition and we didn’t know where we were going to get the money. Board Member Bill Kelly came up with the idea one day while realizing that we have a poor district, a school district, a drainage district and a highway commission, so why not a hospital district?”

Camp approached the city commission in 1940 about the need for expansion and received favorable response for a new wing. In 1942 a South Wing was added providing enough beds to weather the war. After the war, in 1948, the East Wing was built raising the bed total at Broward General to 142. Provident Hospital (35 beds), a non-profit private hospital built to serve the black population and Hollywood Hospital (46 beds), were the only other hospital facilities in the county. The 223-bed total was not enough to accommodate the entire population of Broward County.

In 1949, the Hospital Board returned to the City Commission to ask for funds for another wing. This time the City Commission denied the request. As a result, Camp and all members of the Board resigned.

In 1950, the need for a community-funded taxing district was inevitable. In August, the Broward General Hospital Board succeeded in obtaining approval of an expansion program for which the city applied for a $500,000 RFC loan. A legislative act for a North Broward Hospital District was approved in 1952 by referendum and a District Board was appointed by the governor with William J. Kelley as chairman. The District was born.

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