VAN ALLEN HOSPITAL
Even before the discovery of Kodaikanal by Lt. Ward, there are records to show that Kodaikanal was settled by Indians. But it was Lt. Ward`s discovery which revealed its wonderful climate and scenic beauty to the Europeans settlers. American missionaries from Madurai began to arrive in Kodaikanal in 1834, followed by missionaries from many other parts of Europe including Switzerland, France and Germany. The Kodaikanal Missionary Union was then formed in 1890 to encourage missionaries from different denominations and nations to work together in the spirit of comradeship, though this was mainly for the benefit of the European settlers.
The Kodaikanal Missionary Union envisioned as part of their mission, the opportunity to provide medical expertise to their community, and to keep their friends and neighbours safe and healthy. The K.M.U sponsored large scale art, music, and drama productions to raise the required funds, and Swedish missionaries donated the land for the construction of the hospital.
Two prominent doctors of the American Madura Mission, Dr. Edward Wheeler Wilder and Dr. Chester Van Allen were the driving force behind the building of the hospital, and were largely responsible for its opening in 1913. When the building construction was complete, several suggestions were made for it to be named after Dr. Wilder, but he declined. Therefore when the hospital opened in 1913, it was named the Van Allen Hospital in honour of his colleague.
The second wing of the hospital was built with continued support from the Kodaikanal Missionary Union in 1923. After Indian Independence, the hospital offered its services to foreigners, Kodaikanal`s residents and individuals from nearby villages, reflecting Van Allen’s commitment to provide medical care to its entire community. The Kodaikanal missionary union was in charge of the Van Allen hospital from 1943. It handed over the responsibility to the CORSOCK (Coordinating council for social concerns in Kodaikanal) committee in 1976.
Love in action through holistic healthcare.
To provide quality out-patient and in-patient medical and surgical care for patients regardless of race, sex, religion, social or economic standing and to provide training to medical and paramedical personal as and when necessary. Van Allen Hospital seeks to promote the health and well-being of people in Kodaikanal and its surrounding community with the special emphasis on serving the weaker section of the community, guided by the teachings of Jesus Christ.
The history of the Van Allen Hospital is the story of the lives of countless men and women involved in the development of the institution over the past one hundred years.
Mr. Corleigh Robert Stixrud,
Kodaikanal International School,
Seven Roads Junction,
Kodaikanal, 624-101 Tamil Nadu. India
Mr Ragland Jebaraj
Other committee members
Mr. and Mrs. Soans
Dr. T. Paul Arulraj, MBBS
Mr. Immanuel Babu