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Meanwhile, the world had been hit with the flu pandemic of 1918. Largely in response to that pandemic, Manchester Memorial Hospital was built in 1918, and the Maxwell Mansion was transformed into Rockville General Hospital in 1919.In 1932, Gertrude, now fully retired, became a member of the central Connecticut social elite. She never married, but she was well-known and enjoyed traveling. On her return from a trip to Mexico, she was suffering with an undiagnosed illness. Her physician, Dr. Howard Boyd, one of Manchester Hospital's medical staff of eleven physicians, admitted her to the hospital for evaluation. The laboratory was only able to perform the most rudimentary diagnostic assessments, so Dr. Boyd sent a specimen to Hartford Hospital. The lab there identified an uncommon parasite, which enabled Dr. Boyd to manage her treatment so that she gradually recovered.Henry had two children, Gertrude (born in 1866) and Knight (born in 1870). When Henry retired in 1890, his children took control of the family business. Knight was expected, as the male heir, to exert the main force in running the business, but it soon became clear that Gertrude had more business sense. So she became, in effect if not title, the leader of the family business.Henry died in 1906, and Knight, who became chronically ill, took his own life in 1913. After his death, Gertrude formally took control of the company and continued transforming it from producing paper products for the candle and lighting oil industries to producing insulator paper for the rapidly growing electricity industry. After managing the company through World War I, she hired non-family business executives in the early 1920s to take over the day-to-day operations. She sold all her shares in 1927 as the Great Depression loomed.Gertrude Rogersn 1832, a Dutch immigrant by the name of Peter Rogers built a paper mill on Hartford Road in Manchester, across the street from the Cheney Silk Mills and close to the Manchester Train Station. His company, the Rogers Paper Manufacturing Company, made paperboard for the booming textile industry of New England. Peter died suddenly in 1841 and the paper company was taken over by his ambitious 19 year-old son, Henry. Henry patented techniques for bleaching colored paper and for recycling waste paper and newspapers. When he invented a technique for the extraction of newsprint from newspaper (one of the first recycling patents in the history of the U.S.), his influence and his business spread rapidly throughout the Northeast. Manchester Memorial Hospital 1920s28860.647.4753

Starting in the 1960s, with requests to the Rogers Endowment Fund granted by the trustees, the laboratory began to grow both in testing sophistication and in the expertise of its staff. In 1967, it was considered a sign of growth that the lab had performed 16,000 tests. In comparison, in 2010, our full service clinical laboratory performed approximately 1.5 million tests.C. Elmore Watkins, president emeritus of the Manchester Hospital Board of Trustees, described Gertrude Rogers as "a very capable woman and her life was extremely well organized. The way she set up her will was a compliment to her astuteness as a business woman, for which we in Manchester should be forever grateful." During the last fifty years, the Rogers Fund has disbursed Dr. Boyd explained to Gertrude that if she wanted her community hospital to be as skilled as Hartford Hospital, she should do something about it - for the benefit of herself and for future patients. So Gertrude established a fund, and in her will, executed in 1941, she wrote: "I direct that the net income from this used and applied only for the development and support of research and laboratory work to be maintained by the medical and pathological service." The fund was several thousand dollars at the time and was invested in common stocks; it was overseen by two trustees, one of whom was Dr. Boyd. Gertrude died shortly thereafter in 1943.approximately $2.5 million, supporting the performance of at least 35 million tests. In addition, the Fund has supported about 100 clinical trials, many of which form the infrastructure of our cancer program, and about 400 Tumor Boards, the clinical conferences during which our doctors, nurses and allied health professionals come together to formulate multidisciplinary treatment plans for our cancer patients.We at ECHN are very grateful to Gertrude Rogers and Dr. Howard Boyd for their philanthropic insight and foresight in creating the Rogers Fund. As Dr. Boyd was fond of saying, "If you have the chance to do something good for people, then that's what you ought to do."For the entire story as told by Dr. Dennis O'Neill of Eastern Connecticut Pathology Consultants, PC, please go to our website at