Every Necessary Care and Attention, a Traveling Exhibition

NLM exhibit "Every Necessary Care and Attention: George Washington and Medicine"

The NLM exhibit "Every Necessary Care and Attention: George Washington and Medicine" offers insights on medicine in the time of George Washington.

Event Details


Date: December 10 - December 19, 2018

Times: Reception: 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, on the main floor of the Mikkelsen Library

Location: Froiland Science Complex | Mikkelsen Library

Ticket Info: Free and open to the public.


In a unique opportunity to see how the practice of medicine has evolved throughout history, Augustana is hosting a traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) titled "Every Necessary Care and Attention: George Washington and Medicine." This exhibition is sponsored by Health Connect of South Dakota.

On display from Monday, Dec. 10, through noon Wednesday, Dec. 19, the exhibit highlights aspects of the life of our nation's first president that may be underappreciated.

Reception events:

  • 2 p.m. Monday Dec. 10, in the lobby of the Froiland Science Complex
  • 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, on the main floor of the Mikkelsen Library

The NLM exhibit "Every Necessary Care and Attention: George Washington and Medicine" offers insights on medicine in the time of George Washington.The exhibit detailed George Washington's devotion to learning about the spread and prevention of disease at a time when the practice of medicine was not yet a licensed profession. From making sure that everyone on his plantation, including slaves, received adequate health and dental care, to traveling to Barbados where he hoped to find a cure for his brother's tuberculosis, Washington understood the need for preventive healthcare and medical expertise.

Though many of the tools from the 1700s were still rudimentary compared to our present-day options, and most of the remedies were herb-based or home-health oriented, there were early signs of medical practice that eventually developed into the medicine we know today.

Ultimately, when it came to battling his own final illnesses, our first president faced the limits of the medicine of his time—which many attributed to bloodletting, enemas and blistering. The exhibit provided an interesting historical perspective for appreciating how far we've come in the field of medicine since the colonial era in which George Washington lived.

View more information on the NLM exhibits.


Fran Rice, Executive Director
Health Connect of South Dakota
888.761.5437
director@healthconnectsd.org