Health Care Hall of Fame Past Inductees
Ida M. Cannon
Inducted in 1997
Cannon was the first to establish a social-work department in a hospital. She joined Massachusetts General Hospital in 1905 to “make medical care effective” and to “cure consumption.” In 1907, Cannon was named head worker and eight years later became chief of social service for the Massachusetts General Hospital. Eventually her work would take her across the country as an employee of the Russell Sage Foundation to produce a survey of the 100 or so hospitals in the country with a social services department. The survey included information on common problems, recordkeeping, choice of workers and more. During this period, she would also develop the first medial social-work curriculum by a U.S. school of social work at the Boston School of Social Work, now the Simmons College School of Social Work.In 1918, Cannon would cofound the American Association of Hospital Social Workers, which would later be renamed the American Association of Medical Social Workers. In 1955, the association would be incorporated into the National association of Social Workers.