In 1943 the American Hospital Association's House of Delegates passed a resolution recommending voluntary health insurance, government aid for those who could not pay for health care and federal aid for the construction of hospitals where needed. The last item was a special challenge because there was no complete inventory of the nation's hospitals by location, ownership, number of beds or services offered. In fact, there was no precise definition for "hospital." These shortcomings made it impossible to study the country's need for hospitals and other medical facilities.
The AHA moved to fill this void by commissioning a study to evaluate existing facilities and services, project the need for hospitals and offer recommendations for action at the end of World War II. The AHA commission obtained grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund and the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. However, when it became apparent in 1944 that the AHA was not classified by the IRS as a sole educational, charitable, or scientific organization-and therefore not eligible to receive most grants-the AHA established the Hospital Research and Educational Trust. The Trust was renamed Health Research and Educational Trust in 1999.
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