Photo of the Week
May 18, 2003

Palo Seco Hospital was established in 1907 at a picturesque cove on the Pacific Ocean west of the Canal entrance.  It was one of four hospitals in the world supported by the U. S. Government for the care of those suffering from Hansen's disease (leprosy).   Palo Seco was a wind swept quadrangle of nine buildings consisting of living quarters for single patients, each with a room to himself, married patients' apartments, two churches and a building with a kitchen and two dining rooms, one for patients and one for employees.  Next door was the administrative office, dental clinic, commissary and storerooms, a hospital to take care of those more seriously ill, and a clinic and treatment room.  There was a laundry that could handle 200 pounds of laundry a day, a maintenance shop operated by patients.  One of the most important components of the hospital was the recreation building where movies were shown and where patients held dances and parties, play pool, and entertain friends.

Palo Seco Hosptial closed in 1972 which ended another chapter in the medical history of the Panama Canal Zone.

Photo and information taken from the Panama Canal Review - May 1969

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