Nominations Now Open for Public Voting through November 26th
Belleville, NJ – The New Jersey Hall of Fame has listed nurse Clara Maass on the ballot
as a worthy New Jerseyan to be inducted into the NJ Hall of Fame Academy.
Public voting is now open through November 26th to visit the NJ Hall of
Fame website to vote in support of Clara Maass’ selection into the
NJ Hall of Fame. Public voting is open now through November 26:
"Clara Maass’ love for nursing and caring for people continues
to have a positive impact on all New Jerseyans today” said Mary
Ellen Clyne, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Clara Maass
Medical Center. “As a nurse myself and chief executive for a facility
that bears her name, I am deeply proud of the Clara Maass legacy that
ranks her among history’s nursing titans including Florence Nightingale
and Clara Barton.”
Clara Louise Maass
Clara Louise Maass (June 28, 1876 – August 24, 1901) was an American
Nurse who died as a result of her voluntary participation in medical experiments
related to the study of Yellow Fever.
Born in East Orange, New Jersey, Clara was one of the first graduates of
the Newark German Hospital’s Christina Trefz Training School for
Nurses at age 19. By 1898, she was promoted to the role of Head Nurse
at Newark German Hospital.
In 1898, during the Spanish-American War, Clara volunteered as a Nurse
with the United States Army where she worked at Army camps in Florida,
Georgia and Cuba. In 1900, she re-enlisted and continued her service in
the Philippines and Cuba. Throughout her time with the Army, she cared
for large numbers of soldiers afflicted with diseases such as malaria,
typhoid fever, smallpox, and typhoid. Yellow Fever, an acute infectious
disease found to be transmitted primarily by animals including mosquitoes
was also among the list of common illnesses affecting soldiers.
According to the
Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more Soldiers were dying from Yellow Fever infections than in battle,
which prompted further research and the formation of the Reed Yellow Fever
Commission led by Walter Reed, an American Army Surgeon.
In 1901, Mass was stationed at Las Animas Hospital in Havana, Cuba, taking
care of Soldiers who contracted Yellow Fever infections. Maass volunteered
to participate in an experiment on Yellow Fever that was conducted by
Reed Commission. To that end, Mass bravely allowed herself to be bitten by an infected
mosquito. She contracted and recovered from a mild form of the disease
in March 1901. Then, in August, 1901, she allowed herself to be bitten
by an infected mosquito for a second time only to become ill with severe
fever and she died ten days later. Because of Maass’ death, no further
experiments were conducted.
Maass was buried in Havana with military honors; her body was moved in 1902 to Fairmount Cemetery in Newark, New Jersey.
To mark Maass’ legacy to New Jersey, the profession of Nursing, research,
the study of medicine, and as a Veteran, in 1952, the Newark German Hospital
(which had since moved to Belleville, NJ) was renamed the Clara Maass
Memorial Hospital. On the 50th anniversary of her death, a Cuban postage
stamp was issued in her honor and in 1976, the 100th anniversary of her
birth, the United States Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp in
her honor. Her life history was highlighted in 2017 as part of
NJTV’s Drive By History program. Clara Maass is the first hospital to be named after a nurse.
Clara Maass Memorial Hospital is now known as Clara Maass Medical Center,
a facility of the RWJBarnabas Health System.
Contact: Stacie Newton
Office: (973) 450-2989
Mobile: (201) 424-9678