By Rebecca Wojahn
Pioneering North Woods doctor Kate Pelham Newcomb comes to life. Dr. Kate: Angel on Snowshoes has an accessible format that includes historic images, a glossary of terms, sidebars on the medical profession, and suggestions for activities and discussion.
Born in 1885, Kate Pelham was supposed to grow up to be a proper young lady in Boston, but despite her father's wishes she was determined to be a doctor. After medical school, her husband's health brought them to the clean air of northern Wisconsin and, before long, Kate knew every back road and cabin in the North Woods. She visited patients by snowmobile, by canoe, and by snowshoe, and never sent a bill. Instead she was paid in firewood and vegetables.
But what Kate dreamed of more than anything for her patients was a hospital. And that's when the kids of the community got involved. They set out to collect a million pennies - $10,000 - to help Dr. Kate build a hospital. As the news spread, coins poured in from countries across the globe. Students carted bushels of pennies, and Dr. Kate read thousands of letters cheering on her effort. Her dream came true in 1954 when the Lakeland Memorial Hospital opened its doors. Young readers will warm to Kate's spirit of compassion and never-say-never attitude.