Hoover, Alden R(obbins) (b. January 6, 1877, Muscatine, Iowa, USA – d. May 10, 1940, Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA), first chief physician of the American Hospital.
Hoover completed his undergraduate education at Iowa State University in 1902 and became a physician in 1905 after completing medical studies at the same university. After he married in 1906, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) assigned him and his wife to the American Hospitals in Merzifon and Talas respectively. He took leave between July 1914 and May 1915 to study at the Mayo Brothers Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, USA. In May 1915, he went to Istanbul to tackle the typhus epidemic, remaining there until December 10 when he returned to the USA. He subsequently joined the American Military Medical Corps and rose to the rank of major. In 1918, he left the ABCFM and returned to Istanbul with the American Red Cross and Near East Aid Committee. He worked in the establishment of the American Hospital, becoming chief physician in 1920.
As chief physician at the American Hospital from 1920 to 1924, Dr. Hoover dedicated his years in management to ensuring the development of the American Hospital by raising money to fund and equip the hospital in order to keep it afloat. In addition to the first hospital building in Çarşıkapı, a mother and baby health clinic was also opened in a commercial complex close to the Blue Mosque. During this time, the American Hospital also moved into the building of the old German Hospital in Sıraselviler, Taksim, which was occupied by the British during the war.
Dr. Hoover left this role for personal reasons in 1924, returning to the USA, where he opened a private clinic in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He died there in May 1940.
In her book, A Bosporus Adventure (1871-1924) published in 1934, Mary Mills Patrick, headmaster at the American College for Girls in Üsküdar and later American College for Girls in Arnavutköy, refers to the major role Dr. Hoover played in initiating medical and health education at the school. She also describes his fame as a doctor in the Near East, revealing that in the early 1920s he was summoned by telegraph to Greece to treat a member of a royal family: he successfully performed a difficult operation to save a princess’s life.