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A Visit to the Home of AMWA’s Founding President, Dr. Bertha Van Hoosen

by Eliza Lo Chin, MD, MPH

“Five generations of the Van Hoosen family lived at the Van Hoosen Farm. As caretakers of the Rochester Hills Museum, farm, we are the sixth generation, carrying their message forward. In the same way, AMWA carries on the torch of Bertha Van Hoosen — what she stood for and what she hoped it would be. She would be proud of what AMWA has become.”

— Pat McKay, Manager, Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm

This past Spring, I had the lovely opportunity of visiting the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm, one of my favorite places and a must-stop site whenever I am in Michigan. Located less than an hour away from the Detroit airport, the Van Hoosen Farm is the former home of AMWA’s founding president, Dr. Bertha Van Hoosen. The grounds and buildings are lovingly cared for by a devoted team, led by Museum Manager Pat McKay. For those who have never been, it is well worth the drive.

Driving into the small town of Rochester Hills and turning onto Van Hoosen Road felt like a homecoming. I had last been at the farm in 2018 for AMWA’s Interim Leadership Meeting.

On his day off, Pat was gracious enough to meet me at the farm and show me the updates since my last visit in 2018. During the pandemic, the museum curators had been busy creating new exhibits and programs.

As we walked through the house, I marveled once again at the privilege of stepping into the same rooms in which Dr. Van Hoosen once lived in. All of the furniture currently in the house belonged to the family, even the hair cloth couch, upon which Dr. Van Hoosen sat when she made the bold decision to pursue a career in medicine.

On this particular visit, Pat narrated for me a few of the stories of the Van Hoosen family. Please enjoy the videos and photos below.

Watch the Van Hoosen Farm Videos and Subscribe to AMWA's YouTube Channel

Van Hoosen Farm Tour Short Videos

  • The Life of Dr. Bertha Van Hoosen
  • Mentoring the Next Generation: Dr. Bertha Van Hoosen and her surgical daughters
  • The Remarkable Van Hoosen Women: Lifelong learners
  • Telling the Stories about these Trailblazers
  • Introduction to the Horse and Buggy Doctor
  • Hospitality: Payment for medical treatment by barter
  • The Hair Cloth Sofa: A big decision
  • Dr. Bertha Van Hoosen’s Room
  • The Sleeping Porch
  • Souvenirs from the Van Hoosen Family travels
  • The Van Hoosen Farm: The kitchen
  • The Icebox and Milk Bottles: Learning about the Dairy Farm

Read more about Dr. Bertha Van Hoosen here.

Learn about the PBS film on the Van Hoosen Family.



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