KINZER, GERTRUDE C. (19 Jan. 1878-22 Dec. 1946), a pioneer in the field of industrial nursing, was born in Tiffin, Ohio, the daughter of Gottlieb and Matilda Thol Kinzer. One of the first to graduate from the HURON ROAD HOSPITAL School of Nursing, Kinzer completed the program in 1907 and launched her career in public nursing which included service with the VISITING NURSE ASSOCIATION OF CLEVELAND and the CLEVELAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS. During WORLD WAR I, Kinzer served with the American Red Cross, and when she returned in 1919, she was among the first to be employed as an industrial nurse. At that time, companies were hiring medical personnel as a cost-containment measure with the advent of workman's compensation.
As an industrial nurse (probably at National Carbon) Kinzer assisted the company physician in treating accident victims and carried out his standing orders when he was not there. With the doctor often employed part time, the industrial nurse was the company's only full-time health care giver, providing first aid and referring individual employees to appropriate agencies for their health problems. As such, she was isolated from other members of her profession, and to rectify this, Kinzer organized the Industrial Nurses Club in the early 1920s to provide a meeting place for the exchange ideas about this new field. By 1936 she had left industrial nursing to specialize in private duty cases.
Kinzer, who was unmarried, resided in EAST CLEVELAND where she died. Her body was cremated.