Here's a New England story about a black medical community: doctors, dentists, pharmacists and nurses. Dr. Carl R. Gross recorded the history of black medical professionals while he practiced medicine. He spent six years compiling a list that tells a compelling story Read an updated feature writtern by Newell Warde in 2015.
1) Dr. Dorothy L. Brown, (1914 - 2004), distinguished herself as a surgeon and community leader. She graduated with honors from Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee in 1948. After interning in New York City, she returned to Tennessee to Meharry's Hubbard Hospital. Brown rose to become Clinical Professor of Surgery, and the first woman chief resident in general surgery at Meharry from 1957 - 1983. Dr. Brown was the first single mother in Tennessee to adopt a child in the 1950s. She adopted the newborn daughter of a patient. In the 1960's, Brown became the first African American woman elected to the Tennessee General Assembly. 2) Dr. Charles R. Drew, (1904-1950), founded the first blood bank (1940) and invented the blood plasma bag. He received his M.D. and Master of Surgery degrees from McGill University, Montreal. Dr. Drew did the bulk of his blood plasma research at Columbia University in New York City. 3) Dr. Robert L. Kimbrough received his DDS, (Doctor of Dental Science), from the Illinois College of Dentistry in 1951. He entered the Army Dental Corps. in the early 1950's. After service, he went into private practice in Chicago. In 1984, Dr. Kimbrough became President of the Chicago Dental Society. 4) Mary Elizabeth Mahoney, (1846-1926), is credited with being the first African American to graduate with a diploma in nursing. In 1879, she received her degree from the New England Hospital in Boston. 5) Dr. Daniel H. Williams, (1856-1931), founded the first medical training school for African American nurses. He is credited with performing the world's first heart operation on an injured man who was stabbed in the chest (1893). 6) Dr. Jane Cooke Wright is well known in the medical profession for her work in cancer chemotherapy. She was Director of Cancer Research and Associate Professor of Research Surgery At New York University Medical Center. Dr. Wright was the first African American woman to become an associate dean at a major medical college: The New York Medical College (1967). 7) Dr. Louis T. Wright, (1891-1952), excelled in the field of medicine and brain trauma. He graduated from Clark University in Atlanta in 1911. Wright is famous for inventing a brace for patients with neck injuries. His expertise included treating patients with skull fractures.
Health care has had a long history of participation by blacks, although years ago, the professional opportunities were limited. Let's look through the pages of Empower Encyclopedia and BlackHistoryPeople.com to discover three black history people who moved nursing forward. Mary Elizabeth Mahoney, (1846-1926), is credited with being the first African American to graduate with a diploma in nursing. In 1879, she received her degree from the New England Hospital in Boston. Dr. Daniel H. Williams, (1856-1931), founded the first medical training school for African American nurses. Dr. Williams also opened the first interracial hospital in 1891 (Provident Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, USA). Hazel W. Johnson was Chief Nurse for the Army Medical Command in Korea. As a Brigadier General she headed the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. Johnson was the first African American woman to obtain the rank of General. Need an idea for a Black History Month project? Give Mahoney, Williams, and Johnson a further look. The need for nurses is at an all-time high. These trailblazers made significant contributions to nursing, a field that can barely keep up with today's growing demand.
Dr. Louis T. Wright, (1891-1952), excelled in the field of medicine and brain trauma. He is the author of nearly 20 academic papers about brain surgery. Dr. Wright graduated from Clark University in Atlanta in 1911. He graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1915. Wright is perhaps most famous for inventing a brace for patients with neck injuries. His expertise included treating patients with skull fractures.