Black History Month Healthcare Pioneers

February 20, 2019

In honor of Black History Month, the Healthcare Education Project would like to shed light on these exceptional healthcare professionals and visionaries who advanced the medical industry.

Dr. Daniel Hale-Williams performed the first successful open-heart surgery, and in 1891 the first black-owned hospital, Provident Hospital and Training School for Nurses.

Dr. Charles Richard Drew organized the first large-scale blood bank in the U.S. during WWII, and instituted uniform procedures and standards for collecting blood and plasma.

Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first African American to study and become a nurse. In 1908, she co-founded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN).

Dr. Doris L. Wethers became the first black chief of a medical department at a NYC hospital. She also helped draft landmark legislation that required newborns to be screened for sickle cell anemia.

President Barack Obama, first black US president Passed landmark legislation (Affordable Care Act) that gave millions of Americans health insurance.

Otis Boykin had 26 patents, including one for a pacemaker.