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Black History Month

February is Black History Month. Join Hope Hospice as we honor the sacrifices, contributions, and achievements African Americans have made for this country. There is no history without black history. This month, we would like to honor the individuals who have changed and shaped the healthcare industry forever.

Starting with Mary Eliza Mahoney, who was the first African American licensed nurse. Mahoney always had a passion for nursing ever since she was young, so she started working at a hospital in various roles such as a janitor and cook. In 1878, she was admitted into the nursing program along with 41 other students. Out of the 42, Mahoney was one of the four students who completed the program. Experiencing discrimination in the field, she became an advocate for the equality of African American nurses, leading her to found the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN) in 1908.

Since February is also the month of hearts, we would like to honor and recognize Dr. Daniel Hale Williams who was the first African American cardiologist. One of his most notable achievements was performing the very first successful open heart surgery in 1893. He did the operation without X-rays, antibiotics, surgical prep-work, or any tools used for modern surgery. In 1895, he founded the National Medical Association, a professional organization for black medical practitioners. Dr. Williams also founded the first interracial hospital in Chicago in the 1880s.

Please join us in celebrating Nurse Mary Eliza Mahoney and Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, as well as the countless other black healthcare professionals that have revolutionized and modernized the healthcare field. We are still far from where we need to be in terms of equality in health and healthcare, especially for black and brown communities. Together let us work towards equity in health and in all areas, so like Nurse Mahoney and Dr. Williams, we leave the world a better place than we found it.


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