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Monday, October 5, 2015

Backroads: Hospital part of Jim Crow era history

Interesting read and interesting history of which I was not aware. In medicine, we have been struggling to narrow the gap of healthcare disparity--by racial, socioeconomic, geographic and cultural divides. We have known that some groups may be avoidant of, skeptical of and even fearful of healthcare contacts which leads to underutilization of beneficial preventative, curative and quality of life preserving medical care. This article is a reminder that such healthcare dilemmas may not be steeped in mystery, but rather steeped in history (a not so distant history). The unethical Tuskegee syphilis experiment conducted by U.S. Public Health Service under the guise of free health care from the U.S. government is another reminder of this legacy which continues to influence disparity in healthcare. It takes time to heal. It takes time to build trust. It takes time to build a new normal. Even in the medical field, this cannot be accomplished within one or two generations, like flipping a light switch. Optimistically, progress is steady and certain with the continued practice of compassion, self-effacement, integrity and service at the bedside.
from Rajesh Harrykissoon, MD In the bad old days of Jim Crow and segregation, life was difficult when you were black and sick.Finally, in 1953, the Cora Anderson Negro Hospital, 509 S. 9th St., opened under the auspices of Scott & White. The small hospital was designed as a modern facility devoted to the health care needs of bl…

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