and -operated Hospitals in the Detroit Metropolitan Area During
the 20th Century
Bailey General Hospital (c. 1970-1974)
Claud Young, D.O.
292 E. Ferry
Detroit, Michigan (1931-1965)
Dr. Alfred E. Thomas Sr.
544 E. Garfield, Detroit, Michigan (83 beds)
problem of racial segregation in Detroit hospitals and a raging
tuberculosis epidemic led to the opening of the hospital in 1931.
The facility was primarily used as a tuberculosis treatment hospital
as its founder, Dr. Alfred Thomas Sr. and son, Dr. Alfred Thomas
Jr., sought their own private solutions to the serious health
problems facing the African American community in Detroit.
years later, Bethesda was joined by its "sister" institution,
Edyth K. Thomas Memorial Hospital, which Dr. Thomas Sr. opened
for the care of the acutely ill patient. The combined capacity
for both institutions was approximately 197 patients.
Boulevard General Hospital
Drs. Harold Johnson and
Frank Raiford III
1852 West Grand Boulevard (100-plus beds)
hospital was founded in the early 1960s as a non-profit community
hospital when Trinity Hospital moved from its East Vernor Highway
location in Detroit to the old Resthaven Hospital location. Boulevard
General Hospital was administered by Mr. George Allen, Detroit's
first graduate-degreed African American hospital administrator,
under the direction of the Crestwood Corporation, a group of physician
Dr. Raiford III graduated from the University of Michigan Medical
School in 1943. Boulevard General was the largest of the four
hospitals (including Burton Mercy, Trumbull General and Delray
General) that merged in 1974 to form the Southwest Detroit Hospital.
Burton Mercy Hospital
Detroit, Michigan (1949-1974)
Drs. DeWitt T. Burton and Chester Ames
271 Eliot: 1949-96 beds; 1952-74 (150 beds)
the death of Dr. Ames, the hospital continued to thrive and grow.
The name was changed from Wayne Diagnostic No.1 to Burton Mercy,
and by 1952 had undergone a major expansion to a 150-bed institution.
It had also been incorporated. The expanded facilities included
a second operating room,
a second delivery room, an autopsy room, a pharmacy, an enlarged
medical laboratory, and numerous patient and staff support departments.
Dr. Burton's wife, Alice, assisted Dr. Burton through each phase
of the hospital's development by providing administrative support.
Dunbar Memorial Hospital
Detroit, Michigan (1918-1927)
A group of physicians, including Dr. J.W. Ames; Dr. Albert Johnson;
Dr. George Bundy; Dr. R. Beck; Dr. Alfred E. Thomas Sr.; Dr.
580 Frederick St. (27 beds)
Hospital was the result of planning by a biracial committee intent
on establishing a non-profit institution that could serve the
African American population of Detroit. In addition to 27 beds,
the facility included an operating room. In 1924, shortly before
moving and becoming Parkside Hospital, the facility was expanded
to 40 beds.
crucial roles in the newly opened facility in 1918 were Drs. James
Ames and Alexander Turner, the medical director and chief of surgery,
respectively. Dr. George Bundy is believed to have performed deliveries
at Woman's Hospital, even though he was denied admitting privileges
Robert Greenidge, M.D.; Rupert Markoe, M.D.; J. P. Young, M.D.;
Julius Graham, M.D.
441 E. Ferry
Good Samaritan Hospital, Detroit Michigan (1929-1966)
Mrs. Bertha McKenzie and Dr. Ossian Sweet
503 E. Palmer, Detroit, Michigan (35 beds)
|Howard University-trained nurse Bertha McKenzie and Dr. Ossian Sweet
opened Good Samaritan as a general and maternity hospital, increasing the medical
resources for African American physicians and patients in Detroit. Because of the racial
discrimination at facilities such as Herman Keifer Hospital, Good Samaritan was converted
to a tuberculosis hospital in 1936.
||In 1945, after medical discoveries such as antibiotics began to
successfully combat the tuberculosis problem in Detroit, as well as the shortage of nurses
caused by WWII, Good Samaritan changed course again and became a convalescent hospital
caring for chronically ill and post-operative patients. The institution closed its doors
in 1966 because of economic pressures.
Haynes Memorial Hospital (c. 1950-1967)
Alfred E. Thomas, Sr., M.D. and Alfred E. Thomas, Jr., M.D.
73 E. Palmer
Kirwood General Hospital
Detroit, Michigan (1943-1974)
Dr. Guy O. Saulsberry
301 E. Kirby, 1943 (27 beds)
Two expansions brought capacity to 50 beds
and failing to gain admission to the staff of Woman's Hospital,
Dr. Guy O. Saulsberry (Howard, m '27) established his own hospital;
the first was a converted mansion with a capacity of 27 beds.
Two subsequent expansions increased the hospital's capacity
to 50 beds. In 1958 the hospital became non-profit.
with many African American facilities, pressure was put on them
to move. The city wanted to use the 301 Kirby Street location
to build the Center for Creative Studies. The institution was
moved several miles away, to the corner of W. Davison and Petosky.
1967, Kirwood opened its new, well-equipped facility with 161
beds and 12 medical departments. After only eight months, the
hospital achieved three-year accreditation.
Davison and Petosky location
Two noteworthy legacies of Kirwood:
* Kirwood was the site of some of the initial sickle-cell research
conducted by Dr. Charles F. Whitten
* The residual funds of various accounts within the hospital
were, upon its closing, used to pay off the Dunbar Memorial
Hospital Museum's mortgage.
Mercy General Hospital
Detroit, Michigan (1917-1976)
Drs. David and Daisy Northcross
73 Russell St (20 beds)
688 Winder (34 beds)
2929 W. Boston Boulevard (50 beds)
fleeing the Klu Klux Klan in Montgomery, Alabama, Drs. David and
Daisy Northcross settled in Detroit, MI, intent on rebuilding
their medical practice and providing medical care for Detroit's
African American community. They met with other physicians who
formed the Allied Medical Society, precursor to the Detroit Medical
Society, hoping to become a part of the Society's endeavor to
open a hospital facility for African Americans.
The Northcrosses, having operated a hospital in
the South, brought much administrative knowledge to the table, and they finally chose to
strike out on their own and succeeded in opening Detroit's first African American hospital
mostly because the doctors needed a place to care for patients
who were too sick to return home, the hospital located at 73 Russell
St. eventually contained 20 beds. Because of demand for care,
the hospital soon outgrew this limited space and relocated to
688 Winder St. This property was finally demolished to make way
for the construction of the I-75 expressway.
There were pressures to close the hospital at this point, but
the Northcrosses took the $400,000 they made selling the Windner
property and built a new 50-bed facility at 2929 W. Boston.
Pressure from Blue Cross forced the hospital to convert to a
methadone clinic, and then an abortion clinic. Before a final
conversion to a mental health facility, it was firebombed.
Mount Lebanon Hospital (1950-1968)
Clarence W. Preston, M.D.
2610 S. 14th Street
Detroit, Michigan (1928-1962)
Drs. Robert Greenidge; DeWitt T. Burton; Henry Owen; Canute
Constable; Julius Graham; W.A. Thompson; Alexander Turner; Alfred
Brush and Illinois (54 beds)
|In an attempt to compete with majority hospitals and to
change the perception of health care in the African American community, Dunbar Hospital
relocated across from Harper Hospital and changed its name to Parkside.
the activity was Dr. Robert Greenidge. Following an incident where Dr. Greenidge
experienced racism first-hand at the Florence Crittenton Home (a maternity facility),
Greenidge felt it necessary to help the African American community organize itself and
capitalize upon its strengths.
was intent on establishing itself as a respected provider of health
care services. However, the only patients ever sent there from
Harper Hospital were those considered to be terminal. Parkside
had the reputation as "the place to go when you die,"
but the hospital itself finally succumbed to pressures to vacate.
The hospital was torn down in 1962 to make room for the expansion
of Detroit Receiving Hospital and the general development of the
Detroit Medical Center.
St. Aubin General Hospital (1931-c. 1947)
Ossian Sweet, M.D.
St. Aubin and Maple
Sidney A. Sumby Memorial Hospital
River Rouge, MI (1938-1987)
(a.k.a. Milton Community Hospital)
Dr. Samuel B. Milton
Visger Rd. and Palmerston St., River Rouge, MI
1938 (20 beds); 1950 (40 beds);
1956 (80 beds); 1962 (100 beds)
hospital was founded in 1938 by Dr. Samuel B. Milton, a native
of Washington, D. C. who earned his M.D. degree from Northwestern
University and later became Wayne County coroner. The facility
was named in honor of his late brother-in-law, also a physician,
who died shortly after establishing his practice in Saginaw, MI.
The hospital grew from its original 20-bed capacity to encompass
a drug store, dental offices and four clinics.
1954, Mr. Herman J. Glass Sr., the hospital's administrator, initiated
a two-year general practice residency program. The residency program
was fully accredited by the Council on Medical Education and Hospitals
of the American Medical Association and the American Academy of
General Practice. The hospital became known as Milton Community
Hospital before it closed in April, 1987.
Southwest Detroit Hospital, Detroit, Michigan (1974-1991)
A merger of Boulevard General, Burton Mercy, Trumbull, and Delray
Hospitals (Trumbull and Delray were not African American hospitals)
2401 20th Street (246 beds)
constructed at a cost of $21 million dollars, this 246-bed capacity
general hospital opened in 1974 following the merger of four smaller
Detroit area hospitals: Boulevard General, Burton Mercy, Delray
General, and Trumbull General. It was located in the southwestern
part of Detroit at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and 20th
Street. The hospital was established with the goal of maintaining
a high-quality facility in the community.
mainly Latino and African Americans, as well as many people with
limited financial resources, the hospital succeeded in preserving
the tradition of Detroit's African American proprietary hospitals-providing
health care for those who did not have adequate access to it.
The reign of the African American owned and operated hospitals
in Detroit ended in 1991 when the hospital closed its doors due
to the "integration" of the health care system, misconceptions,
and fiscal pressures.
Edyth K. Thomas Memorial Hospital Detroit, MI
Dr. Alfred E. Thomas Sr.
556 East Garfield
1937 (50 beds; later expanded to 114 beds);
1950 (160 beds)
by Dr. Alfred E. Thomas Sr. in June of 1937, Edyth K. Thomas Memorial
Hospital was dedicated in memory of his deceased daughter. Dr.
Thomas Sr. received his M.D. degree from Meharry Medical College
in 1903. He helped to organize the Allied/Detroit Medical Society
in 1917 and was its first president until 1931.
The first of the two buildings comprising the hospital was a three-story
structure devoted to the care of medical and obstetrical cases. The second building opened
in December, 1937.
had two floors, with an outpatient clinic on the second floor,
and was intended exclusively for the care of surgical cases. It
had an operating room, X-ray room, laboratory, and sterilizing
room. The clinic was equipped with 15 beds for those needing temporary
institutionalization. Edyth K. Thomas Hospital admitted 1,568
patients during its first fiscal year. By 1950 it had the capacity
to service 58 general patients and 102 psychiatric patients. Dr.
Alf Thomas, Sr. was a founder or co-founder of at least five of
Detroit's African American Hospitals. Edyth K. Thomas Hospital
closed in 1965.
Detroit, Michigan (1934-1962)
Dr W. Harold Johnson; Dr. Frank Raiford, Jr.;
Dr. Chester C. Ames
E. Congress and DuBois (1934)
681 E. Vernor - 140 beds (1942)
Hospital may be best known for its postgraduate surgical training
and residency program for African American physicians, and as
Detroit's first African American hospital to operate a cancer
detection center. At the time, there was a need not only for the
housing and treatment of the ill, but for the training and guidance
of the African American medical community. ||Included
among some of its pioneering procedures were deep X-ray therapy
for treating cancer and physiotherapy. Trinity
Hospital sought to grow as a training facility and as an institution
of excellence until its closing and relocation as Boulevard General
Hospital to West Grand Boulevard.
Wayne Diagnostic Hospital
Detroit, Michigan (1939-1949)
Drs. DeWitt Burton and Chester Ames
271 Eliot between John R. and Brush
1939 - (34 beds); 1945 - (67 beds)
so many other African American physicians who migrated to Detroit
during the 1920s and 1930s, Drs. DeWitt Burton (Meharry, m '21)
and Chester Ames (Wayne University, m '26) were committed, in
the face of intense discrimination, to providing additional space
for attending to the health care needs of African Americans. They
formed a partnership and established a hospital with a 34-bed
capacity. In addition to the general hospital, there was a mental
health facility located across the street
Diagnostic II). There were 96 beds between the two facilities.
The popularity and strength of Wayne
Diagnostic grew as physicians sought out one of the "best" medical facilities
with which they were permitted to affiliate. Shortly after the death of Dr. Ames, Wayne
Diagnostic Hospital was renamed Burton Mercy Hospital in 1949.
Contact George Myers at email@example.com
if you have photos or information pertaining to the history
of these hospitals.
©, Kellogg African American Health Care Project, 2000.
Text and images may not be used without the permission of the Kellogg African American
Health Care Project.
|For information regarding reproduction permission please write: Kellogg African
American Health Care Project, University of Michigan, 300 N. Ingalls Building, RM 3D019,
Box 0489, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48109-0489; or phone (734) 647-6918.