Spring 1998
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Black-Owned and Operated Hospitals in the Detroit Metropolitan Area during the 20th Century
Good Samaritan Hospital-Bethesda Hospital-Trinity Hospital
PHSAD 12th Annual Minority Health Conference
Project Update
Upcoming Issues
Spring Newsletter 1998
University of Michigan Medical School

The Archive

Documenting the Historical Experiences of African Americans in Southeastern Michigan with regard to Health Care, the Health Professions, and the Health Sciences
Black-Owned and Operated Hospitals
in the Detroit Metropolitan Area
during the 20th Century

Good Samaritan Hospital, Detroit, Michigan (1929-1966)

Good Samaritan Hospital

Mrs. Bertha MacKenzie 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.

Bethesda Hospital,
Detroit, Michigan (1931-1965)

Bethesda Hospital

Dr. Alfred E. Thomas, Sr.

544 E. Garfield, Detroit, Michigan (83 beds)

The 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. 

Six 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 allowed them to care for approximately 197 patients.

Trinity Hospital,
Detroit, Michigan (1934-1977)

Trinity Hospital

Dr W. Harold Johnson

Dr. Frank Raiford, Jr.
Dr. Chester C. Ames

E. Congress and DuBois  (1934)
681 E. Vernor - 140 beds (1942) Detroit, Michigan

Trinity Hospital may be best known for its post-graduate 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 merger with Southwest Detroit Hospital in 1977.

Public Health Students of African Descent (PHSAD), UM School of Public Health, 12th Annual Minority Health Conference, Ann Arbor, Michigan, March 20-21, 1998

Ron Amos        
Ron Amos,
Research Associate,
PHSAD Conference,
UM, 20 March 1998

Norman L. Foster, MD, presented a poster with Dr. Judith L. Heidebrink, MD entitled Alzheimer's Disease is Particularly Under-reported in Women and Minorities. 

Harold W. Neighbors, Ph.D., presented a poster exhibit with Marc A. Musick and David R. Williams, Ph.D. entitled The African American Minister as a Source of Help for Serious Personal Crisis: Bridge or Barrier to Mental Health Care.  

The Kellogg Project Team also presented a poster exhibit highlighting the project goals, purpose, and narrators that participated in the 1st phase of the project.

Kellogg Project Web Site

Our web site includes excerpts from the taped oral history interviews, digital images, other materials from the collections, oral history training materials, a bibliography, and links to other resources. 

A historic photo gallery of African American Health Care Professionals and Black Proprietary Hospitals in Michigan is under development.   The web address is: www.med.umich.edu/haahc

Oral History Collections

The collections are located at:

Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University

Burton Historical Collection at the Detroit Public Library

Dr. Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit

Center for Afro-American and African Studies at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Project Update

The Project Team is currently conducting the second cycle of interviews. We are also planning for the National Conference and health care exhibit which will be held at the Dr. Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit on February 26, 1999.

Upcoming Issue

The summer quarterly newsletter will feature 3 more of the seventeen Black-owned and operated hospitals in the Detroit Metropolitan area during this century, along with project updates.

We welcome your comments and suggestions. Please feel free to mail them to:

George Myers, Project Coordinator

University of Michigan Medical School

300 North Ingalls Building, Room 3D019
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105
email: gmyers@umich.edu

Research Investigators
Norman L. Foster, M.D.,  Professor, University of Michigan Medical School

Harold W. Neighbors, Ph.D.,  Professor, University of Michigan School of Public Health

Project Advisors
Vence Bonham, J.D.,  College of Human Medicine; Michigan State University

Joel Howell, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, University of Michigan Medical School

Martin Pernick, Ph.D., Professor, History Dept., University of Michigan

Richard Candida Smith, Ph.D.,  Professor, History Dept., University of Michigan

Nicholas Steneck, Ph.D., Professor, History Dept., University of Michigan

Brian Williams, M.L.S., Associate Archivist, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan

Kellogg Project Team

George Myers,
Project Coordinator

Ron Amos,
Research Associate

Amy Hawkins,
Research Associate

Christopher Bacchus,
Student Research Assistant

Kyle Perry,
Research Assistant

Kristin Myers,
Student Intern



Ms. Amy Hawkins new baby


Ms. Amy Hawkins, a research associate with this project, gave birth to a beautiful 7lb. 8oz. baby boy, named Charles Vincent Patrick Hawkins on May 10, 1998. Mother and son are doing well.

Copyright Kellogg African American Health Care Project, University of Michigan, 2000.
Text and images may not be used without the permission of the Kellogg African American Health Care Project and the University of Michigan.