Detroit, Michigan (1939-1949)
DeWitt Burton, MD
Chester Ames, MD
between John R. and Brush
1939 - 34 beds;
1945 - 67 beds
Like so many other African American physicians who migrated to Detroit during the 1920's
and 1930's, 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 from the hospital (Wayne Diagnostic II). The combined bed capacity
of both facilities was a total of 96 beds.
The popularity and strength of Wayne Diagnostic grew as physicians sought out
one of the "best" medical facilities with which they were permitted to
Shortly after the death of Dr. Ames, Wayne Diagnostic Hospital was renamed
Burton Mercy Hospital in 1949.
Burton Mercy Hospital,
Detroit, Michigan (1949-1974)
DeWitt T. Burton, MD
Chester Ames, MD
Following 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 a number of patient
and staff support departments.
Mrs. Alice Burton assisted Dr. Burton through each phase of the hospital's
development by providing administrative support.
Detroit, Michigan (1943-1974)
Dr. Guy O. Saulsberry
301 E. Kirby,
1943: 27 beds
two expansions to 50 beds
After attempting 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
facility 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
As with many of the 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 from its original location
to W. Davison and Petosky.
In 1967, Kirwood opened its new, well-equipped facility with 161 beds and 12
medical departments. After only 8 months, the hospital achieved three year accreditation.
Davison and Petosky location
Two noteworthy legacies of Kirwood are that: 1) Kirwood was the site of
some of the initial sickle-cell research conducted by Dr. Charles F. Whitten; and 2) the
residual funds of the hospital were, upon its closing, used to pay off the Dunbar
Memorial Hospital Museum's mortgage.
1998 Detroit Medical Society
"Clinic Day" - Medicine in the New Millennium: Closing the Racial
Healthcare Gap By 2010
George Myers , Project Coordinator, at the Detroit Medical
Society 's "Clinic Day", Cobo Hall, June 13, 1998
On Saturday, June 13, 1998, Kellogg Project Coordinator George
Myers and Research Associate Ron Amos presented an historical exhibit displaying selected
photos of Black-Owned and Operated Hospitals and Detroit Physicians. The event was
sponsored by the Detroit and the Wolverine State Medical Societies.
The conference focused on reasons for the racial healthcare
gap and acknowledged the important role of Black medical schools in the next
century. Representatives from the four historically Black medical colleges (Meharry,
Howard, Drew, and Morehouse) and the former Surgeon General, Louis Sullivan, MD made
Kellogg Project National Conference
The Kellogg African American Health Care Project will host a
national conference on the historical and policy implications of our work, as well
as the present state of black health care and blacks in the health sciences. The
conference will be held on February 26, 1999 at the Charles H. Wright Museum of
African American History in Detroit, Michigan.
The fall 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.
300 North Ingalls Building,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
web address: www.med.umich.edu/haahc
Norman L. Foster, M.D., Associate Professor, University of Michigan Medical School
Harold W. Neighbors, Ph.D., Professor, University of Michigan School of Public
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
Kellogg Project Team
|!!!! Congratulations !!!!
Our student intern, Kristin Myers, leaves at the end of the summer
to pursue her studies. She has graduated from Ann Arbor Huron High School with
honors, and will begin her college career at Michigan State University in the Fall.
We wish her well!!