Suesetta T. McCree
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Suesetta T. McCree

Physical therapist

Mercy General Hospital

 

Suesetta T. McCree

BIOGRAPHY
Mrs. Suesetta Talbert McCree is a native Detroiter and was born on May 9, 1931. She is the youngest of the six children of Dora Russell Talbert and Henry Payne Talbert. Her parents and four of her siblings migrated to Detroit from Wilberforce, Ohio in 1919. She attended Northwestern High School and graduated in 1949.

She enrolled in Wayne University to study music, but soon changed to occupational therapy. She was one of the first two African Americans to earn a degree in occupational therapy at Wayne University in 1954.

Mrs. McCree began practicing as an independent consultant in a number of nursing homes that were required by state law to provide occupational therapy activities for the residents. She also began working for the Society for Crippled Children and Adults to provide home therapy. She left that position and became a research associate for the occupational therapy training program at Wayne University for three years. The patient base for the program at that time was Detroit Memorial Hospital (now Riverview).

Following that, she worked as a supervisor in the physical medicine and rehabilitation department of the newly opened Detroit Rehabilitation Institute. She remained at the Institute for nine years and earned her master's degree in therapeutic recreation administration and supervision from New York University in 1962.

In 1967, Mrs. McCree was appointed assistant professor in the occupational therapy program at Wayne State. In her faculty role, she became affiliated with a number of projects through the Gerontology Institute. She also helped to develop the Center for Independent Living.

Mrs. McCree was tenured by 1970 and became chair of the occupational therapy department in 1990. In 1995, Mrs. McCree retired from Wayne State and was appointed emeritus associate professor of occupational therapy by the faculty of the School of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions.

Mrs. McCree is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Detroit Occupational Therapy Association, and Michigan Occupational Therapy Association. She influenced the organization of a local Black Caucus of professional therapists to help mentor and support students in the program. Her efforts helped influence the organization of a National Black Occupational Therapy Caucus.

In addition, Mrs. McCree's community involvement has recently included her association with the WestSiders, a group which developed and published a community family album of memories entitled, Remembering Detroit's Old Westside, 1920-1950 (1997).

Tape recorded interview;
Detroit, MI
17 July  1998
audio clip

I: So, you were in the Occupational Therapy, is it school or program?

R Yes, [program].

I: At Wayne?

R: Yes. And we were located at that time at Detroit Memorial Hospital. When I went to school we were at Grace Hospital, and Detroit Memorial was a wonderful, small hospital that now is Riverview, and they moved from there. But, at that time, a bunch of Jewish doctors had bought that hospital and they did have a segregated ward for [black people]. It was on the fourth floor and, actually, they had white and black nurses in that ward. And that was the best ward in the hospital. It was the cleanest, they [had] the best nurses and [other personnel]. There was a Dr. [Thomas A.] Batchelor there, at that point, and that's where I first knew [Dr.] Rachel Keith, too. But Dr. Batchelor was great at maintaining that floor. Then, there was a [black] judge that had a heart problem and they brought him in and they put him in a room on the third floor, a private room, and I remember people walking by that room to look in to see who this was that could be out of that [segregated ward].

 

William G. Anderson
Reginald P. Ayala
Arthur W Boddie
Wilma Brakefield-Caldwell
Henry C. Bryant Jr.
Alice Burton
Waldo L. Cain
James W. Collins
Claude and Vivienne Cooper
Gladys B. Dillard
George Gaines Jr.
Leon Gant
Herman J. Glass Sr.
Della Goodwin
Joseph B. Harris
Frank P. Iacobell
Horace L. Jefferson
Sidney B. Jenkins
Arthur Johnson
Rachel B. Keith
William E. Lawson
Josephine Love
Hayward Maben Jr.
Berna C. Mason
Suesetta T. McCree
Dorothy Mottley
David C. Northcross Jr.
Ophelia B. Northcross
Marjorie Peebles-Meyers
Frank P. Raiford III
Garther Roberson Jr.
S. L. Roberson
Elsie Smith
Fannie L. Starks
Lionel F. Swan
Natalia M. Tanner
Oretta Mae Todd
I. Clara Webb
Charles F. Whitten
Charles H. Wright
Watson Young

 

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Copyright , Kellogg African American Health Care Project, 2000.
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