Black History Month: A Medical Perspective

Freedmen’s Hospital (Washington, DC)
Freedmen’s Hospital was established 1862 in Washington, DC by the Medical Division of the Freedmen’s Bureau to provide the much needed medical care to slaves, especially those freed following the aftermath of the Civil War. The hospital was located on the grounds belonging to Howard University and was the only Federally-funded health care facility for African Americans in the nation.
It still exists today as Howard University Hospital, one of only three remaining traditional Black hospitals. The Freedmen’s Bureau existed for only four years, but during that time a movement was started that paved the way for some ninety new hospitals for Blacks and other health care facilities. Each state acquired some type of health care facility around 1865 through the turn of the century. By 1900, there were about forty Black hospitals.
*Duke Edu
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