Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane...
—The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Acknowledging the history of injustice in the health care system is an important step to achieving health equity. Many hospitals up until the 1960s were still segregated. Discrimination occurred in America’s hospital systems – Blacks were excluded from admission as patients (or placed in segregated wards) and excluded from hospital privileges as physicians.
Establishment of Black hospitals allowed treatment for Black patients and for Black physicians to provide much needed medical care. During the civil rights movement in the 1960s, Simkins v. Moses H. Cone Hospital was a pivotal case which contributed to desegregation of America’s hospitals.
To learn more about the history of segregation in the Omaha and the national medical association, check out these resources:
- History of Segregated Hospitals in Omaha – North Omaha History
- The Civil Rights Era 1955-1968 - American Medical Association
Read these stories about the earliest African Americans in medicine: