Black History Month | Daniel Hale Williams

Posted February 14, 2014
By Kevin Spear

Church Bulletin cover of Daniel Hale Williams

Copyright 2014 | Warner Press

I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health. 3 John 2

Daniel Hale Williams was the first African-American cardiologist and performed one of the first successful open-heart surgeries in the U.S. A graduate of Chicago Medical School in 1883, Williams founded Provident Hospital in Chicago, the first non-segregated hospital and nurses’ training school in the U.S. His studies led Williams to become a pioneer in sterilization methods and antiseptic procedures. This knowledge was crucial in saving the life of James Cornish, who came to Provident with a severe stab wound to the chest. Williams opened the man’s chest cavity and sutured the torn pericardium around his heart. Prior to this time, most patients died of infection; however, Cornish made a full recovery. Williams was later appointed surgeon-in-chief at Freedman’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., a hospital for former slaves. He made many improvements to the facility and treatment of all patients there. Later, he also traveled, taught clinical surgery, and helped to found medical associations. Throughout his life, Williams worked to promote the inclusion of African-Americans in the medical field and good health practices for Blacks and Whites alike.

From the February 9, 2014 Heritage Collection Weekly Worship Bulletin Service.

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