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On this date in 1895, The Frederick Douglass Memorial Hospital and Training School was founded in Philadelphia by Dr. Nathan F. Mossell, a Black doctor.
This full medical facility was established for those who were interested in the welfare and progress of the city’s Black community. along with Dr. Mossell, Professor Jacob C. White and others were instrumental in its creation. The hospital's purpose was to care for the sick, to afford hospital opportunities for physicians, and to train nurses. Minnie Clemons, the first Black graduate of Penn's Training School for Nurses, supervised the first approved Negro Nurse Training School located at Douglass.
The Philadelphia Black community initially funded Frederick Douglass Hospital. It garnered financial support from notable auxiliaries including individuals such as Mrs. William Jenks, Miss Susan Wharton, entrepreneurs such as Madame C. J. Walker and ordinary individuals. Organizations such as churches, fraternal groups like the Progressive Club, also provided financial support totaling $77,000.
Later, Douglass Memorial Hospital received $104,000 from Republicans because Blacks constituted major voting blocs supportive of them. Furthermore, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth granted Douglass $18,000 in annual subsidies, which was 50 percent of its funds and was more than that given to any other voluntary hospital.
Douglass Memorial Hospital later merged with Mercy Hospital, establishing Mercy/Douglass Hospital. This facility closed in 1973.
The Encyclopedia of African American Heritage
by Susan Altman
Copyright 1997, Facts on File, Inc. New York