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Fri, 04.29.1870

J. Edward Perry, pioneering doctor

Dr. J.Edward Perry

*The birth of J. Edward Perry in 1870 is celebrated on this date. He was an African American Physician.

From Clarksville, Texas, Perry was born to former slaves who encouraged him to receive a good education. Perry graduated from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1895. In 1903, Dr. Perry moved to Kansas City and opened an office. He and other local African-American physicians joined in their struggle to create professional hospitals for minority patients. At that time Kansas City was rigidly segregated and powerful people in the white medical community opposed Dr. Perry and his associates’ plans.

In 1910, Dr. Perry opened a private hospital, the Perry Sanitarium and Training School for Nurses. There he developed strong medical and pediatric units to serve the minority community. The sanitarium became Wheatley-Provident Hospital, a public institution, in 1916. The hospital served the community for the last 50 years of Dr. Perry’s life. Perry knew that hospitals were needed to train Black physicians and nurses and to provide quality health care to the Kansas City African-American community.

Because of his dedication, many African American doctors and nurses received quality training, and many patients’ lives were saved. He died in 1962.

Reference:
Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History
Volume 1, ISBN #0-02-897345-3, Pg 175
Jack Salzman, David Lionel Smith, Cornel West

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