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Dr. Janice Hutchinson

Pediatrician and child psychiatrist Dr. Janice Gertrude Hutchinson was born on September 22, 1947, in Chicago, Illinois to Dorothy and James Hutchinson. She and her twin brother Jamal J. Hutchinson began their education at the Catholic school, Holy Name of Mary. They then attended Morgan Park High School, graduating in 1965. Hutchinson enrolled at Stanford University, where she took pre-medical courses but majored in sociology. After receiving her B.A. degree in 1969, she attended the University of Cincinnati Medical School, earning her M.D. degree in 1973. During her final year of medical school, she worked at the John F. Kennedy Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. She completed her residency in pediatrics at Montefiore and Rush University Medical Centers before returning to school to earn her M.P.H. degree from the University of Illinois.

In the early 1980s, Hutchinson joined the Rush University Medical School as adjunct faculty. Disinterested in private practice, she joined the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps before taking a leave of absence to work in a refugee camp outside of Bangkok, Thailand. When she returned to the United States, she completed a child and adolescent fellowship at the Institute for Juvenile Research (IJR) at the University of Illinois. At the same time, she served as a public health doctor at the American Medical Association (AMA) where she worked on issues of teen pregnancy and child abuse. When the HIV antibody was identified in 1982, she was concerned about the devastating effect of the disease on children and helped to organize the AMA's first major HIV conference in the mid-1980s.

After Hutchinson completed her residency in adult psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati and at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C. , she was selected as the medical director and administrator for Children's Mental Health Services in Washington D.C.'s Department of Mental Health. Hutchinson currently works at Howard University where she is an associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics and the residency training director in psychiatry for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Board certified in pediatrics, adult and child psychiatry, Hutchinson has taught and written about child abuse, domestic violence, teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, children’s impulsivity and aggression, incarcerated juveniles and mental illness, the use of antidepressants with children and youth suicide. In 2005, she received the American Psychiatric Association’s Irma Bland Excellence in Teaching Award. Hutchinson co-authored Losing Control: Loving a Black Child with Bipolar Disorder with Cassandra Joubert and Linda Thompson Adams in 2007. Hutchinson is a member at large of the Washington Psychiatric Society.

Dr. Janice Hutchinson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 26, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.095

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/26/2008

Last Name

Hutchinson

Schools

Holy Name of Mary School

Morgan Park High School

Stanford University

University of Cincinnati

University of Illinois at Chicago

First Name

Janice

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

HUT02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Acknowledge God In All Thy Ways And He Will Lead Thy Paths. Lean Not On Your Own Understanding.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/22/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Fish, Fried Chicken

Short Description

Medical professor, pediatrician, and psychiatrist Dr. Janice Hutchinson (1947 - ) is an associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics, and the residency training director in psychiatry at Howard University College of Medicine. In 2007, Hutchinson co-authored the book, "Losing Control: Loving a Black Child with Bipolar Disorder."

Employment

Rush University Medical Center

United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

American Medical Association (AMA)

District of Columbia Department of Mental Health

Howard University Hospital

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Janice Hutchinson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson talks about the land owned by her maternal grandparents in Paducah, Kentucky

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson describes her mother's adolescence in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson talks about her father's experience as a Pullman porter in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson describes her mother's personality and how she takes after her

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson describes her childhood in Chicago, Illinois and her father's personality

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson recalls the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson talks about her experience at the Holy Name of Mary School and Morgan Park High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson describes her childhood love for reading

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson describes life in her childhood home in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson talks about what inspired her to become a pediatrician

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson recounts her decision to attend Stanford University in Stanford, California

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson talks about her decision to major in sociology at Stanford University in Stanford, California

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson recalls her mentors and black organizations at Stanford University in Stanford, California

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson talks about her decision to attend medical school at the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson reflects upon her mother's illness and death in 1970

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson describes the racism and sexism she experienced while attending the University of Cincinnati Medical School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson recalls her medical work in Liberia between 1972 and 1973

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson describes her medical residency at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson talks about how pediatrics has changed since the 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson describes her career in public health in the 1980s and working at a refugee camp in Bangkok, Thailand

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson describes her public health work with the American Medical Association in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson talks about her 1980s research into the effects of HIV/AIDS on vulnerable populations

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson talks about her work as medical director and Administrator for Children's Mental Health Services in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson talks about problems with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in youth

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson reflects upon how society and medicine treat mental disorders

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson describes coauthoring the book 'Losing Control: Loving a Black Child with Bipolar Disorder'

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson describes teaching at Howard University in Washington, D.C. and writing about minority health issues

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson reflects upon the shifting demographics of drug use and criminality among African Americans and women

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson talks about her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson reflects upon her life choices and her spirituality

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Janice Hutchinson talks about how she would like to be remembered

DASession

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Dr. Janice Hutchinson recalls her medical work in Liberia between 1972 and 1973
Dr. Janice Hutchinson describes her career in public health in the 1980s and working at a refugee camp in Bangkok, Thailand
Transcript
Okay. All right. Well, anything happen before graduation that--was there ever a time when you thought you weren't gonna make it or wanted to stop?$$My mother's [Dorothy Howell Hutchinson's] death was a great challenge. It was a deep challenge, both in medical school and in life. It was a very profound challenge, but I, my senior year, I went to Liberia and worked at JFK Hospital [John F. Kennedy Medical Center] in Monrovia [Liberia], and I also worked what's called upcountry at a hospital called Phebe [Hospital, Bong County, Liberia]; you know, when you're in those situations where there are few medical resources you do everything. I fainted my first day on the wards, on the pediatric ward in Liberia. We were rounding on a hundred kids. About halfway through kid number fifty or so, I just hit the floor. I think I was just dehydrated. The same thing happened when I went to work in Thailand in a refugee camp. I fainted my first day in camp. I think I was just dehydrated. I don't seem to tolerate heat very well. I guess I just don't keep up with the fluids well enough, but anyway. So, I was in Liberia for a couple months or so, starting my Albert Schweitzer international healthcare work.$$What was Liberia like? Did you have any conception of what it would be like in Liberia or in Africa, period, that you--$$Not really, no, no. [President William R.] Tolbert [Jr.] was still in office. He died shortly thereafter. He was overthrown.$$Yeah, he was murdered--$$He was murdered viciously.$$Publicly and viciously, yeah.$$I made friends with a family there, the Stewarts, with whom I'm still friendly and close and going to the wedding of one of their grandchildren in a couple of weeks down in North Carolina. I met a number of doctors there who trained in the United States, guys who were surgeons, I came to appreciate the United States and all of the benefits and the wonders of our life. I was stunned by Africa, though. I've never, ever been any place that beautiful. When I was in Europe, and I was in Europe for six months as a student, I visited twelve countries including Hungary and Czechoslovakia, all of the Scandinavian countries. I never saw anything like what I saw in Africa, still haven't.$$You mean Liberia itself?$$In Liberia; well, in every African country I've been to since, but, I mean it was just stunning. I mean, it was breathtaking. I didn't, I mean, I can remember thinking to myself this must be the world as God first made it. That's how it hit me. I was going, we had a bus ride into a village that had a doctor once a month and I was going with a pharmacist on a big bus with some volunteers and we were going to provide the monthly medical services to pregnant women and sick children, and old men and I saw diseases, typhoid fever, malaria, things I've never seen in the United States, leprosy. At one point, I was little concerned I was going to come back and develop leprosy, but you're the doctor, (laughter) that's a chance you take, you know. It goes with the territory. But, it was a fabulous, fabulous experience. I learned to eat Liberian food; what they called chop, African chop, highly spiced food, saw hundreds of kids a day, had babies die in my hands and my arms, had interpreters, of course. It was a challenge; in some ways, very stressful, very stressful, but a tremendous, tremendous experience. So, that was my senior year of medical school.$All right. So, you're back in Chicago [Illinois] at Rush [University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois] as a resident, was it in psychiatry or--$$I finished pediatrics in Chicago, eventually wound up I was adjunct faculty in Rush Medical School [Rush Medical College, Chicago, Illinois]. I used to sit on the admissions committee there.$$So this is the early '80s [1980s] now?$$'80s [1980s] yes, yeah. I worked the AMA [American Medical Association] for a while, for about four years at their Public Health Division. I worked in the Commissioned Corps of the [United States] Public Health Service for about four years. During that time, I have accumulated a lot of leave. I went to work in a refugee camp about an hour-and-a-half outside of Bangkok [Thailand] with Cambodian and Laotian and Vietnamese refugees. I had a team of six medical students and two residents and we took care--we saw a hundred kids a day, at least. I had interpreters from all these other nationalities and I came to appreciate better why people have trouble differentiating black people, because I was unable to differentiate Cambodians from Laotians from Vietnamese and I was told that they were obviously different, so that was a good experience for me to, you know, step into another culture and to understand where some other people are coming from. Just like when I was in Africa, I, the first time in my life, had second degree burns on my face from exposure to the sun. I never could understand why white people were so upset about sunburn and used all this sunblock. I spent thirty minutes in the sun with some African kids on a basketball court and the next morning I had blisters everywhere and it was incredibly painful, and I never, ever said I didn't understand about sunburn again. So, I was able to cross cultures in some ways.

Dr. Charles Whitten

Pediatrician and sickle cell anemia expert Dr. Charles Francis Whitten was born on February 2, 1922 in Wilmington, Delaware to school teachers Emma Clorinda Carr Whitten and Tobias Emmanuel Whitten. He grew up on Wilmington’s East Side next door to future jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown. Whitten attended Number 5 Elementary School and graduated fourth in his class from Howard High School in 1940. In 1942, he earned his B.S. degree in zoology from the University of Pennsylvania. Whitten then studied medicine at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee and earned his M.D. degree in 1945 at age twenty-three.

After his internship at Harlem Hospital, Whitten worked as a general practitioner in Lackawanna, New York from 1946 to 1951.Whitten then served two years as a captain in the United States Medical Corps before returning to the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Medicine for a year of advanced study in pediatrics. In 1953, Whitten began a two-year residency in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, New York. In 1955, he moved to Detroit, Michigan for a one year fellowship to study pediatric hematology under Dr. Wolf Zeltzer. Whitten became the first and only African American to head a department in a Detroit hospital when he was selected clinical director of pediatrics at Detroit Receiving Hospital in 1956. Whitten worked as an attending pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Michigan from 1962 to 1999. He started teaching medicine as an instructor in pediatrics at Wayne State University in 1956. Whitten was named assistant professor in 1959, served as full professor of pediatrics from 1970 to 1990, and became associate dean of curricular affairs in 1976 and of special programs in 1992.

Whitten joined Dr. Charles Wright in establishing the African Medical Education Fund in 1960. In 1969, Whitten instituted Wayne State University’s Post Baccalaureate Enrichment Program to better prepare black students for medical school. In 1971, Whitten with Dorothy Boswell spearheaded the National Association for Sickle Cell Disease, now the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America. He also formed the Sickle Cell Detection and Information Center. Whitten became program director for the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center at Wayne State University in 1973. In 2002, Whitten was named Michiganian of the Year, and in 2004, was named distinguished professor of pediatrics, emeritus at Wayne State University.

Whitten passed away on August 14, 2008 at the age of 86. He is survived by his wife, Eloise Culmer Whitten, an expert on pre-school reading. Together, they supported a number of worthy causes, including a clinic in Haiti.

Whitten was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 8, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.079

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/8/2007

Last Name

Whitten

Maker Category
Middle Name

Francis

Occupation
Schools

University of Pennsylvania

Meharry Medical College

Howard High School of Technology

No. 5 School

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Wilmington

HM ID

WHI13

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Delaware

Favorite Vacation Destination

Nassau, Bahamas

Favorite Quote

Do The Best You Can.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

2/2/1922

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Paella

Death Date

8/14/2008

Short Description

Pediatrician Dr. Charles Whitten (1922 - 2008 ) was an expert on sickle cell anemia.

Employment

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Detroit Receiving Hospital

General Practice

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:896,31:1728,45:2048,51:2560,61:5238,139:5814,194:12726,301:17687,341:20297,390:22559,421:22907,426:24038,440:26120,448:26722,457:27152,463:27754,471:29818,509:30592,524:33774,577:46692,887:47706,901:48096,907:53742,948:58062,1004:58710,1011:60006,1049:79059,1244:82482,1286:85602,1345:86070,1352:103844,1729:104740,1738:108987,1794:109375,1799:113643,1859:114031,1864:121328,1918:121768,1924:125112,1988:128192,2047:128896,2056:131624,2108:137207,2161:139261,2212:141236,2254:141789,2262:142421,2271:142816,2278:143369,2288:146371,2333:152390,2387:155600,2415$0,0:1706,83:2402,92:10319,341:11015,350:13560,368:22804,572:23189,578:23882,590:29635,663:37392,807:41578,821:42262,831:50168,891:53259,909:54326,922:59555,972:65974,1044:73633,1165:74851,1181:76504,1206:76939,1212:85438,1300:85956,1308:86622,1321:87214,1330:88768,1363:89064,1368:89508,1376:95264,1442:95540,1447:98093,1502:98576,1511:99197,1521:99749,1530:101710,1550:109755,1671:110607,1684:118800,1783:119580,1832:121620,1871:122160,1885:122880,1899:123300,1907:126632,1940:127070,1947:128238,1965:129771,1995:133640,2069:140900,2139:141292,2144:142076,2155:142762,2164:143448,2172:143938,2178:150896,2287:154240,2304:163871,2454:169110,2524
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Charles Whitten's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Charles Whitten lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes his maternal grandfather's farm, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes his maternal grandfather's farm, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Charles Whitten talks about his father's teaching career

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes his mother and paternal aunt

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes his neighborhood in Wilmington, Delaware

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. Charles Whitten remembers Clifford Brown

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes his childhood hip injuries

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes his early personality

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Charles Whitten remembers delivering African American newspapers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Charles Whitten remembers his early educational experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Charles Whitten recalls his early religious experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Charles Whitten remembers the radio programs of his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes Howard High School in Wilmington, Delaware

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Charles Whitten remembers his family's boarders

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Charles Whitten remembers his decision to attend the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes his experiences at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dr. Charles Whitten remembers Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Dr. Charles Whitten recalls the establishment of his medical practice in Lackawanna, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes his medical practice in Lackawanna, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Charles Whitten recalls his residency at The Children's Hospital of Buffalo in Buffalo, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Charles Whitten remembers his courtship with his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Charles Whitten remembers his move to Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Charles Whitten remembers the sickle cell disease clinic at the Children's Hospital of Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Charles Whitten talks about sickle cell diseases

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Charles Whitten remembers the African Medical Education Fund

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Charles Whitten remembers the all-black hospitals in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Charles Whitten recalls his challenges at the Detroit Receiving Hospital in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dr. Charles Whitten reflects upon his career in medicine

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes his advocacy for sickle cell patients

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Dr. Charles Whitten talks about the evolution of the sickle cell trait

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes the National Association for Sickle Cell Diseases

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Charles Whitten remembers his partnership with the March of Dimes Foundation

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes the National Sickle Cell Anemia Control Act of 1972

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes the advancements in sickle cell research

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Charles Whitten talks about the incidence of sickle cell disease among African Americans

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Charles Whitten recalls his diversity initiative at the Wayne State University School of Medicine

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes the post baccalaureate program at the Wayne State University School of Medicine

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Charles Whitten talks about sickle cell education in Africa and the Caribbean

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes his preschool literacy program

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes the findings from his preschool literacy program

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes his motivation for researching literacy

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes the success of the post baccalaureate program at the Wayne State University School of Medicine

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Charles Whitten talks about sickle cell disease awareness

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Charles Whitten talks about the closure of all-black hospitals

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Charles Whitten reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes his family

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Charles Whitten talks about his medical clinic in Haiti

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Charles Whitten describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. Charles Whitten narrates his photographs

DASession

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DATitle
Dr. Charles Whitten describes the National Sickle Cell Anemia Control Act of 1972
Dr. Charles Whitten recalls his diversity initiative at the Wayne State University School of Medicine
Transcript
What was your interaction with Congressional Black Caucus in terms of the sickle cell program (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Oh, that was later over some funding issues where we needed, needed some, some help. And Lou Stokes [HistoryMaker Louis Stokes] was very, very helpful with that. But it's a question of--one of the things that was happening was that since sickle cell had been so successful as in getting some, some congressional support that the other genetic diseases wanted to have the same. So they wanted to have a law, we have a law now, a sickle cell--called Control Act [National Sickle Cell Anemia Control Act of 1972] that Nixon [President Richard Milhous Nixon] put in place. And they wanted to have something similar to this and that's what we were considered about, this (unclear) of funding if everybody had it had a act in the, in the picture that's where the Congressional Black Caucus was very helpful.$$Okay, now, now what was--what did the--what were the previsions of the sickle cell act?$$Well basically now it says that [U.S.] Congress is mandated to have ten comprehensive sickle cell centers, didn't say how much funding. But they mandated to have ten comprehensive sickle cell--that's unique, a mandate of Congress. So we've come a long way with, with the congressional--the governmental regulation of the sickle cell problem, what needs to be done about it.$$So are these--$$That's one of the big, the big advances.$$Okay, so are--there are ten centers now?$$Ten, yes.$$All right.$$There were--we had fifteen. I, I was program director for one of the centers [Sickle Cell Detection and Information Center] at Wayne State [Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan] for nineteen years. And we started with, with fifteen and then they went down to ten. And at the last--when I was still active--the last application was after I was active we no longer had a solid research program. We weren't competitive for nineteen years we were, so we di- weren't funded from that time on. But for nineteen years and during the course that time we had of $17 million to come in for the comprehensive sickle cell centers. And we were very proud national- locally that Wayne State University, that was the largest research funds, that ever come to a university in any one, for any one program, for the whole university, was my sickle cell program.$$That is something.$You were director of the center [Sickle Cell Detection and Information Center] for nineteen years and then?$$Yeah, I was dire- yes I directed the center for nineteen years, I was president of the, of the sickle cell association of America [National Association for Sickle Cell Diseases; Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc.] for nineteen years, the leader there.$$Okay, now you also have a academic career at Wayne State [Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan]--$$Yes.$$--in the meantime? You began to teach, you were teaching at Wayne State back in the early '60s [1960s] right?$$(Nods head).$$And then, so tell us about your career at, at Wayne State, your teaching (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Well the thing that--the only thing significant I've done at Wayne is that I became concerned about the fact that we have very few black physicians. And that we needed to increase the number. And to do so it didn't seem likely that, that we had enough qualified applicants of individuals who qualify, not just applicants, but qualified applicants. And I developed a pra- program at Wayne based on the premise that there were individuals who have the native ability, basic intelligence, so forth to become successful physicians. But they--when they applied to medical school their academic credentials did not suggest that they will be successful. And hence they were denied admission. But I believe that they had the potential and the reason that they didn't have the necessary academic credentials is that that they had been disadvantaged, educationally disadvantaged, emotionally disadvantaged, physiologically disadvantaged, economically disadvantaged. Many had to work through the four years of school and hence didn't have the grades that--. And if these individuals were given the opportunity for another year's program they could be successful in medical school. I convinced the medical school administration of this, and we started off with five black students. Eventually ten then fourteen; we had to increase it because we couldn't have a program exclusively for blacks. And as of last year we're over two hundred black doctors now, who graduate from med- Wayne med school who had originally been denied admission to the medical school and about sixty others--racial groups. And it's based upon the premise that they had the ability but had been disadvantaged and hence had not been (unclear). This was an outstanding--it's a unique program that I started in 1961.

Dr. Bette Catoe

Pediatrician Dr. Bette Lorrina Catoe-Strudwick was born on April 7, 1926 in Washington, D.C. Her mother was a White House pastry chef and government worker and her father was a taxicab owner and driver. Catoe’s parents divorced when she was a young child at which point her mother gained custody and raised her in Washington, D.C. She was educated in Washington, D.C. public schools and received her high school diploma from Dunbar High School in 1944.

Catoe received a full academic scholarship from Howard University, where she earned her B.S. degree in chemistry and physics in 1948. Her career ambition was to become a nurse or lab technician until she received a scholarship to Howard University’s Medical School. While a medical school student, she pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and married her husband, Warren Strudwick. She was only one of seven women in her graduating class when she received her M.D. degree in 1951. In 1956, she began practicing pediatrics in the basement of her home, allowing her to work full time and raise her three children. In 1958, she helped to integrate Washington, D.C. hospitals. She moved her home-based medical practice into a downtown Washington office. By 1971, she had seen thousands of children and continued to provide medical assistance until she retired in 2003. In 1966, Catoe was elected as an at-large member of the Board of Trustees of the Medical Society of the District of Columbia, a post she served in for over thirty years. Ten years later, she was elected as a delegate to the 1976 National Democratic Convention in New York.

Her involvement in a number of civic organizations including the AKA Sorority, Jack and Jill of America, the NAACP, the Urban League and the Links. Catoe and her husband, Dr. Warren Strudwick, have three grown children; two are physicians and the other is an attorney.

Dr. Bette Catoe was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 17, 2004.

Accession Number

A2004.083

Sex

Female

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

6/17/2004

Last Name

Catoe

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Occupation
Schools

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Thomas P. Morgan Elementary School

Howard University College of Medicine

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Bette

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

CAT01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

What does that have to do with the price of rice in China?

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

4/7/1926

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Pediatrician Dr. Bette Catoe (1926 - ) helped integrate Washington D.C. area hospitals, including Providence Hospital, Columbia Hospital and Washington Hospital Center.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:2991,125:3810,136:11694,164:20585,258:23286,271:23734,276:27766,321:28998,336:35152,379:48659,521:49408,529:50157,538:50906,546:51548,553:59687,587:65592,669:86146,909:86804,950:87838,965:88590,974:95650,997:97610,1011:97866,1016:99447,1026:100926,1104:107190,1191:108756,1214:109104,1219:109713,1230:120066,1382:132542,1479:134244,1508:134910,1539:137574,1584:140998,1596:141390,1601:143154,1628:145150,1657$0,0:5806,157:6352,166:22882,310:23362,316:29602,416:30754,432:31138,437:35017,446:35452,452:40237,530:40846,541:41977,563:42760,575:43456,585:74495,955:76025,976:84702,1064:85566,1074:90942,1148:91326,1153:94290,1162:94860,1176:95259,1184:97195,1196:98470,1221:107367,1340:108537,1352:110994,1378:119862,1410:122130,1433:122634,1440:124873,1450:125157,1455:125441,1460:125725,1488:126009,1500:135456,1582:139082,1638:140454,1658:140944,1664:147913,1707:149120,1728:149830,1741:150469,1761:155368,1856:156575,1880:157072,1889:157427,1895:157995,1904:163660,1943:164420,1953:164990,1960:165370,1965:165845,1974:169480,1990:169800,1995:170440,2004:170760,2009:171960,2025:172280,2030:173320,2048:179880,2200:180440,2209:198594,2377:201856,2423:212020,2538:212910,2550:214067,2569:214601,2576:215402,2587:217538,2616:221632,2680:221988,2685:222611,2694:223590,2709:224035,2715:224836,2725:234354,2811:234702,2817:241836,2947:242445,2956:242793,2961:248200,2999
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Bette Catoe's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Bette Catoe lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her mother's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about her father's childhood and her parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks briefly about her maternal family ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Bette Catoe remembers her maternal grandmother and great-grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about her relationship with her paternal great aunt and uncle

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about attending Thomas P. Morgan Elementary School in Washington, D.C., pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her earliest childhood memories in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Dr. Bette Catoe narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about attending Thomas P. Morgan Elementary School in Washington, D.C., pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her childhood personality and interests

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes developing an interest in medicine and dropping out of high school for one year

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes attending Garnet-Patterson Junior High School and Banneker Junior High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes herself and social interests as an adolescent

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks briefly about her childhood experience in the church

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her childhood aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes the influence of her mother and junior high school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks briefly about her relationship with her father

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about her paternal uncle's murder conviction and describes how it affected her experience at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes graduating from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and explains what factors influenced her to attend college

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about her admission to Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her experience as an undergraduate student at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes pledging the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority in her first year of medical school in the Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about her favorite subjects in medical school and meeting her husband, HistoryMaker Dr. Warren Strudwick, Sr.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her mother's response to her admission into Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her experience being a woman in medical school in the late-1940s and early-1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her children's occupations

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about graduating from the Howard University College of Medicine in 1951

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes opening a pediatric private practice in her home in 1956, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Bette Catoe explains why she decided to retire

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes opening a pediatric private practice in her home in 1956, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her early patients and talks about the emergence of malpractice insurance

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes integrating Washington, D.C. hospitals with her husband, HistoryMaker Dr. Warren Strudwick, Sr.

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Dr. Bette Catoe remembers her former resident HistoryMaker Dr. Lillian M. Beard, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Bette Catoe remembers her former resident, HistoryMaker Dr. Lillian M. Beard, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes the changes she observed in her patients from 1956 to 2003

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes changes she's observed in pediatric care and patient illness

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about how an increase in youth violence has affected pediatric care

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about contemporary teenage pregnancy

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes attending the National Democratic Convention in Madison Square Garden as a delegate in 1976

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about the closing of District of Columbia General Hospital in 2001

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Bette Catoe reflects over her life and career

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Bette Catoe shares her advice to young women interested in a career in medicine and considers what she may have done differently in her life

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Dr. Bette Catoe talks about health disparities between African American and white communities

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Dr. Bette Catoe describes the significance of the preservation of African American history

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Dr. Bette Catoe reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Dr. Bette Catoe narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

3$5

DATitle
Dr. Bette Catoe describes developing an interest in medicine and dropping out of high school for one year
Dr. Bette Catoe describes her experience being a woman in medical school in the late-1940s and early-1950s
Transcript
And at this time in your life, during elementary school [Thomas P. Morgan Elementary School, Washington, D.C.], did you have dreams and aspirations?$$Yes. I think that living in the block with the doctors that I decided at a very early age I wanted to be a doctor. But then reality set in and I decided that I couldn't afford to be a doctor so I wanted to be a nurse, and then reality set in again and then I said, well I wanted to be a lab technician (laughter). And the influences that I had were responsible for me finally going to medical school because at--during that time, you were told--you were not told you couldn't, you were not told that you couldn't do something because you were poor like you--you were not told you could not learn because you were poor, and this was under a segregated system. My elementary school teachers encouraged me. Apparently--I was a strange child, but apparently they say had a high IQ so--that I didn't always use for positive things (laughter), and when I was in high school, I stopped high school [Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Washington, D.C.]for a year and went to work in the government because I got a little peeved with the dean of women and--because she said that I cut school and I didn't; I was sick so I couldn't find her and went home, so by--and that time I had made 99.9 on the Civil Service Exam, and teachers were making $1,240.00 a year, and I went and made $1,440.00 a year, and I didn't find out until later everybody was very upset; my mother [Laura Beola Adams] was upset and everything. But I did go to night school, and went back and graduated with my class from, from high school.$And so how--while you were in medical school [Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, D.C.], how were you determining which field of medicine you would go into?$$Well, I think the cultural--academic cultural system determined it for me. Thing number one, when we went to medical school, there were seven women in our class, and some of the professors and some of my classmates wanted to die; their whole attitude was we were taking a space from men--from the veterans, and the--one professor told me one day, one, one time, "You should not be in this school, you should be somewhere married." I said, "I am married," (laughter). And he said, "When did you get married?" You know. But, but we--what was the question? I'm, I'm, I'm--$$Well, let's talk a little bit about that. What was it like for you, as a woman, in medical school in the late '40s [1940s]?$$It was, it was--our--most of our classmates were very supportive; we had a few that harassed us and said, you know, "You shouldn't be here and why are you here?" I had one classmate--one classmate from New York; I got a Jewish classmate who asked me, "Bette, why would a girl like you want to go to medical school?" I said, "Well, you know, I want to be a doctor, and the only way I can be a doctor is to go to medical school." And he says, "Oh--oh." So that, that, that, that sums--that generally sums it up. We--you--I went in when the veterans were coming back, and they knew what they wanted to do, and they didn't want any mess about it, so therefore, the pace was swift (laughter), and the, the academics were grinding because the--every--it was very competitive. So, I think that I got a magnificent medical education because of my--I had people in my class that had been class presidents--I mean college presidents, I had people in my class who've had Ph.D.s, I had people in the class who this was their third or fourth degree and then, as I said, the young men coming back from the service who had lost time and were older, and they just moved, so we--the seven of us just moved along with them,$$(simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--The question I had asked you before, Dr. Catoe, was how did you decide which field of medicine you would choose to practice in?$$Oh, okay--okay, yeah. Well, my original choice--my first choice was obstetrics and gynecology, but in the history of Howard University [Washington, D.C.], there had been only one woman resident in obstetrics and gynecology, so--and the, the head of the department at that time was not inclined to take any more. My second choice was pediatrics, so I ended up at pediatrics and I have loved it; I have--I have loved it. But I also love now when I see the young ladies in surgery, or obstetrics and gynecology--all of the fields, I think now, and when I see that, that 50 percent of the classes are women in medical school, so it's--there's been, been, been a big change, been a big change. I guess we were pioneers (laughter), we were pioneers.

Dr. Lillian M. Beard

Pediatrician, author and civic leader Dr. Lillian McLean Beard was born Lillian McLean in Brooklyn, New York. Beard attended P.S. 67, graduated from Brooklyn’s Midwood High School in 1961 and went on to Howard University, where she was mentored by Dr. Ruth Lloyd. In 1965, Beard graduated with a B.S. from Howard University and received her M.D. from Howard University College of Medicine in 1970. Completing her pediatric internship and residency at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in 1973, Beard worked as a Community Pediatrics Fellow sponsored by the Program for Learning Studies and the Comprehensive Health Care Program of the Child Health and Development Department at George Washington University. Between 1973 and 2000, Beard received eight Physician Recognition Awards from the American Medical Association.

As a practicing pediatrician in Silver Spring, Maryland, Beard works as an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences and an assistant professor at Howard University College of Medicine. As a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Beard has held a number of leadership positions with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Medical Association and the American Medical Women’s Association.

Sought after by the media, Beard serves as a medical expert for ABC TV-7 and Newschannel 8, as well as a contributing editor to Good Housekeeping Magazine. She writes a monthly “Ask Dr. Beard” column. Her recently published Salt In Your Sock and Other Tried-and-True Home Remedies features medically sound holistic treatments for a variety of ailments. A member of the National Medical Association Hall of Fame, and one of the Washingtonian Magazine’s “Top Doctors”, Beard lives in Maryland with her husband, Judge DeLawrence Beard. She is profiled in the 1998 Women of Courage, Volume II.

Accession Number

A2003.272

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/20/2003

Last Name

Beard

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

McLean

Schools

Midwood High School

P.S. 67 Charles A. Dorsey School

Howard University College of Medicine

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Lillian

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

BEA04

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Can accommodate any audience on the subject of health and health outcomes.

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $1,000 - $5,000

Favorite Season

Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Honorarium Specifics: $2500-5000, depends on the venue, all travel expenses must be covered
Availability Specifics: She is also willing to tailor her schedule to speaking requests.
Preferred Audience: Can accommodate any audience on the subject of health and health outcomes.

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Ocean

Favorite Quote

The Only Dream You Cannot Realize Is The Dream You've Never Had.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

11/15/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lamb Chops

Short Description

Medical professor and pediatrician Dr. Lillian M. Beard (1943 - ) is a widely sought after medical expert, serving as associate professor of medicine at George Washington School of Medicine and Howard University College of Medicine, and as a contributing editor to Good Housekeeping Magazine.

Employment

George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Howard University Hospital

WJLA TV

Children’s Pediatricians and Associates

Favorite Color

Bright Colors

Timing Pairs
0,0:689,34:4490,97:6100,127:11580,192:12050,201:13366,218:14494,232:14870,237:31726,449:33670,486:33958,491:34750,509:36622,547:39430,593:46268,637:54426,762:59974,870:60278,875:75924,1108:76292,1113:79512,1187:86219,1222:86671,1227:87236,1233:88027,1241:90287,1266:97504,1322:100084,1353:100686,1366:101030,1371:111350,1537:116812,1565:119360,1640:127890,1741:135807,1829:142620,1873:143830,1885:146706,1907:155152,1969:157050,2014:157342,2019:160262,2087:160700,2094:161795,2112:162087,2117:167786,2160:168602,2169:169010,2174:169928,2184:170336,2189:171254,2202:172580,2218:172988,2223:183295,2346:185170,2393:186070,2408:186520,2415:187045,2424:187720,2434:188470,2445:188995,2454:190495,2475:192820,2515:194095,2545:204444,2689:211398,2745:212000,2754:212688,2764:213204,2772:213720,2780:215096,2819:215612,2826:229366,3038:235978,3153:236586,3163:237422,3183:238486,3205:239094,3214:239398,3219:240234,3247:240766,3256:243502,3315:244870,3342:254784,3419:256212,3438:257892,3473:258312,3483:279385,3771:286108,3886:287485,3907:289591,3960:296590,4020$0,0:2540,32:3065,41:4715,63:10490,190:11390,202:11690,207:15480,212:21512,283:21928,288:27544,397:30768,451:31184,456:38152,739:43686,756:44430,772:46941,823:47406,829:48522,847:48894,852:52940,889:56918,968:63314,1091:72402,1204:74954,1257:76978,1302:82698,1406:85602,1464:86394,1475:94087,1540:101710,1664:102090,1669:102755,1677:103135,1682:104465,1701:104845,1706:105890,1718:108075,1757:108645,1764:109120,1770:109785,1778:111685,1805:112065,1810:112445,1815:114440,1848:126437,2003:128862,2077:130317,2102:149326,2334:157311,2424:159128,2447:161340,2487:163830,2508:164162,2513:164743,2522:166071,2545:171964,2658:182652,2792:183354,2810:184602,2830:190020,2870:190372,2875:191076,2885:191956,2909:193628,2940:197148,2997:197852,3007:198204,3012:198908,3021:203044,3089:208923,3125:209481,3132:211434,3153:212085,3162:214596,3200:222552,3300:223126,3308:232356,3435:232995,3445:233563,3455:236680,3489
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Lillian M. Beard's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard talks about her mother and her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard shares stories about her maternal family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard talks about her father, his family and how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard describes her mother's personality, educational background and her career as a fashion designer

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard talks about performers in her mother's fashion shows and Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn, New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard talks about her mother's later career

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard describes her father and his interest in politics

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard remembers her paternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard talks about splitting time between Washington, D.C. and New York, New York as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood in Brooklyn, New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard remembers that her mother allowed her to speak her mind as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard describes childhood experiences with her mother

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard describes her mission to get accepted to Midwood High School in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard talks about meeting her best friend in 1957 at Midwood High School in Brooklyn, New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard talks about encouraging teachers in school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard describes her activities at and graduating from Midwood High School in Brooklyn, New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard describes her life-long dream of becoming a physician

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard talks about choosing to go to Howard University in Washington, D.C. and getting a scholarship

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard describes her experience at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard talks about her exposure to leaders of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard describes her social life at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard talks about reconnecting with her father and going to Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard explains how Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C. prepared her for the medical field

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard talks about Dr. William Montague Cobb and Dr. Ruth Lloyd at Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard remembers never giving up at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard explains her decision to become a pediatrician

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard talks about her pediatric practice

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard describes how pediatric medicine has changed over time

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard talks about the wisdom of medical folklore

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard talks about childhood obesity in the United States

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard talks about rage in children, violence in the U.S. and the Beltway sniper attacks of 2002

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard describes the importance of parenting and nurturing children

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard talks about her book 'Salt in Your Sock: and Other Tried-and-True Home Remedies,' pt.1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard talks about her book 'Salt in Your Sock: and Other Tried-and-True Home Remedies,' pt.2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard talks about child birth options and what makes the field of pediatrics unique

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard considers what she would have done differently

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. Lillian M. Beard narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$4

DAStory

4$4

DATitle
Dr. Lillian M. Beard shares stories about her maternal family
Dr. Lillian M. Beard explains her decision to become a pediatrician
Transcript
(Phone ringing) Are there are any stories that they passed down from that [maternal] side of the family about life in the 19th century or?$$Many stories. Well, my, one story that I always, I found it fascinating as a physician the fact that my mother's [Woodie Durden McLean] oldest siblings were twins, and they were born in 1903 and that in 1903 and with medicine being whatever it was on that da--that time, they were delivered by midwives, but because they were twins they were so very small. They were premature, and they were small enough that my mother tells me that her mom told her that the midwife placed them in these Mason jars, not their heads, but just their lower bodies and put them and wrapped the jars and put them near the fireplace. So, I look at that as probably the earliest type of incubator and it was so that they would preserve their, their body temperature. Now, it couldn't be the jar that I imagined today that's like a fruit jar, but large jars they were placed in, the jars were wrapped and placed near the fireplace. Well, it was amazing to me to hear that story because they each lived to be in their--well one died at age eighty-nine and the other died at age about ninety-three and here we're talking about twin deliveries at home in 1903 that were delivered by midwives, placed in jars, incubated, and grew into exceed their life expectancy being black men born at that time.$$Yeah that is an amazing story.$$So, I, I always found that story fascinating, particularly as I became a physician and really reflected on that on what the adverse conditions had to have been during that period of time to have been in the rural South and just sort of amazed at the resourcefulness and creativity of people that the things they had to come up with to survive.$$Yeah that's something. Any other stories? Is there any, is there, there any information about how your, about your grandparent, your grandparents on how they, their, their parents or your great-grandparents?$$Well, I have information and it's a little bit fuzzy for me right now, but I was always fascinated by the fact that my grandfather had so much land and I actually have documents that show how the land was deeded over generations and how ultimately my grandfather's [Lawton Durden] land was forty--I'm sorry, seven square miles of property, which is quite, I realized it's quite a bit of property and I recall being so impressed growing up going to visit in Georgia and feeling that no matter how far we drove this was property owned by my grandfather. Well, much of that has since been divided amongst my mother's siblings, all of whom are now deceased and their heirs, so it isn't that extensive now, but my grandfather secured his land from his family as well as from my grandmother's [Lily Belle Durden], his wife's family and he was a very smart businessman, so he kept records of all the deeds and all the bequests or how it was bequeathed, so we do have all of those records.$$Yeah is there or was there a story about how so much land was accumulated in the mid-19th century and you know I guess--was it accumulated before the Civil War or after the Civil War or do you know?$$It was, it was probably over time. And I say over time, some was before the Civil War and I'm sure much of it was after the Civil War. Some of it was actually purchased and there are the purchase documents that are available. Some was as I said just through being bequeathed, and there are always, there are these stories that I don't know the full details. My mother [Woodie Darden McLean] has them about how my great-grandfather purchased my great-grandmother out of slavery--that my great-grandfather was not a slave he was an indentured servant, so he received pay, and he purchased my great-grandmother out of, out of slavery and married her and because he was an indentured servant and working he purchased property. He always purchased property and acquired property, so I, I've heard, I grew up hearing those stories.$Okay, now how did you decide to become a pediatrician? Was it because of the influence of Dr. Clark or what was it?$$Dr. Bomse, the influence of Audrey's [Bomse] father, Dr. Bomse. He was certainly a very good picture for me of, of what a pediatrician was and how a pediatrician's life could be shaped. But, I think it was really my exposure in the clinical years of medical school. I had the opportunity to do an externship at Walter Reed [U.S.] Army Hospital [sic, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland], and it was during the pediatric rotation in medical school [at Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, D.C.] in my junior year that I really felt that I was a part of a team. When I was at Walter Reed, the director of the department there, Colonel B. Hughson [ph.] was the first person who didn't just refer to me as the medical student. Usually on rotations it's like, "Oh the medical student can go and"--with this anonymous medical student. Colonel B. Hughson turned to me as a third year student and said, "Dr. Beard what do you think about this patient?" Well, all of a sudden I'm a part of the team and Colonel B. Hughson is asking my opinion. That made me really want to be an active part of the team. True, I was a medical student, but he actually asked what I thought of the patient, so it made me want to get to know everything there was to know about the patient's history, about what was going on because on rounds I was going to be asked to give my opinion. That was the first rotation where I knew I was a part of the team, and it's the little things like that that influence our choices. So, that made me feel very important and very comfortable with pediatrics. But, then again I, I really liked surgery because I seem to have had some very good manual mechanical skills in terms of surgical skills, tying, suturing, the things that you think of in surgery. And I can remember at that time Dr. Lewis Kurtz and the department of surgery at Howard [University, Washington, D.C.] making the comment to me that I was a natural for surgery, that I had the hands for surgery, and I felt gee maybe I should go into surgery. And Dr. John Clark and the Department of OB/GYN [Obstetrics and Gynecology] telling me I was a natural for OB/GYN and I felt like well maybe this is it because the actual aspects of caring for women and delivering babies I had the opportunity to deliver several babies as a medical student and just seeing new life come into the world, being there and facilitating it and handing a baby to a nurse or to the mom it's, it's such a good feeling and I felt well maybe this is what I want to do. So, I was in conflict about what I truly wanted to pursue. But, in the end, pediatrics really did win me over. It was the opportunity to be a part of another individual's life for a long period of time. I could be there from birth all the way through their childhood into adulthood that I could be a virtual member of that person's family and that's what pediatrics has been and I'm now treating the children of my children. I'm on my second generation, so it is really a full circle of love and I'm a virtual member of so many families. I'm a part--I get the invitations to the kindergarten graduations, the college graduations, the weddings. I get the birth, their birth announcements and I see their children now, so it's, for me it was an excellent choice of specialties, and I truly enjoy it.

Dr. Roselyn Payne Epps

Dr. Roselyn Payne Epps was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. Both of her parents were educators, as were her grandparents. Epps attended elementary school at Powell Laboratory School in Savannah, Georgia, and afterwards attended Palmer Memorial High School in Sedalia, North Carolina, before enrolling at Howard University in Washington, D.C. She graduated with a B.S. in 1951, and obtained an M.S., also from Howard, in 1955.

Upon receiving her M.S., Epps became a rotating intern with the United States Public Health Service at Freedmen's Hospital in Washington (later renamed Howard University Hospital). In 1956, she began a pediatric residency with the hospital, and two years later became its chief resident.

In 1961, she became a medical officer with the District of Columbia Department of Health, and in 1973 earned an M.Ph. from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She continued on with the District of Columbia Department of Health, and in 1980 was appointed the first acting commissioner of health of the District of Columbia.

That year also saw her become a professor of pediatrics and children's health at Howard, and a year later, she received an M.A. from American University in Washington, D.C. She would go on to become the chief of the Child Development Division and director of the Child Development Center at Howard. Among her accomplishments during her time there were overseeing a program that aided disabled children and their parents, and she was the founder of the High Risk Young People's Project, which brought together several university health science departments, community organizations, and government agencies within the district.

In 1988, she went to work for the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. Semi-retired since 1998, she serves s a consultant for the public and private sector. Epps has written more than ninety articles for medical publications, was a co-editor for The Women's Complete Handbook , and was the first African American and female president of the District of Columbia chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She has been involved in various professional and philanthropic undertakings and is the recipient of more than sixty awards. The Council of the District of Columbia declared February 14, 1981, Dr. Roselyn Payne Epps Day in Washington, D.C.

Epps passed away on September 30, 2014, at the age of 83. She was married to Dr. Charles H. Epps, Jr. and they have four children.

Roselyn Payne Epps was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 16, 2003.

Accession Number

A2003.047

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/16/2003

Last Name

Epps

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Payne

Occupation
Schools

Palmer Memorial High School

Powell Laboratory School

Sol C. Johnson High School

Howard University College of Medicine

Johns Hopkins University

American University

First Name

Roselyn

Birth City, State, Country

Little Rock

HM ID

EPP01

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

A Job Well Done Is Its Own Reward

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

12/11/1930

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

9/30/2014

Short Description

Pediatrician Dr. Roselyn Payne Epps (1930 - 2014 ) was Professor Emerita of Pediatrics at Howard University.

Employment

Freedmen's Hospital, Howard University

District of Columbia Department of Health

District of Columbia District of Health

Howard University College of Medicine

National Cancer Institute

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Roselyn Epps' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Roselyn Epps lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Roselyn Epps describes her mother, Mattie Beverly Payne, and her maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Roselyn Epps describes her father, William Kenneth Payne

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Roselyn Epps describes her maternal grandfather, John William Beverly, the president of Alabama State College

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Roselyn Epps talks about her maternal grandmother's ancestral roots

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Roselyn Epps describes how her grandfather attended at Brown University and the impact of the American Missionary Association on black education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Roselyn Epps describes how her parents met and their move from Alabama to Arkansas

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Roselyn Epps talks about her brother, William Kenneth Payne II

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Roselyn Epps describes memories of her childhood in Little Rock, Arkansas

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Roselyn Epps describes her relationship with her brother, William Kenneth Payne II

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Roselyn Epps describes her early elementary school years

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Roselyn Epps talks about growing up on the campus of Savannah State University in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Roselyn Epps talks about taking her mother's card club on a tour of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Roselyn Epps describes the sights, smells, and sounds of growing up in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Roselyn Epps describes the development of her parents' careers as educators

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Roselyn Epps talks about her experience at Powell Laboratory School on the campus of Savannah State University

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Roselyn Epps describes her childhood personality and her early dreams of becoming a pediatrician

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Roselyn Epps talks about her experience at Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Roselyn Epps talks about the Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia, North Carolina, and its founder, Dr. Charlotte Hawkins Brown

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Roselyn Epps remembers when Nat King Cole visited Palmer Memorial Institute with Maria Cole, Dr. Charlotte Hawkins Brown's niece

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Roselyn Epps talks about black boarding schools like Palmer Memorial Institute, Mary Potter School, Mather Academy, and Piney Woods Country Life School, which suffered after integration

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Roselyn Epps talks about close friends from her years at Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Roselyn Epps talks about how her experience at Palmer impacted her formation

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Roselyn Epps describes her parents' influence on her decision to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Roselyn Epps describes her summer activities as a youth including 4-H camps and dance lessons

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Roselyn Epps talks about her father and her husband's roles as academic administrators

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Roselyn Epps describes criminal activity at the campus post office while she worked there

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Roselyn Epps describes how her father resolved the issues at the post office and advocated for the students and faculty in his charge

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Roselyn Epps describes the academic and social environment at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Roselyn Epps talks about the faculty at Howard University including university president Mordecai Johnson, Alain LeRoy Locke, Frank Snowden, Lois Mailou Jones, and HistoryMaker Lloyd N. Ferguson

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Roselyn Epps talks about the pre-med track at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Roselyn Epps describes how she met her husband, HistoryMaker Dr. Charles H. Epps

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Roselyn Epps talks about her decision to attend Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Roselyn Epps talks about her experience as a woman at Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Roselyn Epps remembers an embarrassing experience in her neuroanatomy lab class with Dr. Moses Wharton Young

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Roselyn Epps talks about her studies at Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Roselyn Epps talks about Dr. Blanche Bourne and Dr. Ruth Ella Moore, two influential teachers at Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Roselyn Epps talks about Dr. Roland Scott, her mentor at Howard University School of Medicine

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Roselyn Epps talks about Dr. Roland Scott and his work on sickle cell disease

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Roselyn Epps talks about children's health issues in the 1960s and the importance of immunization

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Roselyn Epps describes obtaining a master of public health at Johns Hopkins University while working at the D.C. Department of Public Health

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Roselyn Epps describes the impact of urban migration in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Roselyn Epps talks about Freedmen's Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Roselyn Epps talks about distinguished interns and residents from Freedman's Hospital

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Roselyn Epps talks about medical ethics

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Roselyn Epps talks about her mentor Dr. Dorothy Boulding Ferebee and affiliating with the American Academy of Pediatrics

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Roselyn Epps remembers integrating the D.C. Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Roselyn Epps talks about her community involvement and her work with Children International

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Roselyn Epps talks about her decision to study public administration and higher education at American University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Roselyn Epps talks about evolution of public health while she was acting commissioner of health at the D.C. Department of Public Health

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Roselyn Epps talks about a shift in national attitudes about intellectual and developmental disabilities

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Roselyn Epps talks about the close of Junior Village, one of the unintended casualties of the Great Society programs

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Roselyn Epps describes the beginning of the High Risk Young People's Project

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Roselyn Epps talks about the impact of the High Risk Young People's Project

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Roselyn Epps describes how she implemented the NIH's smoking cessation program

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Roselyn Epps talks about her work on smoking cessation in pediatrics

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Roselyn Epps talks about the expansion of pediatric medicine

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Roselyn Epps talks about a study on hypertension in children and how the field of pediatrics has changed over the last few decades

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Roselyn Epps talks about the rising incidence of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Roselyn Epps talks about cancer research in children and chronic pediatric issues

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Roselyn Epps talks about her work on "The Women's Complete Health Book"

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Roselyn Epps talks about Joycelyn Elders, the former Surgeon General of the United States

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Roselyn Epps talks about the importance of caring for the nation's children

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Roselyn Epps talks about the Hospital for Sick Children and learning to fundraise

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Roselyn Epps talks about Girls Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Roselyn Epps talks about lessons in leadership and her leadership roles over the years

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Roselyn Epps describes her work ethic

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Roselyn Epps talks about her exposure to significant African Americans and her experience during segregation

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Roselyn Epps talks about the importance of integration and its consequences

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Roselyn Epps shares her advice for aspiring medical professionals

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Roselyn Epps describes the importance of historically black colleges and universities like Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Roselyn Epps talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Roselyn Epps narrates her photographs, pt.1

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Roselyn Epps narrates her photographs, pt.2

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

5$4

DATitle
Roselyn Epps talks about Dr. Roland Scott, her mentor at Howard University School of Medicine
Roselyn Epps talks about her work on smoking cessation in pediatrics
Transcript
But there were a lot of people who were kind and, you know, took in, and... Now when I became a resident in pediatrics, my chairman, Dr. Roland Scott, really was a person who had great influence on me.$$Can you talk about that?$$Yes. Roland Scott was the chairman of the department, and he also was the first African American, certified in pediatrics, and also the first to become a member of the Academy of Pediatrics. He died last year and he was about ninety-four, I think, but I learned a lot from him. This was a man who really came along at a time when there was no one else out front, you know. And he would go to all the meetings. He would take--he wrote publications. He had research. He had a private practice. And he--when he would go to conferences and meetings, he'd raise his hand, and he'd get up and make a comment or ask a question. Everyone knew he had been there. And no matter where we'd go out of the country and met somebody, they would say, well, do you know Dr. Roland? You're from Howard [University School of Medicine]--do you know Dr. Roland Scott? He's in sickle cell research. And I did research with him and practiced with him in his office for a year after I finished. And he taught me that you needed to take time. He says, publish new research and publish. He says if you don't do it while you don't have time--he said, but if you don't do it while you're a resident, you won't do when you finish. You just won't never be able to figure it out. And so, I wrote papers with him and did some research projects. And he had, had tremendous influence in terms of professional development and how one can just go. I mean he went to things, and he would get money for the residents to go to the pediatric meetings. And we would always have an exhibit and he would go to the sessions, and we would man the exhibit. But we got an opportunity to meet people. I remember the Academy of Pediatrics met in Chicago [Illinois] every year so we used to go. I forget the (unclear). I was the chief resident and we would go, and we would--and I would, in fact, it was so funny because one time I remember we were going to the meeting. And I think it was the first one, and I think he thought that--I know I probably would be tagging along looking for him. I'm talking about in the car--look for me, you know, help me or something. And so, when we got there to the airport, I went and got my bag and got on that bus and went into the Palmer House. I didn't--and so the next--when we were setting up the exhibit, he said, well, what happened to you? He said--I said, well, you know, we had arrived. I didn't want him to think that I was there and would be dependent on him to guide me around, you know. You didn't say, well, you know, let's share a cab or let's do this. So, I said, well, if we're on our own, I know how to do that, too. So, so I did but he--but he did, and then when my husband [Dr. Charles H. Epps] came back to be chief of orthopedics and they said, well, we got nepotism here [Freedman's Hospital, now Howard University Hospital, Washington, D.C.]. So I talked to him, and he says, well, why don't you go to look into public health? He said, but if you go into public health, he says, you get the degree that people in public health have got. And so, he called them [D.C. Department of Public Health] up and asked them if they had an opening. And I went down and interviewed and what-not and was hired, and as a well-baby clinic doctor.$$So he, he was a very good mentor.$$Oh, yeah, uh-hum.$$Okay.$But after I got there and there was no pediatrician there, I realized that smoking really begins during childhood, and that's it's really a pediatric problem. And yet I had--was familiar enough in pediatrics to know that nowhere had I heard any discussion about tobacco. So I said, what we need is a program to prevent onset of smoking, not just stop it after the people are addicted. So I said fine, you go on and you do it. And so, I called the Academy of Pediatrics, and I said we need to--we brought them in--for several of them in for a meeting, and I said we need to develop this program. And I said, we can do it several ways. I said you all can develop it and we'll publish it, or we can develop and publish it, or we can do it, whatever way you say. So I think they felt--well, nothing's going to happen here. So they said, well, won't you go on and do it, you know, and we'll look at it and see what we think about it. And so, I also knew that, you know, I was not a long-term researcher in, in tobacco control, and then that in order to get something that people will go and buy, and I couldn't just develop something out of the, out of the blue. So I tied it in--I'd been on several committees for the Academy of Pediatrics. And I knew that they had the guidelines of when children should come, so I just wrote the program so it coincided with normal periods of time that they'd be coming into the doctor anyway. And then added--they had four A's--ask, advise, assist, and arrange for smoking cessation. So I added "A", a fifth "A" for children which was anticipate, anticipate the developmental stage 'cause, you know, you're going from one station to another. The temptations will be different. And so, it made--sent it to the Academy of pediatrics said, well, will you look at it and review, and they, they got their substance abuse committee people to make a few suggestions. In the end, they were so thrilled with it 'cause we were publishing and disseminating and everything that they actually put their imprimatur on it as, as one of their official things. And so, that we were able to disseminate that and so.$$That was groundbreaking in many ways, right?$$Yes, oh, yeah, that was really--$$It's groundbreaking.$$Uh-hum.$$And it sort of led to a lot of the focus on, you know, on the--well, now people are trying to get billboards, but it was sort of the beginning--$$Oh, yeah, oh, yeah, all of that was going on simultaneously.$$Right.$$But the medical community was really out of the loop, but they didn't realize--I mean the advocates were out there with smoking cessation. Now I'm in my current role, semi-retired--I'm a consultant. There's a program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to the Department of Pediatrics at Howard [University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C.] now that's going to look at smoking in high risk populations. So, in other words, teenagers, kids who are in--out of school programs, kids who are in foster care, kids who are in job corps, kids who are really at risk, the ones who are more likely to smoke who don't have parents who will say, it's not good for you and that type of thing. And so, we're working on that now and going to develop a curriculum. I'm just a consultant on it now though. Mm-hm.

Dr. Billie Wright Adams

Medical professor and pediatrician Dr. Billie Wright Adams was born in Bluefield, West Virginia. Her father, William Morris Wright, was a country doctor who accepted chickens and potatoes in lieu of cash for his services. Adams received her B. S. degree from Fisk University in 1950. The following year, she received her M. S. degree in zoology from the University of Indiana in Bloomington. Intending to begin a career in research, but not wanting to be isolated in the laboratory, Adams enrolled in medical school at Howard University. After receiving her M.D. degree in 1960, she focused her efforts on pediatric medicine, completing her residency at Cook County Children's Hospital. She then completed a fellowship in hematology at Cook Country Hospital from 1963 to 1964.

From 1964 to 1967, Adams served as a research associate in the Department of Hematology at the Hektoen Institute for Medical Research. She began teach as a clinical instructor at the Chicago Medical School in 1967. Adams served as an attending at Michael Reese Hospital in the pediatrics department in 1970 and then was appointed chief of the Pediatric Hematology Clinic at Mercy Hospital. Two years later, she joined the faculty of the University of Illinois in the Department of Pediatrics as a clinical assistant instructor. In 1976, she was promoted to clinical associate professor. Adams became the project director in 1980 of a United States Department of Health and Human Services funded grant for a Pediatric Primary Care Residency Program at Mercy Hopsital. From 1981 to 1987, Adams served as the Assistant Program Director of Mercy Hospital & Medical Center’s Department of Pediatrics. Her professional responsibilities over the years have also included acting bureau chief of the Chicago Department of Health, Bureau of Community and Comprehensive Personal Health; former president of the Chicago Pediatrics Society and coordinator of a medical student training program at Cook County Hospital.

Adams was recognized many times for her dedication to pediatric care. In 1997, the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics named her Pediatrician of the Year. She received the 1999 Chicago Medical Society Public Service Award and the 2012 Timuel Black Community Service Award from the Jazz Institute of Chicago. Adams served on the board of the Ounce of Prevention Fund. Adams is the widow of Frank Adams and the mother of Chicago attorney Frank Adams, Jr.

Dr. Billie Wright Adams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 17, 2002.

Accession Number

A2002.187

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/17/2002

Last Name

Adams

Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

Wright

Schools

The Toya School

The Young Street School

Genoa Junior High School

Genoa High School

Fisk University

Indiana University

Speakers Bureau

No

First Name

Billie

Birth City, State, Country

Bluefield

HM ID

ADA01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

West Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

West Virginia Mountains, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

5/15/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Watermelon, Fruit

Short Description

Medical professor and pediatrician Dr. Billie Wright Adams (1935 - ) was the program director in the Department of Pediatrics at Mercy Hospital. Adams also served as an associate clinical professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine while maintaining a private practice.

Employment

Cook County Children's Hospital

Mercy Hospital

Chicago Department of Health

Cook County Hospital

University of Illinois College of Medicine

Favorite Color

Black, Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1402,11:2130,23:2494,28:3313,38:3859,46:5042,64:5406,69:6589,89:8955,144:12504,177:21594,249:22926,272:25664,316:31436,404:35870,426:36230,431:38660,456:39470,466:40280,478:66190,820:66600,826:67338,838:68978,859:74110,888:79456,982:80023,989:80995,1003:82210,1023:85855,1112:86908,1126:87637,1140:87961,1145:88447,1152:88852,1158:97236,1239:98421,1258:98974,1266:101344,1307:102055,1320:111378,1464:115199,1511:115766,1519:117467,1544:119573,1597:119897,1609:120464,1617:124536,1656:125498,1673:127422,1704:131048,1775:131344,1780:134822,1828:135266,1835:135784,1844:136154,1850:138226,1879:143312,1896:145603,1929:148842,1989:150185,2009:154451,2080:165649,2194:180030,2374:180350,2379:186350,2473:186830,2480:196635,2611:197202,2621:199308,2651:201900,2699:202386,2707:202872,2714:204087,2733:214160,2847$0,0:8460,117:8900,123:15324,180:15676,185:27954,273:28198,282:28503,288:30028,313:30333,319:38990,349:76364,741:78044,766:80564,800:123781,1431:124558,1439:159691,1756:160355,1765:161102,1780:196356,2242:205559,2366:208552,2413:223990,2611:238770,2830
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Billie Wright Adams's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Billie Wright Adams describes her family background

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Billie Wright Adams talks about her grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Billie Wright Adams talks about her sister

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Billie Wright Adams talks about her family's educational background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Billie Wright Adams describes her father's civic activities in Bluefield, West Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Billie Wright Adams describes her experience in grade school

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Billie Wright Adams talks about her experience at Genoa High School in Bluefield, West Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Billie Wright Adams talks about her experience at Fisk University and her decision to become a doctor

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Billie Wright Adams talks about her family

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Billie Wright Adams talks about some of the writers and entertainers who visited her childhood home

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Billie Wright Adams talks about her childhood experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Billie Wright Adams talks about her experience at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Billie Wright Adams talks about her missed opportunities at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Billie Wright Adams talks about raising her son, Frank McClinton Adams, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Billie Wright Adams talks about her experience in pediatrics

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Billie Wright Adams talks about her experience at Cook County Hospital

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Billie Wright Adams talks about diversity at Cook County Hospital

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Billie Wright Adams talks about the New Cook County Hospital

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Billie Wright Adams describes the type of student she treasures

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Billie Wright Adams talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Billie Wright Adams talks about her regrets

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Billie Wright Adams lists her favorites, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Billie Wright Adams lists her favorites, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Dr. Billie Wright Adams describes her father's civic activities in Bluefield, West Virginia
Dr. Billie Wright Adams talks about her experience at Cook County Hospital
Transcript
So we knew that it was very important that we have training but even more so that we did community service. My dad [William Morris Wright] was very civic minded and was active there in the city and at the college. He likewise became interested in politics so he did not want an elective office but he did serve as chairman of the democratic branch for the Negroes as they called it, living in Southern West Virginia and was very supportive. And also at that time there was a very active Lincoln University [Chester County, Pennsylvania] alumni club. And as you can imagine in that small state because West Virginia is a small state, that there were few alumnists from Lincoln but the lovely thing about it is that we had Langston Hughes who came to our home. Langston Hughes had graduated from Lincoln and came and spent time at our home and read and we have a book that he signed. Somehow another, the other books were lost in moving but we just of course didn't value it as much. Also Thurgood Marshall had been a graduate of Lincoln, Pennsylvania who had come to Bluefield [West Virginia]. It was not that far away from D.C. and some people would come there sort of as a respite, just to get a little rest. But we did have the sponsorship of the Lincoln Alumni like Horace Mann Bond who was the president of Lincoln, the youngest one, [HM] Julian Bond's father who came to our home. And then when my father [William Morris Wright] died, came there to eulogize my dad on the part of his activity at Lincoln University. So they had people from the capital, Charleston [West Virginia], some of the smaller communities who all got together. And because it was a college town and Bluefield was named as the gateway to the billion dollar coal fields, we didn't have coal mines right in Bluefield but within a radius of twenty some odd miles were coal mines. But in our community we had coal operators, coal owners, the railroad was big. In fact Bluefield was the center for the Norfolk and Western Railroad and that the purpose of that mainly was to transport the coal from the coal fields to other parts going east. And so my dad knew all of those, knew a lot of the people in the community. And I was getting ready to say, with it being the billion dollar coal fields, we also had a lot of musicians who would come there. Some of the big bands we remember. Duke Ellington would bring his band because at the college the sororities and fraternities and the alumni groups would sponsor them in addition to the fact they would go to their one night stands and what we called the coal mines. So I just have good memories of having those people who were in and out of our home and then with my father being a physician, some of the band members who would become ill when they would travel that area, my dad would see them as patients.$With your career, so within the context of knowing the condition of these children and here, and you're working with these children every day, that's what I wanted to know how you deal with attaching and detaching?$$The attachment part is very easy because you always hope that the child will be the mechanism by which this will be a better world. That the child will recognize, respect, the child will then go on to explore their possibilities and again to help us, as I said to make this a better world. So it's easy to attach to children and children respond to you. They can certainly see love and respect. Now the detachment you ask about is a bit more difficult because you know that you have to let go because what is that saying that it is a student and children act as teachers to you. That it is the wise teacher who recognizes that their students can teach them. And I try to be a student of medicine. I can be very opinionated and at times my son [Frank McClinton Adams, Jr.] says judgmental. I hope not so much but absolutely, positively I know that I have some very strong beliefs. It takes a whole lot to get me detached from those beliefs. And I do remember when I first went to Cook County [now called John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County] as an intern and of course if you remember that at that time it was one of the largest hospitals in the world at, I think was it Belleview, but it was the largest hospital with like 3,000 beds. I really became attached to that hospital because I saw it as a place where one could give service and one could learn. I learned so much from my patients. I learned on so many levels and I had made a commitment that I wanted to remain a student of medicine. And yet, I felt having attended Howard Medical School [Howard University School of Medicine] which was a wonderful experience for me. But when I first went to County there were only two black interns my year. I was the only black female at that time and there was another gentleman there who was a graduate of one of the local schools who found it a little difficult to bond with other blacks. But there were some who were in their residency but they interned and trust me that was a lot of work, physical work and a lot of emotional work, but so rewarding. And I learned so much that it stayed with me the rest of my life. And when I rotated as an intern through pediatrics that was then I decided that I wanted to specialize in pediatrics. And I was so impressed with the quality of care, it wasn't perfect but the quality of care and all the good that could be done at that community. That time when I first came, many of the black physicians were not permitted to join the staff of a major hospital and it was then in Chicago [Illinois] that we were--they were instituting the lawsuit--