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MedicalMakers have dedicated their professional lives to addressing and improving healthcare, from internal medicine and dentistry to public health and medical research. MedicalMakers include pediatricians, surgeons, psychiatrists, hospital administrators, and clinic founders, among others.

Dr. Joseph A. Pierce, Jr.

Anesthesiologist Dr. Joseph A. Pierce, Jr. was born on August 13, 1935 in Marshall, Harrison County, Texas to Joseph A. Sr., and Juanita George Pierce. He attended Oglethorpe Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia. Pierce graduated from Jack Yates High School, in Houston, Texas in 1952. He joined Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and Beta Kappa Chi National Scientific Honor Society in 1955 at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas where he received his B.S. degree in chemistry in 1957, and his father Joseph Pierce, Sr. served as dean of the graduate school in 1952; and later, president in 1967. He earned his M.D. degree in medicine in 1961 from Meharry Medical College of Medicine, in Nashville, Tennessee. Pierce completed his internship at GW Hubbard Hospital of Meharry College of Medicine.

Pierce entered the United States Army in 1962. He completed a residency in anesthesiology at Brooke General Hospital/Fort Sam Huston in San Antonio in 1967, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel and he completed a tour of duty in West Germany from 1967 to 1970. Then, in 1970, Pierce received his Texas State medical license and entered into private practice with Anesthesia Consultants in San Antonio, and joined the American Medical Association.

Pierce and his wife, Aaronetta, co-founded the San Antonio Ethnic Arts Society in 1983 to increase the awareness and understanding of visual art of African American ancestry. They also started Premier Artworks, Inc., specializing in the marketing and sale of artwork and books by African Americans. Pierce amassed a collection of roughly 8000 books by African American authors, including mostly first editions. Pierce was also a part owner of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs basketball team from 1974 to 1988.

Pierce was a life member of the NAACP. His other memberships include the Texas Society of Anesthesiology, the San Antonio Society of Anesthesiology, Bexar County Medical Society and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. Pierce was inducted into the Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2008.

Pierce and his wife, Aaronetta, have two sons, Joseph and Michael.

Dr. Joseph A. Pierce, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 8, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.121

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/8/2018

Last Name

Pierce

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Oglethorpe Elementary School

Jack Yates High School

University of Michigan

Texas Southern University

Meharry Medical College

First Name

Joseph

Birth City, State, Country

Marshall

HM ID

PIE04

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

8/13/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

San Antonio

Country

USA

Favorite Food

N/A

Short Description

Anesthesiologist Dr. Joseph A. Pierce, Jr. (1935- ) served in private practice for Anesthesia Consultants in San Antonio, Texas and was the co-founder of San Antonio Ethnic Arts Society in 1983, and Premier Artworks, Inc. in 1990 with his wife Aaronetta.

Employment

Anesthesia Consultants

U.S. Army

Dr. Leonard E. Lawrence

Professor and psychiatrist Dr. Leonard E. Lawrence was born on June 27, 1937 in Indianapolis, Indiana. He graduated from Cathedral High School in Indianapolis and went on to receive his B.A. degree in pre-medicine in 1959 from Indiana University-Bloomington, and his M.D. degree in 1962 from Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis.

Lawrence interned at E. J. Meyer Memorial Hospital in Buffalo, from 1962 to 1963 and then served two years as a general medical officer in the U.S. Air Force from 1963 to 1965. He returned to Indiana University School of Medicine and completed his residency and fellowship in child psychiatry and his chief residency in general psychiatry in 1969 at Indiana University School of Medicine. He was board certified in psychiatry in 1970 and child psychiatry in 1971. Lawrence was then assigned to the Child Guidance Clinic at Wilford Hall U.S. Air Force Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas from 1969 to 1972. He then joined the faculty of the Medical School of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) as assistant professor in 1972 and served as associate dean for student affairs (Dean of Students) in the Medical School in 1981, serving in that role until his retirement in 2005. Lawrence retired as tenured professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Family and Community Medicine in 2005. The University of Texas Board of Regents bestowed upon him the title professor emeritus in 2005, and Lawrence returned to the department of psychiatry on a half-time basis to construct the faculty development process for the department.

Lawrence served as a member of numerous organizations including as the 92nd President of the National Medical Association (NMA) from 1993 to 1994. He also served as past chairperson of the Group on Student Affairs (GSA) Minority Affairs Section of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). He was awarded the AAMC Minority Affairs distinguished Service Award for his leadership and work on behalf of underrepresented minority students throughout the U.S. in 2004. He also served on the Council of Children, Adolescents and their Families of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) of which he is a Distinguished Life Fellow. He is also a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), he served as past membership chairperson. He received the 2005 AACAP Jeanne Spurlock Lectureship Award for his contributions nationally and internationally to the understanding of the role of race and culture in children’s mental health.

Lawrence served on the Executive Committee of United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County and chaired the Board of Trustees. He also chaired the Management Board of San Antonio Fighting Back, a major substance abuse intervention project funded through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Lawrence and his wife, Dr. Barbara Lawrence, have three children; Courtney Nicole Lawrence, MD, Leonard Michael Lawrence, MD, and David Wellington Lawrence, MPA. They also have five grandchildren.

Dr. Leonard E. Lawrence was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 6, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.119

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/6/2018

Last Name

Lawrence

Maker Category
Middle Name

E.

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Leonard

Birth City, State, Country

Indianapolis

HM ID

LAW06

Favorite Season

My Birthday

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Lisbon, Portugal

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

6/27/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

San Antonio

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Professor and psychiatrist Dr. Leonard E. Lawrence (1937- ) was named professor emeritus University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Medical School in 2005 and previously served as associate dean for Student Affairs in the Medical School in 1981, and a tenured professor.

Favorite Color

Blue

Donna Thompson

Healthcare executive Donna Thompson was born on January 2, 1957 in Decatur, Illinois. She graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 1975, and received her diploma in nursing from Decatur Memorial School of Nursing in 1977. She worked as a pediatric nurse at Decatur Memorial Hospital until 1980, when she became a neonatal transport nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit at St. John’s Regional Medical Center. Thompson went on to earn her B.S. degree in nursing in 1986 and her M.S. degree in nursing in 1988, both from DePaul University in Chicago. Thompson also completed the Kellogg School of Management's CEO Perspectives program in 2010.

Thompson served as the manager of the pediatric intensive care unit at Chicago’s Michael Reese Hospital from 1983 to 1991. She was then hired as the director of nursing as Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois. In 1995, Thompson became the chief operating officer of Access Community Health Network (ACCESS) in Chicago, and was promoted to chief executive officer in 2004. Thompson organized the Stand Against Cancer program in 2002, and the Pin-A-Sister/Examínate Comadre program in 2007. Under her leadership, ACCESS became one of the largest federally qualified health centers in the country, as well as the largest provider of Medicaid and Medicare managed primary healthcare in Illinois. Thompson was also a co-founder of the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force.

Thomas received numerous awards for her work in the healthcare field, including the Nursing Star Award from the Illinois Association of Visiting Nurses in 2003, the Chicago Athena Award from Athena International in 2007, the Outstanding Leadership in Continuous Quality Improvement Award from United Way of Metro Chicago in 2009, and the National Medical Fellowship Leadership in Healthcare Award in 2015. She was also named as “One of Chicago's Most Influential Women” by N’Digo Magazine in 2009. From 2003 to 2006, Thompson served as a Robert Wood Johnson executive nurse fellow. Thompson also served as a board member for Access DuPage, and chaired the board of directors for The Chicago Network. She was also a co-founder of the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force.

Thompson and her husband, Robert, have two children.

Donna Thompson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 4, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.091

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/4/2018

Last Name

Thompson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Oakland Elementary School

Stephen Decatur High School

Woodrow Wilson Junior High School

Decatur Memorial Hospital School of Nursing

DePaul University

First Name

Donna

Birth City, State, Country

Decatur

HM ID

THO28

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Brazil

Favorite Quote

Stay In The Game.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

1/2/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Sushi

Short Description

Healthcare executive Donna Thompson (1957 - ) served as the chief executive officer of Access Community Health Network, the largest primary care provider for minority patients in Illinois.

Employment

Decatur Memorial Hospital

St. John's Hospital

Michael Reese Hospital

Christ Hospital

Access Community Health Network

Favorite Color

Pink

Chet Hewitt

Nonprofit executive Chet Hewitt was born on November 30, 1958 in New York City to Millicent Braithwaite Hewitt and George Johnson. After passing his high school equivalency exam, Hewitt began working as a YMCA counselor in Staten Island, New York, later becoming a program director at the YMCA. Upon moving to San Francisco, California in the early 1980s, Hewitt worked as an after-school program director, and joined the therapeutic foster parents initiative program. He then enrolled at the New College of California School of Law, where he completed an internship with the San Francisco Public Defenders Office in 1991, before receiving his J.D. degree in 1992.

From 1993 to 1994, Hewitt served as the founding director of the Detention Diversion Advocacy Project for the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice in San Francisco. In 1995, he completed a fellowship with the Annie E. Casey Foundation; and one year later, he became an associate director of working communities at the Rockefeller Foundation. In 2000, Hewitt was hired as an assistant agency director with the Alameda County Social Services Agency’s child and family services division, and was promoted to director the following year. Then, in 2007, Hewitt became the president and chief executive officer of the Sierra Health Foundation in Sacramento, where he was also involved with the blue ribbon commission and the steering committee. During this time, he founded the black child legacy campaign. In 2012, Hewitt became president and chief executive officer of the center at the Sierra Health Foundation. Hewitt helped The Center to launch the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund, the Fresno Legal Defense Fund, and the California Funders for Boys and Men of Color project.

Hewitt has received numerous awards for his nonprofit work, including the Black Child Administrator of the Year Award in 2009 and the Robert T. Matsui Community Service Award from the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee in 2016. Hewitt was also a recipient of the Grantland Johnson Intergovernmental Cooperation Award, and the Urban League President’s Award. Hewitt served on the board of the Public Policy Institute of California, Advance Peace, Grantmakers in Health, Valley Vision, and the Sacramento Foundation.

Hewitt has two sons, Chet II and Stephen.

Chet Hewitt was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 5, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.067

Sex

Male

Interview Date

04/05/2018

Last Name

Hewitt

Maker Category
Middle Name

P.

Organizations
First Name

Chet

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

HEW03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Carribean

Favorite Quote

No One Is Anything Great By Themselves.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

11/30/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Sacramento

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Nonprofit executive Chet Hewitt (1958 - ) was the first African American director of the Alameda County social services agency’s child and family services division. He later served as the president and chief executive officer of the Sierra Health Foundation.

Favorite Color

Red

Dr. Reed V. Tuckson

Healthcare executive Reed V. Tuckson was born on February 18, 1951 in Washington, D.C. to Coleman and Evelyn Tuckson. He received his B.S. degree from Howard University in 1973, and his M.D. degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1978. From 1978 to 1981, he trained at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania as a specialist in internal medicine, served as an admitting doctor at Philadelphia’s Veterans Affairs hospital, launched a radio program aimed at African American listeners, and organized a support group for sickle-cell anemia patients. His interest in public health led him to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars fellowship, where he studied health care administration and policy at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, from 1981 to 1983.

Tuckson worked for Elmira Jeffries Nursing Home in Philadelphia as a founding medical director from 1981 to 1985. Returning to Washington, Tuckson worked for the D.C. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Administration from 1983 to 1985. He then held the position of District of Columbia deputy commissioner of public health from 1985 to 1986; and a year later, was promoted to commissioner of public health for D.C., a position he held from 1986 to 1989. He joined the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation as senior vice president for programs before being appointed as the new president of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, serving from 1991 to 1997. Tuckson left Drew University to work for the Chicago-based American Medical Association as the group vice president for professional standards from 1997 to 2000. He accepted an offer from the United Health Group in Minneapolis, Minnesota to serve as senior vice president of consumer health and medical-care advancement from 2000 to 2006 when he was then promoted to executive vice president and chief of medical affairs at United Health where he served until 2013. He then established Tuckson Health Connections, a private health and medical care consulting company.

Tuckson has held numerous appointments in the areas of health care, the federal government and academia including active memberships in the American Medical Association and the Institute of Medicine-National Academy of Sciences. He was appointed to the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health, and has served on numerous boards, including those of Neptune Technologies & Bioressources, Inc.; the National Hispanic Medical Association; the Alliance for Health Reform; the National Patient Advocate Foundation; ViTel Net, Inc.; Cell Therapeutics, Inc.; Inform Genomics, Inc.; AcademyHealth; Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities; and Minnesota Public Radio. He also served on the board of trustees of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, on the advisory board of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, and as president of the Society of Medical Administrators.

Tuckson and his wife Margie Malone Tuckson have four adult children including Kobi, Nia, Dominic and Lance.

Reed V. Tuckson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 5, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.030

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/5/2018

Last Name

Tuckson

Maker Category
Middle Name

V.

Schools

Georgetown University School of Medicine

Howard University

First Name

Reed

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

TUC32

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Inside of My Mind

Favorite Quote

I'm in Love With the Unity of the Divine Intelligence.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

2/18/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Eggs, Bacon, Toast and Coffee

Short Description

Healthcare executive Dr. Reed Tuckson (1951- ) founded Tuckson Health Connections in 2013 and previously served as president of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, group vice president for professional standards of the American Medical Association, and executive vice president and medical affairs chief of UnitedHealth Group.

Employment

Tuckson Health Connections, LLC

UnitedHealth Group

American Medical Association

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science

District of Columbia

Mental Retardation and Developmental Disability Administration

Favorite Color

Blue

Robert Currie

Healthcare executive Robert Currie was born on June 12, 1951 in Orange, New Jersey to James Currie and Hazel Shelton. Currie graduated from Orange High School in 1970, and earned his B.A. degree in sociology and urban studies from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin in 1974. Currie went on to receive his M.A. degree in urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1978.

After working as director of health systems planning at Chicago Health Systems Agency for several years, Currie became the vice president of strategic planning for Chicago Hospital Council/Compass Health Care Plans. In 1984, Currie joined the Michael Reese - Humana Health Plan, where he was the director of strategic planning from 1984 to 1987, vice president of strategic planning and market research from 1987 to 1993, and associate executive director of administration from 1993 to 1995. Currie went on to become the president and CEO of Unity HMO in Chicago, vice president and COO of Plan Americaid Texas, and COO of Harmony Health of Indiana. From 2001 to 2005, Currie served as the president of Harmony Health Management, Inc. and vice president of external affairs for Harmony/WellCare Health Plans until 2009 when he founded the Managed Care Consulting Group. In 2011, he was named COO of Aetna Better Health Illinois; and in 2014, Currie became the president and CEO of Community Care Alliance of Illinois.

In 2009, Currie was named as one of the Chicago Defender’s “50 Men of Excellence.” Currie received an Excellence in Health Care Award from the Illinois Black Caucus and the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE) President’s Award, both in 2010. Currie also received a Chapter Leadership Award from the NAHSE Chicago Chapter in 2011. Currie served on the board of numerous organizations including the Black United Fund of Illinois, the Institute for Diversity in Healthcare Management, and Youth, Vision, & Integrity, Inc. He also served as the president of NAHSE’s Chicago chapter from 1989 to 1991, and the national president of NAHSE from 1999 to 2001.

Robert Currie was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 23, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.023

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/23/2018

Last Name

Currie

Maker Category
Schools

University of Illinois at Chicago

Lawrence University

Orange High School

Lincoln Avenue School

Oakwood Avenue Community School

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Orange

HM ID

ROB35

Favorite Season

Winter

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Don’t Give A Handout, But Give A Hand Up.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

6/12/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Liver

Short Description

Healthcare executive Robert Currie (1951 - ) served as the COO of Aetna Better Health Illinois before becoming the president and CEO of Community Core Alliance of Illinois in 2014.

Employment

Community Care Alliance of Illinois

Aetna Better Health

Managed Care Consulting Group

Americaid Texas

Unity HMO

Favorite Color

Black

Dr. L.D. Britt

Surgeon Dr. L.D. Britt was born on June 28, 1951 in Suffolk, Virginia to Claretta White Britt and Vandious Britt. He graduated as valedictorian of his class at Booker T. Washington High School in 1968, and received his B.A. degree in experimental psychology from the University of Virginia in 1972. He went on to earn his M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School and his M.P.H. degree in public health from Harvard School of Public Health in 1977. The following year, Britt completed his medical internship and assistant residency in the department of surgery at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri with further studies at the W. Alton Jones Cell Science Center in Lake Placid, New York.

In 1979, Britt accepted a two-year research fellowship in the department of surgery at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. After his residency at the University Hospital and Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Britt completed a clinical fellowship from 1985 to 1986 at the Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Services Systems. From 1987 to 1997, Britt was Chief of the Trauma Division at Eastern Virginia Medical School and worked as the medical director of the Shock Trauma Center at the Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. He was also a member of the surgical staff at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. In 1994, Britt was appointed as the Henry Ford endowed chair of the department of surgery at the Eastern Virginia Medical School, becoming the first African American in the country to be awarded an endowed chair in surgery at a major American medical school. From 1997 to 2000, Britt served as both chairman of the Surgical Services Committee for Sentara Hospitals and surgical chief of staff at Sentara Hospital Norfolk. Britt went on to serve as president of the American College of Surgeons from 2010 to 2011. In addition to his roles as editor and reviewer for numerous medical journals, Britt authored 290 scientific publications and three books including a recent edition of Acute Care Surgery. He also participated in over 200 visiting professorships and distinguished lectureships throughout the world, including the A. Clifford Barger-Hinton Wright Lecture at Harvard Medical School and the Balfour Visiting Professorship at the Mayo Clinic.

Britt earned numerous awards as an educator including the Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teaching Award, the nation’s highest teaching award in medicine given by the American Association of Medical Colleges in conjunction with the national medical honor society, Alpha Omega Alpha. Britt received The Outstanding Faculty Award, Virginia’s most prestigious educator award presented by the Governor and State Council of Higher Education for excellence in teaching, research and public service. In addition, Britt was honored with an Emmy Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his contribution to the television special, Youth / Violence: A Call To Disarm. President George W. Bush nominated Britt to the Board of Regents of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Dr. L.D. Britt was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 17, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.002

Sex

Male

Interview Date

01/17/2018

Last Name

Britt

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

University of Virginia

Harvard Medical School

Harvard

First Name

L.D.

Birth City, State, Country

Suffolk

HM ID

BRI09

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Chicago

Favorite Quote

There is No Quality Without Access

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

6/21/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Norfolk

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Italian

Short Description

Surgeon Dr. L.D. Britt (1951 - ) served as a trauma surgeon for the Sentara Norfolk General Hospital before being appointed professor at the Department of Surgery at the Eastern Virginia Medical School [EVMS].

Favorite Color

Black

Dr. Robert L. Smith

Professor and physician Dr. Robert L. Smith was born on December 20, 1936 in Terry, Mississippi to Willie B. Smith and Lillie Mae Smith. He received his B.A. degree in chemistry from Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi in 1957, and his M.D. degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1961.

Smith completed his clinical training at the West Side Medical Clinic of Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois and returned to Jackson, Mississippi and founded the Family Heath Center, now known as the Central Mississippi Health Services, Inc. In 1964, Smith worked with the Medical Committee for Human Rights (MCHR) to provide medical services for civil rights workers during the Freedom Summer in Jackson, Mississippi as its first Southern Medical Field Director. Smith later worked as an assistant clinical professor of family medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical School, where he participated in the development of the Family Medicine Program as a co-principal investigator with the National Research Program’s Arteriosclerotic Risks in Community Studies. Smith worked as an adjunct professor at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee and Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi as well as professor emeritus position in the department of community medicine at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. During his career, Smith also assisted in institutionalizing the pre-health program at Tougaloo College.

In 2011, part of Jackson Metro Parkway was renamed in honor of Dr. Robert L. Smith. In 2014, Smith received the Community Service Award from the Mississippi Board of Trustees of the State of Institutions of Higher Learning, and was also named Diversity Educator of the Year. In 2017, the American Medical Association presented Smith with its Medal of Valor Award for his civil rights work. In the same year, the Mississippi State Senate honored Smith for his community health work. Smith was a charter diplomat of the American Board of Family Physicians and a charter fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He was an active staff member of Mississippi Baptist Health Systems, St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital, and Central Mississippi Medical Center.

Dr. Robert L. Smith was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 13, 2017 and April 23, 2019.

Accession Number

A2017.222

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/13/2017

12/13/2017 |and| 4/23/2019

4/23/2019

Last Name

Smith

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

L.

Occupation
Schools

Terry Grove School

Hinds County Agricultural High School

Tougaloo College

Howard University College of Medicine

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Terry

HM ID

SMI35

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

New Orleans

Favorite Quote

Keep It Simple

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Mississippi

Interview Description
Birth Date

12/20/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Jackson

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Collard Greens, Potatoes, Okra, Grits and Eggs

Short Description

Professor and physician Dr. Robert L. Smith (1936 - ) was the president of Central Mississippi Health Services, Inc. and the first Southern Medical Field Director for the Medical Committee for Human Rights.

Employment

Mississippi State Hospital

Cook County Hospital

Tougaloo College

Private Practice

Central Mississippi Health Services, Inc.

University of Mississippi Medical Center

Tufts University

Jackson State University

St. Dominic's Hospital

Baptist Hospital

Merit Hospital System

Brown University School of Medicine

Favorite Color

Blue and Red

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Robert L. Smith's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert L. Smith lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert L. Smith talks about his paternal grandfather's journey to Terry, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers his home in Terry, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls his first piano

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his father's work in the livestock trade

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers the movie theaters in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls visiting his sister in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers the Terry Grove School in Terry, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls his decision to stop studying piano

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers his introduction to medicine

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls contracting salmonella

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes the Utica Institute-Hinds County Agricultural High School, Colored in Utica, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his parents' disciplinary methods

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls his decision to attend Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his experiences at Tougaloo College

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers his influences at Tougaloo College

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his decision to attend the Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls his classmates at the Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers the murder of Emmett Till

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert L. Smith talks about his scholarship from the State of Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls his return to Terry, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls being surveilled by the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers his decision to join the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes the State of Mississippi's attacks on Tougaloo College

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers meeting Medgar Evers at Tougaloo College

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his experiences of voter suppression in Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers Medgar Evers' mass meetings in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers James Meredith's supporters

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert L. Smith talks about the assassination of Medgar Evers

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls the march after Medgar Evers' funeral

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers picketing the American Medical Association, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers picketing the American Medical Association, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls founding the Medical Committee for Civil Rights

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Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers his introduction to medicine
Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls the march after Medgar Evers' funeral
Transcript
So you went from Dean Dixon the con- the conductor.$$(Laughter) To Dean Dixon to Charles Drew [Charles R. Drew].$$To Charles Drew.$$(Laughter) Yeah.$$What was it? You just liked the way they looked (laughter)?$$(Laughter) Well, but there was just the influence. Now what made me do that, I don't know. But it also made me a little different because some of my family and some of the students told me, "You don't know what you want to do." So, you know, that's kind of crazy, a country boy from Terry, Mississippi, in grade school [Terry Grove School] saying he want to be a physician. And (laughter) are you following me? And certainly there was no black physicians around. But I can't say that I wasn't exposed to a physician because it happened to have been two things. I had a white Jewish physician, who was a bird hunter who wanted to come down and hunt birds on my property's land. And my daddy [Joe Smith], being the bigot he was, he would ask my daddy to go out in the woods with him, and my daddy would say, "Well, take that boy," (laughter), you know. And he took me (laughter) and I would start asking him questions and we would start interacting with these different questions. And he, and then sometimes on these bird hunts he would bring me material. And he, when he retired, he gave a set of medical books.$$How old were you then?$$Oh, probably ten.$$So you were first exposed to medicine by a white Jewish doctor--$$Um-hm.$$--who was a bird hunter on your daddy's land (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Dad's pro- Daddy's property, yeah.$$How improbable is that?$$Well, it was (laughter) not that improbable, but that's the (laughter), that's the circumstances.$Tell me about the impact of Medgar's [Medgar Evers] assassination on you and your focus, what--just, just recall that.$$That, again--that, again, was just a horrific experience, culminating in demonstrations in the street, on Rose and later his funeral. And of course, I attended his funeral. And Mrs. Sanders [Thelma Sanders] and I and a group, not again thinking about the impact of our lives, joined that march and walked hand in hand from Rose Street, from Lynch Street [John R. Lynch Street] to Capitol Street. And I was, we was dared to come across Capitol Street. And thank god John Doar and his group parted the waters and let us proceed up through, up Capitol, up Farish Street to Collins and Frazier Funeral Home [sic. Frazier and Collins Funeral Home; Collins Funeral Home, Inc., Jackson, Mississippi].$$So you marched from Rose Street--$$I marched from Capitol, from--it was the Lynch Street Masonic Temple (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Temple.$$--all the way from up what then was Terry Road [Jackson Terry Road; Terry Road], all the way up to--down Pascagoula [Street] to Farish Street and from Farish Street--$$Across Capitol Street.$$Right. That's where the stop was. We weren't--$$So you're across Capitol Street. You didn't act--$$We weren't supposed to cross Capitol Street.$$To cross Capitol Street--$$That was--$$--but you did.$$We did.$$Thanks to John Doar, D-O-A-R, who had been appointed by--$$Appointed--$$--Kennedy [President John Fitzgerald Kennedy] to be his ombudsman for civil rights issues.$$Yes.$$That was--$$But we were supposed to be more down like dogs when we crossed, when we crossed.$$So what exactly did John Doar do?$$He came out from somewhere and--$$So did he have federal marshals with him or something?$$Had federal marshals with him.$$And the, and the new, and the city police--$$City police--$$--is just--$$--who was parked on, they was parked on rooftops and everything at Capitol and at Capitol and Farish to post a blocker, so we crossed Capitol.$$And they moved aside?$$Moved aside.$$Now explain to me why the white power structure was so adamant about you not marching on Capitol Street but merely crossing it en route to the funeral home [Frazier and Collins Funeral Home; Collins Funeral Home, Inc., Jackson, Mississippi]? What (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Well--$$--what was, what was the thinking?$$It was, it was a symbol of, just a symbol of white oppression. We're in charge. That's the only thing that I can see, is a symbol of white oppression, that we were not supposed to be--we were not supposed to Capitol, cross Capitol Street. That was a great street.$$In the shadow of the old--$$It's--$$--state capitol.$$Shadow of the old state--a symbol of white power.

Dr. Joycelyn Elders

Medical doctor and professor Dr. Joycelyn Elders was born on August 14, 1933 in Schaal, Arkansas to Curtis Jones and Haller Reed Jones. Elders attended Howard County Training School in Tollette, Arkansas in 1942. She earned a four-year scholarship to attend Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas where she received her B.S. degree in biology in 1952. In 1960, Elders earned her M.D. degree and her M.S. degree in biochemistry in 1967 from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1978, Elders earned her certification as a pediatric endocrinologist.

After she earned her M.D. degree, Elders began a pediatric internship at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, Minnesota. She became the chief resident at the University of Arkansas Medical School in 1963. Elders was hired as an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas in 1971 and was promoted to the position of professor in 1976. In 1987, Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton appointed Elders as director of the Arkansas Department of Health. She then became the 15th Surgeon General of the United States under President Clinton in 1993. As Surgeon General, Elders focused on women’s reproductive health care and promoted sex, alcohol, drug, and tobacco education in public schools. She resigned from that position in 1994 and returned to the University of Arkansas, where she worked as a professor of pediatric endocrinology. In 2002, Elders retired from the University of Arkansas Medical Center. In 2016, the Jocelyn Elders Clinic was established in Kisinga, Uganda. The clinic served students at Garama Humanist Secondary School, and promoted sex education and treated students that suffered from diseases such as malaria.

During her career, Elders published over one hundred academic papers that related to insulin resistance and other endocrine disorders. In 1997, she published her memoir, From Sharecroppers’ Daughter to Surgeon General of the United States of America.

Elders was the recipient of the Woman of Distinction Award from Worthen Bank in 1987, the Arkansas Democrat Woman of the Year from Statewide Newspaper in 1998, and the Candace Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women in 1991. She was inducted into the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame in 2016. Elders also received the Career Development Award from the National Institute of Health. In 2009, The Joycelyn Elders Chair in Sexual Health Education was established at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

In 1992, Elders was elected president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers. She was also a board member for the National Center for Healthy Housing.

Dr. Joycelyn Elders was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 20, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.161

Sex

Female

Interview Date

09/20/2017

Last Name

Elders

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Philander Smith College

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

First Name

Joycelyn

Birth City, State, Country

Schaal

HM ID

ELD01

Favorite Season

Spring and Fall

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

San Diego

Favorite Quote

Always do your best, that's good enough.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Arkansas

Birth Date

8/13/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Little Rock

Country

USA

Favorite Food

White Potatoes (Irish potatoes)

Short Description

Medical doctor and professor Dr. Joycelyn Elders (1933- ) served as the 15th Surgeon General of the United States, nominated by President William J. Clinton, and was professor at University of Arkansas for over thirty years.

Employment

Arkansas Department of Health

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Favorite Color

Yellow and Beige

The Honorable Ewart Brown

Political leader and physician Dr. Ewart Brown was born May 17, 1946 in Flatts Village, Bermuda to Ewart D.A. Brown and Helene Darrell Brown. He attended the Central School and the Bermuda Technical Institute before attending the Berkeley Institute in 1957. Brown’s parents sent him to Spanish Town, Jamaica for high school, where he attended St. Jago High School. While living in Jamaica, he took an interest in politics, and was exposed to teachings by Norman Manley and Alexander Bustamante, leaders of the Jamaican independence movement. Brown enrolled at Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1964, where he studied chemistry. At Howard, he worked as a sportswriter for the Washington Post, was elected president of the student council, and was active in football and track and field. In 1966, he represented Bermuda as a sprinter in the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica. Brown was a leader in the 1968 student occupation of Howard’s administration building, and helped to negotiate an agreement with university trustees. He graduated in 1968 with his B.Sc. degree.

Brown continued his studies at the Howard University School of Medicine, where he graduated with his M.D. degree in 1972. He hoped to practice medicine in Bermuda, but after being denied a license there on account of his political views, he moved to California and earned his M.S. degree in public health from the University of California at Los Angeles and opened the Vermont Century Medical Clinic in South Central Los Angeles. After finally earning his license in Bermuda in 1988, he founded Bermuda Healthcare Services, campaigned for office and then won election to the Parliament of Bermuda representing the Progressive Labour Party (PLP) in 1993. Brown was promoted to Minister of Transport in 1998 when the PLP became Bermuda’s ruling party, and then became deputy premier in 2003. He defeated Alex Scott in a PLP leadership contest in 2006, and so took office as Premier in October of that year.

In office as premier, Brown’s accomplishments included implementing restrictions on vehicle ownership, advocating for Bermuda’s independence from the United Kingdom, and agreeing to resettle on Bermuda four Uighur Muslims who had been freed after their imprisonment by the United States at Guantanamo Bay. He also continued his medical practice, and founded Brown-Darrell Clinic in 2008 with his wife, Wanda Henton Brown. Brown stepped down as premier in 2010.

Ewart Brown was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 20, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.146

Sex

Male

Interview Date

08/20/2017

Last Name

Brown

Organizations
First Name

Ewart

HM ID

BRO65

Favorite Season

Warm

Favorite Vacation Destination

Turks and Caicos

Favorite Quote

I'm making lemonade out of lemons.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

5/17/1946

Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

Bermuda

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Political leader and physician Dr. Ewart Brown (1946 - ) founded Bermuda Healthcare Services and the Brown-Darrell Clinic, and served as the ninth premier of Bermuda from 2006 to 2010.

Favorite Color

Orange