Throughout the month of February Ebling’s Facebook page will be highlighting Black individuals, communities, and experiences in health care. We will include notable individuals who have influenced and shaped the practice of nursing, medicine and pharmacy. Among them are women and men who cared for patients in dangerous venues, assisted others in wartime, received medical, nursing and pharmacy degrees from Black as well as White institutions, fought institutional color barriers in towns and cities, and did research that changed public health and the delivery of health care.
Black History Month notable lists tend to point out overlooked firsts, the first Black pharmacist, etc. Those encyclopedic facts are important and will be included, but we would like to introduce some more layered stories as well. We will include individuals in allied health professions and other participants in community health. We will share biased practices, identify racial disparity in treatment, note racially profiled research and cast light on stories that add volume to the history of inequity/equity and exclusion/inclusion.
The stories of advancement in the health sciences is as color filled as the fabric of the profession. The scaffolding of this amazing profession has always included all members of our community. As Martin Luther King suggested in a longer quote on poverty and disease “… I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the way our world is made. No individual or nation can stand out boasting of being independent. We are interdependent.” This interdependency is what we will elucidate over the next month.
Please contact Micaela Sullivan-Fowler in Ebling’s Historical Unit if you have additions or questions. Our resources, both online and in print are available for research on the Black experience (or any other experience) in health care. Micaela.Sullivan-Fowler@wisc.edu (608) 262-2402
The original crew of the Freedom House Street Saviors. (Photo from Google Images)