March 21, 2023
The Hill-Burton Act embodied President Truman’s determination to make hospital care available to all. The prime goal, to increase beds nationwide, was achieved in 1980. To get federal support, however, Hill-Burton required entities like Charlotte Memorial Hospital to desegregate all of its staff departments.
Four women presenting at the Forum this morning lived through this tumultuous time. Doors that had been slammed in their faces, by nursing schools or hospitals, began to crack open. Sometimes they were the only Black nurse in a department. They persevered.
For younger people who have never experienced those slamming doors, there is much to learn from this discussion in the video below. One: The pioneers looked out for one another, told each other about job openings, helped the next generation grasp the material for the upcoming license exams.
As he was recognized to offer the last question of the morning, early childhood educator Dr. Thomas Moore broke into song with, ‘Did you ever know you’re my shero and everything I’d like to be…”