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DR. DANIEL HALE WILLIAMS

(JANUARY 18, 1858- AUGUST 4, 1931)

THE FIRST SUCCESSFUL OPEN HEART SURGERY IN 1893

Founded Provident Hospital and Training School for Nurses the facility was the first black-owned and operated in the United States in 1891.

Co-Founder of The National Medical Association in 1895 because Blacks were denied membership in the American Medical Association

1913 became a charter member of the American College of Surgeons he was the first and only Negro member for many years.

 

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams was born on January 18, 1858 in the city of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. His father, Daniel Hale Williams, Jr. was the son of a black barber and a Scots-Irish woman.

He lived with his father who was a “free negro” barber, his mother, his brother and five sisters and was the fifth child of the family. His family eventually moved to Annapolis, Maryland. Shortly after when Williams was nine, his father contracted and died from the virus Tuberculosis. Daniel mother could not at the time afford to give the appropriate care and emotional support the children needed so for the benefit of the children ,she gave up her rights as a parent and the children were sent to live with relatives. First apprenticed to a cobbler, he was very determined not to follow after the standard of the average black man which was to be subjected to do menial labor. He relocated Wisconsin; in Edgerton Township there he lived with Sally his sibling. He eventually was picked up by a foster family and found work as a barber and guitarist. He did academic studies at Haire’s Classical Academy in Janesville. He Graduated the Academy in 1877.
After graduation he moved to Janesville, but he became fascinated with the medical field and met a physician who he admired as a role model and felt this profession was his passion and went for his success in the medical field. He began working as an apprentice to Dr. Henry W. Palmer for two years. During that time to further his education in medicine he would read medical texts and journals. After the apprenticeship and the sponsoring of Dr. Henry W. Palmer he enrolled in Chicago Medical College in 1880, which was renamed Northwestern University Medical School. After graduation from Chicago Medical College in 1883, He was employed as surgeon for the South Side Dispensary (1884–1892) and physician for the Protestant Orphan Asylum 1884–1893.

Dr. Williams opened his practice at 3034 South Michigan Avenue. Seeing the need for a hospital where black interns, nurses and physicians could train due to the lack of support and the opportunity from the profession itself, he then founded Provident Hospital, the first hospital in America established and fully controlled by blacks. The medical facility opened in 1891. The First Black owned and operated Hospital.

Dr. Hale Williams is co-founder of the National Medical Association in 1895 because Blacks were denied membership in the American Medical Association.

He was a surgeon at Provident 1892–93, 1898–1912 and chief surgeon at Freedmen’s Hospital, Washington, D.C. (1894–98), where he established another school for black nurses. .

The First open heart surgery in history of medical procedures was performed at Provident Hospital on July 10, 1893 due to an altercation of a man being stabbed. Although contemporary medical opinion disapproved of surgical treatment of heart wounds, Williams opened the patient’s thoracic cavity without aid of blood transfusions or modern anesthetics and antibiotics. During the surgery he examined the heart, sutured a wound of the pericardium (the sac surrounding the heart), and closed the chest. The patient lived at least 20 years following the surgery. Williams’ procedure is cited as the first pericardium surgery (open heart surgery).

Dr. Williams in 1913 became a charter member of the American College of Surgeons he was the first and only Negro member for many years.

In 1894, Dr. Hale Williams was appointed chief surgeon at Freedmen’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. Here he established another school for African-American nurses and founded an organization of black
physicians. He returned to Provident Hospital in 1898. From 1907 until his death, he was associate attending surgeon at St. Luke’s Hospital.

Daniel (1889–1891). He published several articles on surgery in medical journals. He became the only black charter member of the American College of Surgeons in 1913.

Daniel married in 1898 to Alice Johnson, daughter of sculptor Moses Jacob Ezekiel. His wife, Alice Johnson passed away in 1924.Following his wife death Dr. Daniel Hale Williams passed away seven years later from a stroke in Idelwild, Michigan August 4, 1931.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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