Black Fact of the Week: Dr. Daniel Hale Williams Established the First Black-Owned Hospital in America

dr. daniel hale williams

In 1891, Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, an African American surgeon, opened the doors to the first Black-owned and non-segregated hospital in the United States of America, Provident Hospital. During the time, Blacks were often denied access to clinics and medical centers in America, both as patients and professionals. So Provident Hospital provided a facility for Black citizens to both escape curative bias, and thrive in the field of medicine. (The establishment also housed a training program for future nurses.)

Founded in Chicago, the original building for Provident Hospital was a three-story brick house on the corner of 29th and Dearborn, which was purchased using funds pulled together by the surrounding community and wealthy donors. It was there that Dr. Williams performed the second successful pericardium surgery to repair a wound.


As a result of large funding, the hospital moved to a bigger establishment on 36th street in 1898, before settling on its 426 East 51st street location in 1933. Provident Hospital thrived for five additional decades until the hospital closed its curtains in September 1987 due to financial difficulties. However, in 1991, Cook County Hospital acquired Provident Hospital and later reopened its doors as the Provident Hospital of Cook County in 1993. Although no longer considered a Black-owned business, Provident Hospital is still recognized for its social and historical contributions to American society to this very day.



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