The Indiana Historical Bureau has approved a historical marker that commemorates an important event in the medical history of Indianapolis— Lincoln Hospital 1909-1915.
In the early twentieth century, African-American doctors were barred from treating their own patients and performing surgery in Indianapolis’ hospitals. In 1909 with no access to a safe environment for performing surgery and a black population that was understandably dissatisfied with the poor conditions in segregated hospital wards, a group of black physicians established their own hospital in a converted two-story residence on the northeast corner of 11th Street and Senate Avenue. With 19 rooms and a surgery suite, the physicians had the ability to fully practice their profession. The hospital also provided a nursing school for young black women who were excluded from schools because of racial segregation.
The new marker recalls the challenges of these dedicated physicians and young women from other cities in the state who trained there. It will also include information about two other small hospitals of the era--a private clinic opened by Joseph Ward, MD and Charity Hospital, operated by the Sisters of Charity, a philanthropic black women's club.
The marker will be installed and dedicated in October. The Aesculapian Medical Society of Indianapolis endorses the project and monetary donations to help pay for the marker are welcome. If you’d like to help, contact Norma Erickson at firstname.lastname@example.org.