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Black History Month at Cook Children's


Black History Month is a month-long celebration of African American history and achievement that takes place each February across the nation. Here at Cook Children’s, we will be observing Black History Month with weekly updates, recognitions and announcements. Be sure to check this page often for the latest information.

We've compiled a list of local and national resources for North Texas families to learn about the contributions of Black History to Tarrant County, Texas and the United States. 

Distinct from recognition weeks dedicated to thanking those in various professional roles, sharing information about cultural holidays and observances is an important way to learn about our diverse workforce and raise awareness of challenges and successes of various groups. 

If you have any ideas or recommendations for upcoming cultural holidays and observances that you would like to see, email us at InternalCommunications@cookchildrens.org  

black history month

We asked our employees to share their thoughts on Black History Month at Cook Children's and here's what they had to say: 

Greetings from Prosper!

Black History Fun Facts 

Last updated: Feb. 23, 2023

DatePersonHistoric Accomplishment
1837James McCune SmithFirst Black American to receive a medical degree.
1864Rebecca Lee CrumplerFirst African American Woman to receive an MD degree. 
1868Howard University School of MedicineFirst series of classes started Nov. 9, becoming the first program in the United States to open its doors to medical students of all races, genders and social classes.  
1879Mary Eliza MahoneyFirst African American woman in the U.S. to earn a professional nursing license.
1893Daniel Hale Williams IIIOne of first doctors to perform open heart surgery in the United States. 
1895Nathan Francis MossellCo-founder of one of the first Black hospitals. 
1895The National Medical AssociationThe nation's oldest and largest organization representing Black physicians and health care professionals in the United States is founded in Atlanta, GA.
1940sVivien ThomasContributed to the invention of heart surgery.
1940sLouis T. WrightAntibiotic research pioneer.
1943Myra Adele LoganFirst woman to perform open heart surgery.
1956Emmett J. ConradFirst Black surgeon at St. Paul's Hospital.
1957Donald A. BrooksFirs Black diplomat of the American Board of Surgery to establish a practice in Texas.
1960s-70sFreedom House Ambulance ServiceFirst paramedics service in the United States comprised of a team of Black men.
1972Foster KiddFirst Black doctor to serve on the Texas Health Board.
1981Alexa Irene CanadyFirst African American female neurosurgeon in the United States.
1994Marion J. BrooksCivil Rights activist in Fort Worth, TX advocating for equal access to medical care for the Black community.
2009Regina BenjaminConfirmed by the U.S. Senate as surgeon general. 
2011William Coleman, Jr. Appointed as the first permanent scientific director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and the first Black scientific director in the history of the NIH Intramural Research Program.

Works Cited: 

Celebrating 10 African-American medical pioneers | AAMC

Biography: Mary Eliza Mahoney (womenshistory.org)

The Remarkable Story of Vivien Thomas, the Black Man Who Helped Invent Heart Surgery - Washingtonian

Dallas-Fort Worth Black Living Legends: Medicine - Exhibits - University Libraries - UNT

9 African American pioneers in medicine | American Heart Association

Honoring Black Americans’ Contributions to Medicine | AAFP

Freedom House: America’s first paramedics were Black men | wfaa.com

Comments 1 - 4 (4)
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Good Job! Thanks for sharing the inspirational, uplifting information about our culture and accomplishments among the world we all live in. Makes me even more proud and hopeful to continue in such strength and resiliency even in my little capacity as a piece of this great, big, beautiful, colorful picture. :)
Anthonia Anyanwu
Great history facts! Keep the facts coming and I second what Rachel Baires stated, Black History Month shirts would be awesome! Thank you!
Rachel Baires
Interesting read! We hope to see black history month shirts make their debut each February."
Similar to our beloved pride month and valentines shirts.
Audrianna Leeper
Interesting facts. Thank you for sharing these pivotal accomplishments!