959: Alice Berry Graham
Created a Children’s Hospital in Kansas City (Missouri)
Born: c.1850, Warren County, Pennsylvania, United States of America
Died: 3 May 1913, Kansas City, Missouri, United States of America
Alice used her salary as a schoolteacher to send her younger sister Katharine to medical school. Once Katharine had earned her medical degree, she worked in turn to be able to send Alice to school.
Alice herself held a degree in dentistry.
The sisters started a practice in Kansas City, Missouri on their own because no hospitals at the time would employ women doctors. At first, they had one bed in which to treat children, but quickly needed more space. They soon bought the hospital in which their single bed resided and renamed it "Free Bed Fund Association for Crippled, Deformed, and Ruptured Children.” The long-winded name didn’t last long, and in 1904 they renamed the place Children’s Mercy Hospital. The hospital grew from five beds to twenty-seven within two years.
The hospital was based on the program of not charging patients, unless the parents or guardians could afford to pay. The sisters’ goal was to save as many children as they could, regardless of socioeconomic status or ethnic background.
In 1910, the sisters introduced a teaching program into the hospital, which allowed their patients to keep up with schoolwork during prolonged hospital stays. This was but one of many innovations the sisters would introduce over their combined thirty-six years running the hospital.
Alice died of cancer. Today, Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City is recognized as being in the top ten of best children’s hospitals in the United States.
Find a Grave Marked
Located In My Personal Library:
Wild West Women by Erin Turner