Black History: Special Delivery!!
The Georgia Infirmary, chartered on December 24, 1832, was the first hospital for African Americans built in the United States. It purpose was, “for the relief and protection of aged and afflicted Africans”.
It was started with a $10,000 grant from the estate of Thomas F. Williams a local businessman and minister. Poor health care and their strenuous life often meant that slaves and ex-slaves had significant health issues. Many were abandoned by their owners when they were no longer able to work. The original idea was that the slave owners would pay for the care of the slaves. When the infirmary opened, the state provided $20 per patient per year as additional funding.
The hospital’s operation was interrupted by the Civil War. However, it re-opened in 1871. The infirmary was one of the first hospitals in the nation to train black nurses. During the 1940’s the hospital was expanded to meet a growing demand for services that resulted from an increase in the number of black workers due to World War II. In 1974 it was renamed the “Adult Day Center.” It now provides rehabilitation for stroke patients.
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