By AFRO Staff

Provident Hospital

Did you know that Provident Hospital was one of the first medical facilities for Blacks in Baltimore? The hospital opened in 1894 with 10 beds in a small private dwelling in the northwest section of the city.

A group of nurses of the earlier days. (Photos/AFRO Archives)

The founders, largely Black physicians practicing in the city, acted in a dual capacity as members of the hospital’s medical staff and members of the Board of Trustees.

1915 – Provident Hospital and Free Dispensary, 413-415 West Biddle Street (Photos/AFRO Archives)

The hospital had three main purposes: to be an institution where people of color could be helped by physicians of their same race; be a place where colored physicians can develop their skills; and, lastly, to serve as a well organized training school for nurses.

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Verda Welcome (1907 – 1990)

Did you know that Verda Welcome, although largely underrepresented, was a trailblazer in her own right? She wasn’t just the first African-American woman elected to the Maryland State Senate, but in 1958, she became the first African-American woman to be elected to the Maryland House of Delegates.

Verda Mae Welcome (AFRO Archives)

Her election to the state senate came four years later, making her the only African-American woman to hold a senate seat in the entire country. Senator Welcome was most noted for her dedication to public education and civil rights legislation.