Daniel Hale Williams III Co-Founder of Provident Hospital
Daniel Hale Williams III is best known for performing the world’s first successful open heart surgeries.
Williams grew tired of the common practice of black doctors being barred from staff privileges in white hospitals by starting his own hospital. In 1891 Williams co-founded Provident Hospital and Training School Association in a three-story building on Chicago’s South Side.
During this time there were only 909 black physicians serving 7.5 million African Americans. Provident Hospital was the first black-controlled hospital in the nation. Yet Provident was also the first medical facility to have an interracial staff and the first training facility for African American nurses in the US. During Williams’s tenure as physician-owner (1891-1912), Provident hospital grew, largely due to its extremely high success rate in patient recovery: 87 percent.