Dr. Helen Nash, a Meharry Medical School graduate and Spelman College alumna, became the first black pediatrician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in 1949.
As a child, Dr. Nash held an interest in science. She was led by her father’s footsteps; he was a general practitioner in the Atlanta, Ga. area. Despite her interest, her father was against her decision to attend medical school. She was encouraged by her mother, who was a social worker, to be sure she was treated fairly in school. Dr. Helen Nash graduated from Meharry Medical School in 1945.
She began her training like many black physicians of the time, at historic Homer G. Phillips hospital in St. Louis, Mo.
At Homer G. Phillips, Dr. Nash immediately lobbied to the all-male hospital board to increase the number of hand washing stations at the hospital and provide new incubators for the newborns. The change drastically reduced the rate of infections and premature mortality rates. Her other missions included the approval of air conditioning at the facility. She would work with the city mayor to decrease the amount of car batteries leaking lead in the local dumpster to improve air and life quality in the community.
Dr. Nash was an advocate of child abuse prevention services, and was instrumental in the policy changes that led to physicians reporting mistreatment of children by parents or caretakers. In another instance, she once again worked with the mayor to increase the budget for rat eradication after seeing many patients with rat bites.
Her work led to a new job at St. Louis Children’s hospital. She was the first black female pediatrician. Dr. Nash quickly changed the nursery policy to separate newborns rather than allowing them to sleep in groups. The rates of infection, once again, drastically decreased. Her distinguished performance led to an invitation to join the staff at the Washington University School of Medicine. She was the first black woman to receive this honor.
As the first black pediatrician in a white male-dominated practice, Dr. Nash would see the discrimination against her on the patient charts, written by other doctors. When she admitted her first patient to Children’s Hospital, who was a little girl with typhoid, she found a note on the girl’s chart from a white doctor that read, “too bad [Dr. Nash] started treating the patient, because now we’d never know what she had.” The comment was a deliberate accusation that Dr. Nash was improperly diagnosing her patients.
Despite the few pitfalls of racism, Dr. Nash was a well-respected physician in her community.
Dr. Helen Nash passed away in October 2012 at 91 years old.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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