African American and Cherokee Nurses in Appalachia

A History, 1900–1965

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About the Book

Few career opportunities were available to minority women in Appalachia in the first half of the 20th century. Nursing offered them a respected, relatively well paid profession and—as few physicians or hospitals would treat people of color—their work was important in challenging health care inequities in the region. Working in both modern surgical suites and tumble-down cabins, these women created unprecedented networks of care, managed nursing schools and built professional nursing organizations while navigating discrimination in the workplace. Focusing on the careers and contributions of dozens of African American and Eastern Band Cherokee registered nurses, this first comprehensive study of minority nurses in Appalachia documents the quality of health care for minorities in the region during the Jim Crow era. Racial segregation in health care and education and state and federal policies affecting health care for Native Americans are examined in depth.

About the Author(s)

Phoebe Ann Pollitt has practiced nursing in Appalachia for more than 30 years. She is an associate professor of nursing at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. Her professional research interests are nursing history and health disparities.

Bibliographic Details

Phoebe Ann Pollitt
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: 12 photos, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7965-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2216-3
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Contributions to Southern Appalachian Studies

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction 1
Part I: Historical Overview of Segregated Health Care in Appalachia 5
Part II: History of Individual States and the Qualla Boundary 51
Georgia  51
Kentucky  56
North Carolina  72
Qualla Boundary  92
Tennessee 110
Virginia 141
West Virginia 164
Epilogue 186
Appendix A: Timeline of Events in African American and Cherokee Nursing in Appalachia, 1900–1965 191
Appendix B: List of Registered Nurses by State, 1897–1965 196
References 211
Index 225