In honor of Black History Month, we are highlighting one of our hospitals in the Richmond market that has a long history of serving the African American community: Bon Secours Richmond Community Hospital.
Richmond Community Hospital descends from the first African American patient care facility in Virginia. Established in 1907, it has had a multitude of notable African American physicians – 21 of whom are recognized for their contribution to the hospital and community through an artistic, outdoor Legacy Wall.
In 2018, our ministry commissioned local artist Hamilton Glass (pictured left), along with alumni from Art 180, to create this wall. It is a mixed media artistic interpretation of photo portraits of the African American physicians who, along with Sarah Garland Jones, MD, founded what is now Bon Secours Richmond Community Hospital. The physicians illustrated in the portraits are: Walton Belle, Lillie Bennett, Elwood Boone, Lewis Boone, Theodore R. Coots Brown, James Campbell, Wesley Carter, Harry Crawford, Halstead Howell, John Howlette, Reginald Jackson, Bernice Grant Latham, Wiley J Latham III, Frank Royal, Harry Royal, Lindley Smith, Valvin Sutton, Charles Sutton, William Thornton, Joyce Whitaker and Everett White.
Sarah Garland Jones, MD, was the first woman to pass the examination by the Virginia Board of Medicine. She is credited with pioneering the early vision for Richmond Community Hospital and bringing together the group of individuals recognized on our Legacy Wall. This outdoor art is located on the exterior of the Bon Secours Sarah Garland Jones Center, a few hundred yards from Richmond Community Hospital.
“Bon Secours is committed to honoring the history of Richmond Community Hospital and the group of incredible physicians who founded it,” shares Richard Bennett, chief medical officer of Bon Secours Richmond Community Hospital. “The Legacy Wall serves as a reminder of how these visionary leaders contributed to the African American community, and as an inspiration for future generations about how they, too, can impact their neighborhood and community.”
The wall’s unveiling took place in 2018 with family and friends of the hospital’s founders in attendance. For many of the founding physicians their legacy lives on, not only through the Legacy Wall, but through their children who are, today, physicians at Richmond Community Hospital and throughout the region.
Bon Secours acquired Richmond Community Hospital in 1995 to ensure the facility’s survival as an anchor institution in the East End. Today the hospital remains true to its original mission, bringing care to a community in need.