Nebraska Doctors Help Restore Hospital Founded By Nation’s First Native American Doctor | Story






The Nebraska Medical Association is raising funds to pay for the work of the hospital founded by Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte, the country’s first Indigenous physician. The restoration of Walthill Hospital is already underway.


GARY BOWEN, Courtesy Photo


“Doctors in this state need to know this story. She’s a colleague, she’s a member of our profession, ”Thedinger said. “Our idea is to make Susan La Flesche and her story known, to honor her service, her sacrifice and her dedication.”

The restoration of the Picotte hospital, launched for the first time in 2017 in collaboration with the Indian tribe Omaha, is already underway.

A new roof was installed two years ago, and the original windows and siding of the 33-room half-timbered structure have been restored.

Today, the non-profit foundation behind the restoration work is seeking to raise the remaining $ 2.5 million to complete the work of transforming the once neglected hospital into a modern community center. It will include a medical / mental health / addiction clinic for the tribe, as well as programs for youth, indigenous arts and culture, and a historical exhibit on Picotte’s life and work.






picotte on the other side

The Nebraska Medical Association is raising funds to pay for the restoration work at the long-closed Walthill Hospital founded by Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte, the country’s first Indigenous physician.


GARY BOWEN


About a quarter of the money has already been raised, Thedinger said.

Daughter of the last traditional chief of the Omaha tribe, Iron Eye or Joseph La Flesche, Picotte was born in a tipi before Nebraska became a state. She received her medical degree in 1889. She turned down more lucrative offers to serve over 1,300 people over 450 square miles on the reservation.


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