Picotte Memorial Hospital
Located in Walthill, Nebraska, Dr. Susan Laflesche Picotte Memorial Hospital is the first hospital to be developed by a female, Native American medical doctor. Dr. Picotte was also the first female Native American doctor. The hospital was also the first to be built without being funded by the government. The one and half story building was built between 1912-1913.
Backstory and Context
Dr. Picotte was born to Chief Joseph LaFlesche and his wife Mary in 1865. She was born on the Omaha reservation and was the youngest of four girls. Her father was also an important Native America figure as he was the last recognized chief of his tribe and he also promoted Indian integration within the white society.
It was a rare thing for any woman to consider to go to college in this era, much less a Native American. In 1889, she was accepted to Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania. The following year she accepted a position on the reservation at the boarding school. She also assumed health care for 1,244 tribal members. She was given a salary of $500 a year from the government.
Sadly two years after she opened the hospital, she passed away. She had dealt with chronic illnesses in much of her lifetime. The building remained a working hospital until the 1940s.It was registered as a Historic Landmark Building in 1993 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places five years earlier in 1988. Today it serves as a building to the Mi’Jhu’Wi Ministries. The Mi’Jhu’Wi Ministries provides non profit services to the people of the Omaha Reservation.
http://www.nebraskahistory.org/publish/markers/texts/laflesche_picotte_hospital.htm http://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/indian/2001/picotte.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Susan_LaFlesche_Picotte_Memorial_Hospital https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_La_Flesche_Picotte Photo credits: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_La_Flesche_Picotte http://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/indian/2001/picotte.htm