During the 1920s African Americans were limited to a few locations where they could receive medical treatment if needing in patient care.
In Wilmington, NC the Community Hospital was opened on February 1, 1921, by a group led by Dr. Foster F. Burnett. At the time the hospital opened there were only 25 beds available to black patients in the city’s two hospitals and the seven African American doctors were not allowed to practice in either location. Community Hospital opened at 415 N. Seventh St. The first hospital in Wilmington exclusively dedicated to providing health care needs for African Americans.
The hospital had three floors and a total number of 40 patient beds, it was modern for its time. Each floor had its own nurse’s station, utility area, and diet room. Special to the hospital were six private patient rooms and a six-bassinet nursery for newborns.
In 1927 a School of Nursing was opened. During the years that the Community Hospital Nursing School was open, over 250 nurses graduated from the program.
In 1958, the citizens of New Hanover County passed a bond to build a new hospital that would serve all patients, both black and white and is known today as New Hanover Regional Medical Center. The hospital opened in 1967.