Wheatley-Provident Hospital: First Medical Facility to Serve Black Community of Kansas City, Missouri

1 Posted by - August 25, 2023 - Blacks In Medicine, LATEST POSTS

Wheatley-Provident Hospital was founded in 1916. It was the first medical facility to serve the Black community of Kansas City, Missouri. The hospital was first created in 1910 as the Perry Sanitarium and Training School for nurses, named after Dr. J. Edward Perry.

Dr. John Edward Perry, an African American doctor from Texas, sought to change the inequality of healthcare throughout the state, as Blacks had very limited resources to the proper medical care. However, Dr. Perry’s small two-story sanitarium on Vine St. in Kansas City struggled to stay open. With merged efforts from the Phyllis Wheatley Club, and an African American elite group called the New Movement Association, the first black-owned and operated hospital in Kansas City was formed, the Wheatley-Provident Hospital.

The hospital did well for several decades, but eventually became too small and outdated to serve the needs of the black communities. Wheatley-Provident Hospital was eventually replaced by Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital. Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital survived for another decade, but due to declining admissions, it closed its doors permanently in 1983. The building was used as a haunted house attraction during the 1980s, then fell into ruin. Although the hospital is listed on the Kansas City Register of Historic Places, it has been neglected in its upkeep.


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