Cooper Honors North Carolina's Black Health Leaders

Cooper Honors North Carolina's Black Health Leaders

11:01am Feb 15, 2021
Dr. Alvin Blount, Jr. was among those honored by Gov. Roy Cooper for African American contributions in health and medicine. Blount was a litigant in a lawsuit that contributed to the desegregation of hospitals throughout the South. Photo courtesy of Cone Health.

Governor Roy Cooper has honored North Carolina’s African American leaders and organizations in health and medicine. The recognition came as part of the state’s celebration of Black History Month.

In an announcement on Friday, Cooper expressed gratitude for the contributions of African Americans in the fields of health and medicine. But he also acknowledged that the state “still has work to do” when it comes to equity in health care.

Cooper signed an executive order in June establishing a task force to address racial disparities in health care and economic institutions that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cooper’s proclamation on Friday cited a number of honorees from the Triad, including Dr. Charlotte Green, President of Guilford County’s Old North State Medical Society, which also received a mention as one of the oldest medical organizations for African Americans in the U.S.

Also honored were Dr. Goldie Byrd, the director of the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity in Winston-Salem, and Dr. Alvin Blount Jr., the first black surgeon admitted to the medical staff of Cone Hospital. Blount was a litigant in a lawsuit that contributed to the desegregation of hospitals throughout the South.

In addition, recognition was given to the North Carolina Association of Colored Graduate Nurses, formed in 1902 to advocate for Black nurses' rights and help advance health initiatives in Black communities. 

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