Research on Medical System Desegregation Finds NAACP and National Urban League Played a Role

The quiet revolution: Research on the racial integration of U.S. health care institutions
    • March 18, 2002

From 1998 to 2000, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine examined the history of the desegregation of American health care, focusing on twentieth century developments that preceded Medicare's enactment.

Key Results/Findings

  • As a result of the project, the principal investigator obtained material for three books. One book is about the integration of US health care and two deal with a now-closed hospital for African Americans in Durham, N.C.

  • The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) played a central role in developing a national strategy to integrate US medical facilities.

  • The National Urban League (NUL) became actively involved in the hospital integration movement in 1956 when it helped initiate an annual conference aimed at building a consensus for integrated health care.

  • A number of leaders in health care integration received their early career training in the North and then moved South to assume key positions in academic medical centers.