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Black History Month Tribute: Strength, Persistence, Talent PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Marilyn M. Singleton, MD, JD   
Friday, 08 February 2013 15:56

Author/contributor:  Marilyn M. Singleton, M.D., J.D.  http://www.aapsonline.org/

Black history in American has certainly had its ups and downs. It’s troubling when, for political theater, those who should know better fail to emphasize the inspirational stories that highlight the strengths of blacks and the humanity of whites. While it is undeniable that cruelty and suffering are part of this country’s history, at some point it is counterproductive to paint blacks as weak victims of the white man’s callousness.

There were always free blacks in America (including my family). Indeed, in 1641, Mathias De Sousa, an African indentured servant who came from England with Lord Baltimore, was elected to Maryland’s General Assembly. The first census of 1790 counted 19 per cent black Americans, 10 per cent of whom were free.

Black Americans served on both sides during the Revolutionary War. The British promised freedom to slaves belonging to Patriot masters who served. Because of his manpower shortages, George Washington lifted the ban on black enlistment in the Continental Army in January 1776, creating his so-called “mixed multitude,” which was 15 per cent black. Economist Walter Williams is so correct that necessity can overcome prejudice.

Nestled in the back of some folks’ minds was (is?) the notion that blacks were not as intelligent as whites. They certainly couldn’t have had the smarts to be doctors. James Derham (c. 1757-1802?), born a slave in Philadelphia, proved the naysayers wrong. He was the first known black American physician, although not professionally trained in medical school. As was common at the time, physicians were trained in apprenticeships. Young Derham was fortunate that his three early masters were physicians who taught him to read and write.

Derham’s third owner taught the young teen how to mix and administer medicines. After this owner, who had been arrested during the war for being a Tory, died in prison, Derham was sold to a British officer, and he served as a doctor to soldiers. After the war, he became the property of a Scottish physician (appropriately named Dr. Love) from New Orleans, who hired him to work as a medical assistant and apothecary.

By 1783, Derham quickly saved enough money to buy his freedom, and he set up his own medical practice in New Orleans. Derham, who spoke English, French, and Spanish, was a popular and highly regarded doctor, who treated both black and white patients. By age 30, Derham earned more than $3,000 annually.

Derham’s medical paper on his success in treating diphtheria caught the attention of Benjamin Rush, a physician who signed the Declaration of Independence, served as surgeon general of the Continental Army, and has been called “the father of American medicine.” Rush invited Derham to Philadelphia in 1788 and was so impressed that he encouraged him to stay. There, Derham became an expert in throat diseases and in the relationship between weather and disease.

In 1789, Derham returned to New Orleans, where he saved many yellow fever victims. He stopped practicing medicine in 1801, when the new city regulations required a formal medical degree to be considered a doctor. Nothing is known of his whereabouts after 1802.

The first university-trained black American physician was James McCune Smith, born in 1813 to slave parents who were emancipated by New York law. Despite his scholastic achievements at the Free African School of New York, he was denied admission to American medical schools. When he was 19 years old, the Glasgow Emancipation Society helped Smith enroll in Scotland’s University of Glasgow. He received his B.A. degree in 1835 and his M.D. degree in 1837. A skilled debater and lecturer, Smith was a founding member of the New York Statistics Society in 1852, and was elected as an early member of the American Geographic Society.

The first American medical degree was conferred on David J. Peck, born circa 1826 into a free black family in Pittsburgh, Pa. In 1846, after studying two years with a private physician, he enrolled in Rush Medical College and graduated in 1847. Peck practiced medicine in Philadelphia for 2 years before moving to Central America to start a homeland for free blacks in Nicaragua.

Thank you, doctors, for paving the way for my grandfather, my father, and me.

http://www.aapsonline.org/

Marilyn M. Singleton, MD, JD is a board-certified anesthesiologist and Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) member. Despite being told, “they don’t take Negroes at Stanford”, she graduated from Stanford and earned her MD at UCSF Medical School. Dr. Singleton completed 2 years of Surgery residency at UCSF, then her Anesthesia residency at Harvard’s Beth Israel Hospital. She was an instructor, then Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland before returning to California for private practice. While still working in the operating room, she attended UC Berkeley Law School, focusing on constitutional law and administrative law. She interned at the National Health Law Project and practiced insurance and health law. She teaches classes in the recognition of elder abuse and constitutional law for non-lawyers. Dr. Singleton recently returned from El Salvador where she conducted make-shift medical clinics in two rural villages. Her latest presentation to physicians was at the AAPS annual meeting about challenging the political elite.

Additional op-ed  by Dr. Singleton: ObamaCare and the Twilight Zone: To Serve Man  http://www.aapsonline.org/index.php/site/article/medicine_and_the_twilight_zone_2013_to_serve_man/

AAPS Lawsuit Covered on national TV News with Rand Paul on Andrew Napolitano: http://www.aapsonline.org/index.php/video/2

 
Loebsack: Congress Must Act to Provide Relief for USPS PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joe Hand   
Wednesday, 06 February 2013 15:26

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement after the announcement by the United States Postal Service (USPS) that they will discontinue Saturday delivery.

“Once again, inaction by Congress has real life consequences for Iowans.  By requiring the Postal Service to pre-fund retirement health benefits to the tune of over $50 billion over 10 years, which no other agency or business has to do, Congress is tying their hands. The USPS would not be in the dire situation it is today if it had not been required to pre-pay these funds.

“Legislation to address this problem was introduced last Congress but like so many other issues, House leadership refused to bring this up. I can’t think of a less partisan issue than the postal service.  It is past time Congress works to find a solution to this problem.”

Loebsack has previously cosponsored legislation, which would address the USPS’s financial needs without the upheaval and job loss.  He has urged leadership on multiple occasions to address postal reform as soon as possible and is currently a cosponsor of H. Res. 30, which expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that the UPSP should continue with its 6-day mail delivery service.

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Statement from Governor Pat Quinn on the Passing of Former U.S. Congresswoman Cardiss Collins PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Erin Wilson   
Wednesday, 06 February 2013 10:14

SPRINGFIELD – February 5, 2013. Governor Pat Quinn today released the following statement on the passing of former U.S. Congresswoman Cardiss Collins (D-IL):

“Cardiss Collins was one of the strongest, most dedicated public servants in Illinois history.

“She inspired generations with her never-ending fight for consumers and unmatched commitment to her constituents on the West Side of Chicago.

“Cardiss Collins was a trailblazer. She was the first African-American woman to represent the state of Illinois in Congress and one of the longest-serving women in Congressional history. In addition to being a leading national voice, she was a dedicated mother and, prior to her time as an elected official, a hard-working state employee.

“Cardiss Collins is a legend in our state. She will be greatly missed.”

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Statement from Governor Pat Quinn on the Progress of Marriage Equality in Illinois PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Wednesday, 06 February 2013 10:11

SPRINGFIELD – February 5, 2013. Governor Pat Quinn today gave the following statement on the movement of Senate Bill 10 out of the Illinois Senate Executive Committee:

“Marriage equality is a matter of fairness and equal rights under law.

“We took the first step towards marriage equality two years ago when I signed civil unions into law. Since that day, thousands of committed couples in 92 counties across our state have entered into civil unions.

“Now is the time for the next step in providing equal rights to all people in Illinois.

“I thank the members of the Senate Executive Committee for advancing this measure today, and look forward to working to pass this bill through both houses in the days to come.”

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WASTE COMMISSION FACILITIES CLOSED PRESIDENTS’ DAY PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Brandi Welvaert   
Wednesday, 06 February 2013 09:11

DAVENPORT, IA—Waste Commission of Scott County facilities will be closed on Monday, February 18 in honor of Presidents’ Day. Normal hours of operation will resume on Tuesday, February 19. Facilities closed include:

  • Scott Area Recycling Center, 5640 Carey Avenue, Davenport
  • Household Hazardous Material Facility, 5640 Carey Avenue, Davenport
  • Electronic Demanufacturing Facility, 1048 East 59th Street, Davenport
  • Scott Area Landfill, 11555 110th Avenue, Davenport

Waste Commission of Scott County is an inter-governmental agency whose mission is to provide environmentally sound and economically feasible solid waste management for Scott County. For more information about the Commission, please call (563) 386-9575 or visit www.wastecom.com.

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