Celebrating Black History Month

Black History Month provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the past, present and the promise of a better future. Below, we reflect on the contributions of local African-Americans in healthcare. Their passion, brilliance, legacy and contributions to our shared American history inspire us.

Eugene Shelley Browning

Dr. Eugene Shelley Browning moved to Grand Rapids in 1906 and started his own medical practice. He broke racial barriers by obtaining admitting privileges in Grand Rapids hospitals and was the first African American to serve on the Michigan State Board of Health. In 1923, Dr. Browning opened the Master’s Clinic for infants in First Community AME Church and is considered the pioneer of present well-baby clinics. Read more about Dr. Browning at http://bit.ly/38VxtDz.

Dr. Robert Claytor

Dr. Robert Claytor who set up his own practice in Grand Rapids in 1936 on the corner of Michigan Street and Monroe along what is now known as the Medical Mile. In a 1987 birthday tribute recognizing his 90th birthday, his daughter, Sharon Peters, former assistant secretary for the State of Michigan, described him as “…a strong, well-principled person. In his quiet way, he has done so much for people.” He was named "Family Physician of the Year" in 1976 by the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians. Among his many accomplishments is co-founding the Grand Rapids Urban League Read more about Dr. Claytor at http://bit.ly/2uPRAEv.

Partner Spotlight

Grand Rapids African American American Health Institute

This year, we’d like to recognize the tremendous contributions of our partner in health, the Grand Rapids African Health Institute (GRAAHI). GRAAHI is a leading national organization devoted to achieving healthcare parity for African-Americans and a tremendous asset to the greater West Michigan community. To learn more about GRAAHI, please visit www.graahi.org.