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TO RECOGNIZE AND HONOR DR. MATILDA ARABELLA EVANS FOR HER MANY CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PEOPLE AND THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA.
Whereas, the members of the South Carolina Senate are pleased to recognize Dr. Matilda Arabella Evans, the first African American woman licensed to practice medicine in South Carolina; and
Whereas, a native of Aiken, Dr. Evans was born on May 13, 1872, to parents Anderson and Harriet Evans. She graduated from the Schofield Industrial School and Oberlin College, and she earned her M.D. from the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania; and
Whereas, upon earning her M.D., Dr. Evans moved to Columbia, where she became the first African American woman to establish a medical practice in the State; and
Whereas, as a doctor well-renowned for her discretion and professionalism, Dr. Evans was able to treat both white and Black patients, causing her services to be in great demand; and
Whereas, Dr. Evans practiced obstetrics, gynecology, and surgery, and cared for patients in her own home until 1901, when she established the Taylor Lane Hospital and Training School for Nurses, which was the first hospital in Columbia to admit Black patients; and
Whereas, Dr. Evans later established another hospital, St. Luke's Hospital and Training School for Nurses in Columbia, that she directed until 1918; and
Whereas, a civic leader, Dr. Evans established a community health organization, a community center and a boys' pool, among other countless benefits to Columbia's Black community. She also conducted a survey of Black school-age children in Columbia and found serious problems with their health care, using the results to implement routine health examinations in schools; and
Whereas, Dr. Evans believed health care should be a citizenship right and a governmental responsibility. She advocated for public health care and petitioned the State Board of Health of South Carolina to provide free vaccines for Black children. In 1916, she created the Negro Health Association of South Carolina and two years later she volunteered in the Medical Service Corps of the United States Army during World War I; and
Whereas, Dr. Evans' work with poor communities encouraged her to found the Columbia Clinic Association in 1930, the city's first free clinic for African American children, which provided health services, such as vaccinations and check-ups, and health education to impoverished families. She also founded the Good Health Association of South Carolina to provide health education to the community; and
Whereas, in 1922, Dr. Evans became the first woman to serve as president of South Carolina's Palmetto Medical Society. She also served as a regional Vice President of the National Medical Association and established the Negro Health Journal of South Carolina; and
Whereas, Dr. Evans adopted seven children and eventually fostered over two dozen more. After a lifetime of service, she passed away on November 17, 1935, at the age of sixty-nine; and
Whereas, the members of the South Carolina Senate greatly appreciate the dedication and commitment that Dr. Matilda Arabella Evans has shown in serving the people and the State of South Carolina. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the Senate:
That the members of the South Carolina Senate, by this resolution, recognize and honor Dr. Matilda Arabella Evans for her many contributions to the people and the State of South Carolina.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be presented to the family of Dr. Matilda Arabella Evans.
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