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Assembly Series

A tradition of convening thought leaders since 1953

McKelvey School of Engineering

Climbing the Ladder, Chasing the Dream: The History of Homer G. Phillips Hospital

Friday, October 15 | 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Virtual Event

The Homer G. Phillips Public Health Lecture Series is named in honor of the historic Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis, the premier training ground for African American medical professionals. Although it closed its doors on August 17, 1979, we can learn much from the hospital’s history, presented by the very people who worked diligently to provide culturally sensitive care to the patients who so deeply trusted and loved them. Due to the pandemic, this year’s lecture will be virtual.

This year's honorree is Helen Nash.

Nash served for over 40 years on the clinical faculty of Washington University School of Medicine and on the attending staff at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. At the same time, she maintained a thriving private practice. In addition, she served as pediatric supervisor and associate director of Pediatrics at Homer G. Phillips Hospital from 1950 to 1964. Nash served as president of the St. Louis Children’s Hospital attending staff from 1977 to 1979. Nash was long recognized in the St. Louis community for her commitment to excellence, tireless advocacy on behalf of children, and endless enthusiasm for the field of medicine.  Nash is best known for her work as an advocate for children. By visiting “preemie” units in other hospitals around the country, she developed a designated ward for premature infants that was cleaner and included air conditioning and individual bassinets, and provided improved training for nursing staff.

Through her practice, Nash cared for three generations of St. Louis children by treating their physical illnesses in the wider context of their emotional, social and family situations. Nash’s long record of commitment to providing family planning services for the black community highlighted her belief in holistic health care.

To join the webinar, please use this link.

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations


School of Medicine


Medicine & Health



Event Contact

Liz Riggs | eriggs@wustl.edu

Speaker Information

Candace O’Connor is the author of 13 books on local and regional history, along with many newspaper and magazine articles. A documentary she wrote and co-produced, Oh Freedom After While: The Missouri Sharecropper Protest of 1939, was shown on PBS nationally and won a regional Emmy award. Her most recent book, "Climbing the Ladder, Chasing the Dream: The History of Homer G. Phillips Hospital," will be published this fall by the University of Missouri Press.

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