Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors Honors Black County Citizens in Health Care | Local News


Some of Santa Barbara County’s leading black citizens working in health care fields were honored by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday as February was proclaimed Black History Month.

The proclamation was accompanied by an a cappella rendition of the Negro national anthem, or “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” performed via Zoom by Reverend Darrel Tullis of Lompoc, who also offered a history of the song, noting that this is “not just a part of black history but of American history.

“One thing we must always remember is that not only are we full Americans, but we are as much a part of American history and as much of America and Americans as anyone else, and we can no longer be separated from white Americans. , Asians or Mexican Americans than any other American hashtag,” Tullis said.

Board Chair and 3rd District Supervisor Joan Hartmann said part of the significance of this year’s Black History Month theme, “Black Joy and Legacy through Health and family safety,” is to recognize how racism and health care for black citizens has affected their communities.

She pointed out that black women are more likely to suffer serious complications in childbirth than white women, whether poor or college educated.

But she said the theme was also an opportunity to spotlight the county’s noted black health care practitioners, and she and 1st District Supervisor Das Williams took turns giving short stories and biographies. many of these people.

Williams said he finds the innovations that black people have brought to health care a source of hope for the future.

Here are some of the local “healers and health heroes” they highlighted:

• Dr. Horace McMillan, Santa Barbara’s first black general practitioner and civil rights activist. When he moved with his wife and child to Santa Barbara, he discovered that houses could only be sold to blacks in certain areas of the city.

When they were lucky enough to buy a house in Mission Canyon, they brought in a white “nominee” to buy the property for them. But then he spent 15 years amassing data on housing and employment discrimination in the city.

As chairman of the NAACP’s housing and labor committee, he took his case to city hall, the press, churches, the medical establishment, the police chief, and the publisher of the Santa Barbara News-Press. and finally caught their attention.

His efforts paralleled those of Clarence and Gloria Willis, the first black people to buy a house in Vandenberg Village after being denied the right to buy a house in Mission Hills because of their race.

They then used candidates to buy three houses in Mission Canyon and then rented them out to black people, incorporating both Mission Hills and Vandenberg Village.

McMillan created the most ethnically diverse medical practice in Santa Barbara with a Japanese doctor, a Latino, a black doctor and a white doctor, then later formed a partnership with seven other doctors to open Goleta Valley Hospital in 1968 .

• Dr. Robert Hammond, life member of the NAACP, appointed second lieutenant in the US Army, served in the 82nd Airborne Division in Korea and was a captain in the US Army Medical Corps.

He practiced medicine in Santa Maria for 40 years, served as president of Marian Medical Center, and served as president and chief of staff at Valley Community Hospital.

• Dr. Albert Hawkins served in the US Air Force and was posted to what was then Vandenberg Air Force Base where he began his medical career and later opened a private practice in Santa Maria.

He served as Chief of Staff and Chief of Internal Medicine at KI Sawyer Air Force Base Hospital and Santa Maria Valley Community Hospital, served as Chief of Staff at Marian Medical Center, Director of Medical Care for Marian Medical Center Hospice and Home Care and served on the CenCal Board of Directors.

• Dr. Richard Beswick, Vice President of Research and Director of Research for Cottage Health, has led several research programs, has expertise in hypertension and kidney disease, and brought Cottage Health and UCSB together to discover new ways to improve human health.

• Charletha Anderson is a retired registered nurse who was on the Texas State Board of Nursing, came to Santa Maria to visit and stayed, becoming a nurse at Marian Regional Medical Center.

She served on the Lompoc-Santa Maria NAACP executive committee for many years and is now a member emeritus of the committee.

• Sonia Brown, a registered nurse, retired from Lompoc Valley Medical Center after a 40-year career helping deliver thousands of babies and mentoring countless nurses. She described the labor and delivery ward as “love’s journey”.

• Carolyn Felton, Licensed Vocational Nurse, began her career at Cottage Hospital in the OBGYN department and held nursing positions at the Sansum Clinic and the Santa Barbara Medical Foundation Clinic Pediatrics and OBGYN Departments and ran the back office at the Lompoc clinic.

She ended her career with the California Department of Corrections, working as a nurse for 14 years. She then attended the drug and alcohol counseling program at Hancock College, worked for Maxim Healthcare as a home nurse.

• Dr. Charlotte Gullap-Moore, CEO of Moore on Health, is a nurse practitioner, nursing educator, health policy advocate and organic gardening ambassador.

Its mission is to provide high quality, personalized health care services, to provide evidence-based health promotion, primary prevention, disease management and medical practice for the geriatric patient.

Many other black healthcare professionals in the county have been recognized by the council and can be viewed by watching the meeting on YouTube.

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