Health Sciences Library celebrates Black History Month

The Stony Brook University Libraries is proud to celebrate Black History Month. Throughout history African Americans have played a crucial role in the health sciences – breaking down existing barriers, and paving the way for others to pursue medical careers and originate advancements in their respective fields. This month at the Health Sciences Library, we’re showcasing fourteen prominent black men and women whose contributions to their fields have been invaluable.

Among this distinguished group are Dr. Daniel Williams, and Dr. Marie Daly. In 1893 Dr. Daniel Williams performed one of the first successful heart surgeries of the pericardium  on a patient. He is most notably recognized for opening Provident Hospital and Training School for Nurses, the nation’s first hospital with a nursing and intern program that had a racially integrated staff. By contrast, Dr. Marie Daly’s research on the causes of heart attacks disclosed the relationship between high cholesterol and clogged arteries. Her work opened up a new understanding of how diet can affect the health of the heart and circulatory system. She was also the first female African American in the United States to receive a Ph.D. in chemistry.

We hope their stories serve as a reminder that progress is the culmination of individual achievements, and that our history is as diverse and rich as our present.


Written by River Amin & Christopher Larson

Jennifer DeVito

Jennifer DeVito

Director of Access Services at Stony Brook University Libraries
Jennifer DeVito is the Director of Access Services, which includes circulation, reserves and interlibrary loan. She is the liaison to Gender & Sexuality, Women's Studies, Business and Management Studies.
Jennifer DeVito

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