After the Civil War, formal education in medicine became available to African Americans with the founding of black medical and nursing schools. For the next century, health education and health care remained segregated.
In Lynchburg, African American doctors, excluded from hospital medicine, were limited to general office practice in black neighborhoods. Black neighborhoods and schools were also served by public health nurses who worked for the Lynchburg Health Department, established in 1910. County health departments were established at about the same time.
Central Virginia’s black doctors and nurses faithfully cared for a community in which disease and death rates remained higher for blacks than for whites.