New Holiday Coming to Colorado to Commemorate Doctor
Colorado will be getting a new state holiday this year commemorating Dr. Jusinta Ford, an African-American female doctor that was born nearly 150 years ago.
Ford practiced medicine in Colorado where she delivered seven thousand babies for roughly half a century. Because of her ethnicity, Ford practiced out of her home and those of her patients while living in Denver.
Dr. Justina Ford Day will be celebrated each January 22nd, 2021, which marks what would have been her 150th birthday. She is being celebrated as Denver's first licensed, African-American female doctor.
Governor Jared Polis is spearheading the inaugural state holiday, and a statement was made by publicist Sylvia Lambe that reads as such:
Many of Dr. Ford’s Black and Hispanic patients faced similar discrimination at city hospitals due to race and economic class. Dr. Ford often accepted services and food items in lieu of payment. When she did a house call to a home that was lacking in food or heat, she often sent a basket of groceries or coal following her visit.
In addition to the holiday being announced, a free live-streamed tribute will take place from the Black American West Museum and Heritage Center in Ford's previous residence in Denver's Five Points neighborhood on the inaugural holiday, Friday, January 22nd. The live-stream will be available at bawmhc.org, @LambePR on Facebook or on Denver Community Media's Comcast channels 56, 57, and 881HD.
Ford's previous home was used as her medical office from 1912 to 1952 and was at one point set to be demolished, but saved from demolition in 1984.