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“P” is for Palmetto Medical, Dental, and Pharmaceutical Association

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“P” is for Palmetto Medical, Dental, and Pharmaceutical Association. Throughout the nineteenth century African American physicians in South Carolina faced hostility from the white community, received the worst patients, were barred from hospitals and clinics, and lacked access to many medications and supplies. In 1896, Dr. C.C. Johnson of Aiken and other black physicians organized the Palmetto Medical Association. The association’s goals were to improve health care for African Americans and to graduate more medically trained professionals. In the 1940s the association called for black practitioners to be hired by tax-supported institutions and for African American representation on the board of the S.C. Department of Health. The group had changed its name to the Palmetto Medical, Dental, and Pharmaceutical Association by the 1950s and spent the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s raising monies to educate talented African Americans.