McLaren recognizes trailblazers during Black History Month

Author: Jon Adamy


"...there have been countless Black
innovators and trailblazers who have
helped pave the way for progress
and innovation.”

Health care, medicine, and medical research are always changing, and there have been countless Black innovators and trailblazers who have helped paved the way for progress and innovation.

February is Black History Month, and some of the members of McLaren Greater Lansing’s Diversity & Inclusion committee are sharing the stories of Black pioneers in medicine who inspire them.

Glenda Cross, RN, MSN, MBA, McLaren Greater Lansing Director Patient of Care Services

“I am inspired by all of the African American trailblazers and their accomplishments to the advancement of medical care. It is very impressive when these individuals worked hard and shouldered the immense responsibility to improve health care when they faced personal opposition and societal prejudice daily and were not afforded the opportunities that others received.

The strength and the tenacity of their efforts should never go unnoticed and it gives me great pride as an African American female.”

Dr. Linda Mercado Peterson, McLaren Greater Lansing Chief Medical Officer

“I’m inspired by Dr. Benjamin Carson, a Detroit native and now retired neurosurgeon who worked at Johns Hopkins Hospital during my husband’s anesthesia training in Baltimore.

Before launching a campaign for president and serving as the 17th U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Carson became known for successfully separating the first set of twins conjoined at the head, and being a bestselling author.

As a neurosurgeon, Dr. Carson was known for his professionalism and compassion with patients and families, mild-mannered style, and eagerness to teach the next generation of physicians.

Dr. Carson is an example of how physicians can contribute not only to the field of medicine, but also through involvement in politics and as authors and educators.”

Amy Dorr, McLaren Greater Lansing Vice President of Human Resources

“I am inspired by the story of Mary Eliza Mahoney, who became the first African American woman to become a professionally trained nurse when she graduated from the American School of Nursing in 1879.

She was inducted into the American Nurses Association and National Women’s halls of fame and was one of the first women to register to vote in Boston after the 19th Amendment.

The bravery and determination it took for her to pursue her education and become a nurse is incredible, and her legacy has undoubtedly inspired so many others to follow in her footsteps and advance nursing to what it is today.”

To read more stories of Black medical trailblazers, click here.