York Town Square

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Pioneering York nurse: ‘Patients admired her’

Mary E. White became the first black nurse at Memorial Hospital in the mid-1950s. Background posts: York County WWII nurse: ‘You know, it was the biggest war ever, and they needed nurses’, York’s Wonder Women: The stories of four more movers and shakers, Histories attempt to fill blanks in women’s, black history and Pioneering York doctor slighted: ‘She felt … her professional status was well established’.

Nurse Mary E. White’s story is similar to many professionally trained blacks in York County in the 20th century.
She trained for a profession but experienced problems gaining employment in her field.
Her fourth application for employment at Memorial Hospital worked, as the following excerpt from my York County black history, “Almost Forgotten,” states:

Mary E. White graduates from Beaumont School of Nursing in Philadelphia and works at Doctors’ Hospital before returning home to York. Back in York in the mid-1950s, she cannot find a nursing position at either York or West Side hospitals and take a position as an elevator operator at The Yorktowne Hotel. She becomes acquainted with Georgia Stum, who persuades her to try a fourth time for employment at West Side, the West York predecessor of Memorial Hospital.
Betty L. Carver, director of nursing hires her, making White the first black nurse to work there. White works for the hospital until her retirement 23 yars later.
A Memorial Hospital history states that she was treated well.
“Patients admired her, according to Mrs. White’s colleagues, who also honored her dedication and warmth,” the history states.

York Town Square is compiling a list of pioneering York County miniorities under the post: First York City Latino councilman temporarily state’s top appointed Dem.
Mary E. White is now on that list.