Delawareans who improved the quality of lives for the Poor and Underserved during Black History Month, There are so many local legends in Delaware who have contributed to the field of science to improve the lives of people with medical conditions. Two people who come to mind are Charles Whitten and Henrietta Johnson (the founder of the Henrietta Johnson Medical Center). Taken from Henrietta Johnson’s website, The Biography of Mrs. Henrietta Johnson 1914-1997 Henrietta Johnson -(1914-1997) was born on July 24,1914 in Baltimore, MD. She was the mother of 3 children, 11 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. She spent 20 years as a nurse and also volunteered at the YMCA, Layton Home for the Aged and Delaware Adolescent Program. Mrs. Johnson made political history in Delaware by becoming the first Black woman elected to the Delaware General Assembly House of Representatives. She served four 2-year terms representing the people of the 3rd district. During her years in the General Assembly, she sponsored legislation for financial support to senior citizen centers, community based social services, increased welfare benefits and general obligation bonds for school renovations. In 1980, Mrs. Johnson was honored for her years as a tireless representative of the people by having a multi-purpose facility named in her honor….. Henrietta Johnson Medical Center http://www.hjmc.org/history. Dr. Charles F. Whitten was born on February 2, 1922 in Wilmington, Delaware. He attended the Howard High School and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1942. Dr. Whitten grew up on the Wilmington’s East Side and lived next door to the legendary jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown. He went on to finish his medical degree at the prestigious Mehary Medical College in 1945 and completed a residency program in pediatrics and a one-year fellowship in pediatric hematology. Dr. Whitten’s major area of interest was research in sickle cell anemia. With the help of many concerned citizens, he organized to form the National Association for Sickle Cell Disease and the Sickle Cell Detection and Information Center in 1971. The National Association for Sickle Cell Disease which is now known as the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA) head quarters are in Baltimore, Maryland. Currently, SCDAA has over 50 member organizations and affiliates thanks to the steadfast leadership of Dr. Whitten. He continued to serve on the board for over two decades until his health started to decline in his 80s. Dr. Whitten was also the first African-American to serve as the chief of pediatrics and head a department at Detroit Receiving Hospital. Dr. Whitten passed away on August 14, 2008 at the age of 86 (Healthy Tidbits). Check out the Sickle Cell Disease Association of American’s website: www.scdaa.org Kudos, to Dr. Kimech at Delaware State University for his work with Gene Alteration Therapy Research to cure Sickle Cell Anemia

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