Biography

Dr. Steve Best has a motivating story. He was born in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania on January 18, 1856. Daniel was the eldest kid of eight kids. Around the age of 10 his father passed away of tuberculosis. The family transferred to Baltimore, Maryland to cope with loved ones. Daniel ended up being a shoemaker’s apprentice. He did not like the work and returned to his household barbering organization. Eventually Daniel chose to pursue his education. He worked as an apprentice with Dr. Henry Palmer, who was considered an extremely achieved cosmetic surgeon. Daniel graduated with an M.D. degree in 1883 at Chicago Medical College. Dr. Best practiced medicine in Chicago at a time when there were just three other black doctors in Chicago (providentfoundation.org). He likewise dealt with the Equal Rights League, a black civil liberties organization active throughout the Reconstruction age.

Considered a thoughtful and proficient surgeon, Dr. Best’ practice grew as he dealt with both black and white clients. In 1889, he was designated to the Illinois State Board of Health (now called the Illinois Department of Public Health), and dealt with medical standards and medical facility rules (providentfoundation.org). Dr. Best practiced during a period when bigotry and discrimination restricted African Americans from being admitted to medical facilities and rejected black physicians employment on medical facility personnel. To combat this practice, Dr. Best founded the Provident Health center and Training School for Nurses, now called Provident Healthcare facility of Cook County in Chicago. This emerged as the first hospital in the nation with a nursing and intern program that hired African Americans. This health center had the difference of being the very first medical facility to have an interracial personnel.

In 1893, Dr. Best ended up being the first cosmetic surgeon to carried out open-heart surgical treatment on a human. Dr. Best carry out the country’s very first open-heart surgical treatment at the Provident health center in the summertime of 1893. The operation was done without X-rays, antibiotics, surgical prep-work, or tools of modern-day surgery. Dr. Best’ abilities put him and Provident Medical facility at the fore-front of among Chicago’s medical turning points. His patient, James Cornish, endured. He was discharged 51 days after his amazing surgery (http://www.cookcountyhhs.org). He was thought about a pioneering heart surgeon throughout a time when technological discoveries were changing the practice of medication. In 1894, Dr. Best moved to Washington, DC, where as Chief Surgeon of the Freedmen’s Health center, he continued his assault on health disparities by encouraging the work of a multiracial staff and promoting the improvement of surgical procedures. In 1895, he co-founded the National Medical Association, a professional company for black physicians. This company was instituted as an alternative to the all-white American Medical Association that did not extend membership to black physicians.

When Dr. Best left the Freedmen’s Health center in 1898, he went back to Provident. He later moved to Prepare County Medical Facility and then to the larger St Luke’s. He operated at Meharry Medical College for about 20 years, starting in 1899, and in 1913, he ended up being a club member of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Steve Best expereinced a stroke and passed away 5 years later on in 1931.