Denver history

Justina Ford’s Story

February is Black History Month. Currently, I am preparing a presentation which will take place at the Colorado Springs Pioneers’ Museum on February 21, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. The subject is Justina Ford, Colorado’s first African American female doctor. During her career between 1902 when she arrived in Denver, and 1952 when she passed away, she delivered over 7,000 babies. “The Lady Doctor” turned nobody away. She made house calls when she was not allowed to practice in the hospital. This suited many of her clients just fine. After all, many of them could not be admitted to the hospital due to ethnicity or lack of funds. In addition, some did not speak English, or their culture made childbirth and medical treatment in their home preferable. Dr. Ford was extremely capable and determined to bring her patients the best care possible. She was also knowledgeable about preventing germs and infections. Calmly and deliberately, she practiced medicine and took care of her people. By the end of her career, she achieved recognition for her work during a half century as a doctor.

To learn more, read my award-winning book, “Justina Ford: Medical Pioneer”, part of the “Know You Know Bio” series from Filter Press. Order information can be found at,, and Also, the Black American West Museum is located in Dr. Ford’s home at 3091 California Street in Denver. For more information on the museum, visit

Joyce Lohse – 2/10/09