ST. LOUIS – Right now there is a bill making its way through the St. Louis City Board of Aldermen with the goal of renaming a street in the city to “Nash Way” in order to honor Dr. Helen Nash for her contributions to the frontlines in St. Louis healthcare.
It all started when Nash set her sights on making a difference by going to medical school and then coming to St. Louis’ Homer G. Phillips Hospital to complete her residency. She went on to make history as the first Black woman to become a part of the Children’s Hospital staff in 1949. Nash was an advocate for children in the underserved communities of St. Louis. She is known for traveling and studying NICUs in order to instill new ways of making them cleaner and safer. There was a time when young Black children had to wait for “Black days” set aside for white doctors to see them. Nash was the go-to for addressing the health issues of Black children anytime they arose.
She is a recipient of the St. Louis American Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Health Care. She broke barriers when she opened her own practice in St. Louis. Pediatrics is a Nash family affair. Helen’s family members also play a role in improving health care for Black patients.
If the bill passes, the street extending between Euclid Avenue on the west to Taylor Avenue on the east would be deemed Nash Way as a nod to a woman who practiced medicine on St. Louisians physically and mentally over the span of three generations.
Blair’s Black History Moment highlights the history, success, and contributions of African Americans, both past and present, across the St. Louis region. If you would like to highlight a part of Black History dear to the St. Louis area, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org as we recognize people, places, and events crucial to building the St. Louis community.