Resolution passed rebuking naming of new Homer G. Phillips Hospital

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FILE – Homer G. Phillips Hospital

ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis City Board of Aldermen passed a resolution today rebuking the naming of a new medical facility in north St. Louis City. The facility has drawn the ire of some over the use of Homer G. Phillips’ name.

Resolution 138 deems the naming of a new medical facility Homer G. Phillips Hospital as “inappropriate cultural appropriation” after the new hospital faced community outcry and protests.

The naming of the facility has had almost no community input, according to opponents.

Mayor Tishaura Jones and Congresswoman Cori Bush released a joint statement after the passing of today’s resolution saying Homer G. Phillips Hospital was a beacon of Black leadership in St. Louis, training an entire generation of Black doctors, nurses, and health care workers who would go on to serve communities not just across our city, but our entire country.

“Profiting off of Homer G. Phillips’ name on a small 3-bed facility that will fail to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in our communities is an insult to Homer G. Phillips’ legacy and the Black community. We urge the developers of this project to heed the call of former Homer G. Phillips nurses, advocates, health care workers, community leaders, and St. Louis City residents who are demanding respect by changing the name of this facility,” said the leaders.

NorthSide Regeneration, led by developer Paul McKee, recently finished construction of the new Homer G. Phillips Hospital.

The new hospital is located at Jefferson Avenue and Thomas Street, adjacent to the $1.7 billion National Geospatial (NGA) headquarters.

The hospital will have three fully-staffed in-patient beds when it opens in spring 2022, as well as a 24-7 emergency room with 16 beds. Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU), based out of Puerto Rico, will operate a medical school at the hospital.

The original 600-bed Homer G. Phillips was named after the prominent African-American lawyer who got it built to serve African-American patients and train African-American doctors and nurses when racial segregation was a way of life in America. For a time, it was considered one of the nation’s best hospitals. It closed in 1979 after 42 years and has since been converted to residences for seniors.

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