Shreveport Charity Hospital Personnel
Dr. R.H. Gray was elected surgeon-in-chief, replacing Dr. Schumpert. Hospital improvements continued under his tenure. A two-story, brick aseptic surgical building measuring 30 ft. x 35 ft. was constructed. The entire hospital was screened when research showed that insects carried and spread disease. He also hired the first trained nurse, Miss Dora Williams.
Miss Williams, a member of the third graduating class of the New Orleans Charity Hospital, joined the Shreveport Charity Hospital staff in December 1898. Miss Williams, a “very efficient trained nurse” served as the Hospital’s head nurse for 15 months.
Also in 1898, Dr. Schumpert established a training school for nurses at the Shreveport Sanitarium. The first graduating class in 1900 consisted of two students, Miss Thurmond and Miss DeBegory, who received their clinical training from Miss Williams. At this time the training school had seven students enrolled.
In 1900, Miss Williams received a salary of $30 per month. When she requested a raise to $50 per month, she was replaced by another nurse who was paid $40 per month. Miss Williams then served as a private duty nurse, the first such nurse in the city of Shreveport.