A Doctor for Rural AmericaThe Reforms of Frances Sage Bradley

A Doctor for Rural AmericaThe Reforms of Frances Sage Bradley

Barbara Barksdale Clowse

Print publication date: 2021

ISBN: 9780813179773

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

Abstract

Frances Sage Bradley (1862-1949) was one of the first female graduates of Cornell University Medical College (1899). She spent the next half century advancing the causes of public health and medical care for neglected women, infants, and children. In 1915 she closed her private practice and became a medical field agent for the US Children’s Bureau in isolated rural areas of ten states, including Appalachia. Enactment of the federal Maternity and Infant Protection Act of 1921 [Sheppard-Towner Act] opened further healthcare reform opportunities. A prolific writer, the doctor generated voluminous official reports and dozens of freelance articles and stories. Those trying today to provide primary healthcare to underserved Americans face many of the same obstacles that challenged Dr. Bradley a century ago.