Message from Gaby Flores, MSM, Director and John “JC” Cowden, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Office of Equity and Diversity
The origin of Children's Mercy Hospital can be traced to June, 1897, and two sisters, Dr. Alice Berry Graham, a dentist, and Dr. Katharine Berry Richardson, a physician.
A shop keeper from the Kansas City Stockyards district heard of the sisters' reputation for helping sick children in need and he told Dr. Graham of a woman he’d seen in the streets trying to give away her crippled 5-year-old daughter.
Drs. Graham and Richardson found the girl abandoned, undernourished and poorly clothed. They arranged a bed for her at a small hospital on 15th and Cleveland in downtown Kansas City on June 24, 1897. The doctors established the Free Bed Fund Association and through painstaking care, they restored life to the orphaned child's crippled legs. With surgery and therapy, she walked again.
Their act of compassion and medical expertise was the beginning of what would become The Children's Mercy Hospital.
The Office of Equity and Diversity (OED) was established in the spirit of the mission of the founding sisters – to ensure that ALL children received high quality clinical care. The OED was established alongside the Equity and Diversity Council in 2009 with a focus to implement strategy, support hospital leadership and staff in their efforts to provide equitable care, and attending to regulatory and accreditation standards.