Virginia M. Alexander
|Virginia M. Alexander|
|Alma mater||Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania |
|Known for||Founding the Aspiranto Health Home in Philadelphia|
|Fields||Obstetrics and gynecology|
Virginia M. Alexander was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1900. She had four siblings. She was the sister of Raymond Pace Alexander. Her mother died when Alexander was four years old. Her family needed money after her father's livery business closed when Alexander was 13. Alexander dropped out of school to help her family. She would continue her education. She would attend the University of Pennsylvania on a scholarship. While in college, she worked many jobs, including as a waitress and maid. She was also a member of the black sorority Delta Sigma Theta. She applied to attend the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania. She had the second highest application score.
After graduation, Alexander returned to Philadelphia. She founded Aspiranto Health Home in her home in 1931. Aspiranto provided health services to impoverished African American community members in Philadelphia. Services ranged from general health care to obstetrics. Helen Octavia Dickens was also active as a practitioner at the house. Alexander also taught at the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania during this time.
She received her master's degree in public health from Yale University in 1937. She started working at Howard University as "physician-in-charge of women students." Alexander did work for the United States Department of Health. She also had her own private practice while at Howard. In the 1940s, during World War II, she worked in Alabama tending to miners. She volunteered for this position, in response to many physicians being recruited into the war.
Death and legacy
While working in Birmingham, Alabama, Alexander developed lupus. She moved back to Philadelphia after working in Alabama. She worked as an OBGYN at the Women's Medical College Hospital. She also worked at Mercy Hospital and Pennsylvania Hospital. She died in 1949. Her personal papers are held in the collection of the University of Pennsylvania.
- "Dr. Virginia M. Alexander". Biography. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
- "Alexander Family Collection". University Archives. University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
- Sharon Harley; Black Women and Work Collective (2002). Sister Circle: Black Women and Work. Rutgers University Press. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-8135-3061-1.