2:00 p.m. Sunday, September 1

Dr. Bruce Sheffield will bring to light the answer to the question “Who was Dr. Susan LaFlesche Picotte?”  2 p.m. Sunday, September 1, at the Betty Strong Encounter Center. Admission will be free; a reception will follow.

After graduating at the top of her class from the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1889, Susan La Flesche Picotte emerged as the first Native American doctor and one of the most extraordinary figures in American history. Yet few know her story.

Our story teller, Dr. Sheffield, a retired pediatrician living in Lincoln Nebraska, always loved history. Through his participation in a group called “History Buffs” Sheffield became aware of the Laflesche story. Dr. Joe Starita, was speaking at that meeting about his book, “A Warrior of the People”, the life of Dr. La Flesche Picotte. This meeting sparked Dr. Sheffield’s interest in her story.

Dr. La Flesche Picotte studied medicine at a time when few women dared; she traveled on horseback to care for hundreds of patients both Indian and white; she built the first Native American hospital on the Omaha Reservation without federal funding.

There is currently a coalition restoring the historical hospital Dr. La Flesche Picotte opened in 1913 in Walthill, Nebraska. In 2018 the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the Dr.Susan La Flesche Picotte Hospital as one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historical Places.