In 1945, the very first hospital where blacks could receive medical treatment opened its doors. Dr. J. A. Chatman the second black doctor in the region opened The Chatman Hospital at East 23rd and Cedar.
Chatman dedicated his life to the improvement of medical facilities for Blacks and to better race relations. And although the hospital was located in a predominantly black neighborhood, Chatman said it was a hospital for all.
The building was gutted by fire in 1987, and then restored in 1993. It is now the Community Health Center of Lubbock.
More than 60 years after the hospital opened, the City of Lubbock placed a historic marker outside the building honoring Dr. Chatman. The plaque was placed on the property in October of last year. The building was designated an historical marker in 1981.
Dr. Chatman was active in state, local, and national medical organizations. He was elected Lubbock "Man of the Year" for six consecutive years and was the first Black to be an official in Lubbock County's Democratic Party. He was also a member of the building committee for Lubbock City Hall, and his name is engraved on the building.
Lubbock's First Doctor: M.C. Overton
Lubbock's first "professionally trained doctor" wouldn't arrive until the turn of 20th century. And as NewsChannel 11's Julia Bruck found out, no part of Lubbock's early development would escape the touch of Dr. Overton.