Celebrate Black History Month – Focus on Harlem’s Dr. Patricia Bath
In recognition of Black History Month, it is our honor to recognize Harlem's very own Dr. Patricia Bath: an advocate for blindness prevention, treatment, and cure, ophthalmologist, and laser scientist.
Born November 4th, 1942 in Harlem NY, Dr. Patricia Bath is the first African American woman doctor to receive a patent for a medical invention. Dr. Bath's method for removing cataract lenses using a technique called laser phaco has restored eyesight to millions of people across the world. Bath finished her MD in 1968 and returned to New York as an intern at Harlem Hospital, followed by a fellowship in ophthalmology at Columbia University from 1969 to 1970. Her interest, experience, and research on cataracts led to her invention of a new device and method to remove cataracts—the laserphaco probe. When she first conceived of the device in 1981, her idea was more advanced than the technology available at the time. It took her nearly five years to complete the research and testing needed to make it work and apply for a patent. Today the device is used worldwide. With the keratoprosthesis device, Dr. Bath was able to recover the sight of several individuals who had been blind for over 30 years.
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Below, you'll find a link to an exceptional compilation of the voices and talents of Black individuals who have not only left an indelible mark on our hearts but have also enriched our lives in myriad ways. We welcome your contributions to this collection!
With peace love & light,
WC4BL Board 2024