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Honoring a Leader in Medicine: Dr. John A. Kenney


Dr. John A. Kenney was a significant contributor to the creation and development of African American organized medicine.


The Newark Preservation & Landmarks Committee, Rutgers Law School, and The Friends of have been working on a project that will pay homage to Dr. John A. Kenney. Dr. Kenney was an African American physician and medical pioneer who founded one of the first New Jersey hospitals to provide care for African American patients and training for African American doctors and nurses. The hospital opened in 1927 and closed its doors in 1953.


Dr. Kenney broke barriers in the medical field. He was a graduate of Hampton Institute and Leonard Medical School at Shaw University. From 1902-1924 he served as resident physician and director of Tuskegee Institute's Hospital and Nurse Training School. Dr. Kenney was a founder of the John A. Andrew Memorial Hospital, Tuskegee, AL. When Dr. Kenney and his family were forced to leave Tuskegee, they came to New Jersey where Dr. Kenney continued his life's work. With his own money, Dr. Kenney built Kenney Memorial Hospital in Newark.


In addition, Kenney was the founder and editor of the National Medical Association Journal. The NMA is the largest and oldest organization representing African-American physicians in the United States. The Journal's focus is to improve the healthcare of underserved populations both in the United States and abroad.



We look forward to seeing this project come to fruition. Buckman Architectural Group created renderings to help visualize how the museum can best honor Dr. Kenney's extraordinary accomplishments in providing access to healthcare for all. Dr. Kenney was a man of great vision and courage.

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