1970 Lincoln Hospital takeover

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The 1970 Lincoln Hospital takeover was a significant event in the history of healthcare in the South Bronx, New York City. The Young Lords, a Puerto Rican activist group, occupied the Lincoln Hospital to protest against the inadequate healthcare and practices provided by the hospital's administration. This occupation garnered widespread media attention and shed light on the deficiencies of the hospital.

Following the takeover, changes were made to improve healthcare for the residents of the South Bronx, who were primarily African American and Puerto Rican at the time. However, funding discrepancies for hospitals in lower-income areas, like Lincoln Hospital, continue to persist.

The history of Lincoln Hospital reveals that African American and Hispanic patients faced higher odds of death after being diagnosed with colorectal cancer. The hospital was described by a nurse as a place that killed patients and frustrated workers. The neglect of the hospital by the city and state contributed to its poor conditions during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The Young Lords, originally formed in Chicago, established a chapter in New York in 1969. They aimed to address the immediate needs of the people, including healthcare, housing, and institutionalized disparities. The Young Lords played a role in opening testing centers for Tuberculosis in lower-income neighborhoods like the South Bronx during the 1960s and 1970s.

The 1970 Lincoln Hospital takeover brought attention to the issues of healthcare inequality and the need for improved services in marginalized communities. While progress has been made, the disparities in funding for hospitals in lower-income areas persist.


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD