The Provident Foundation
1525 East 53rd Street
Suite #451
Chicago, IL 60615

Provident Foundation- Overview

May, 1933 photoProvident Hospital and Training School was established in response to discriminatory practices in Chicago's medical community. In 1889, the black population in Chicago totaled 15,000 residents. Few hospitals provided medical care to the black community. Black doctors had no facilities available for their patients, nor were there any opportunities for training black nurses. With the assistance of a local black minister and other prominent Chicagoans, Dr. Daniel Hale Williams opened Provident Hospital and Training School in 1891 to address the lack of quality health care available to African Americans.

In September 1987, Provident Hospital was officially closed as efforts to maintain it as a private hospital proved unsuccessful. However, the Cook County Board of Commissioners acquired the hospital and it was reopened as the Provident Hospital of Cook County in August 1993, to continue its long history of serving the medical needs of the community.

James W. Myles (1937-2012)The Provident Foundaton was established in January of 1995 through the collaboration of entrepreneurial Soft Sheen giant, Ed Gardner and President and co-Founder the late James W. Myles. Their aim, goal and mission was to perpetuate the legacy of the historic Provident Hospital and the contributions of founder, Dr. Daniel Hale Williams. Since then, the Provident Foundation has supported worthwhile charitable causes and community based service programs. Special emphasis was given to health, medical education and other social programs dealing with the welfare of children, the elderly, domestic abuse, housing and nutrition. Past efforts include providing funds to Hands Without Guns, a national violence prevention organization and granting support to Black on Black Love and My Sister’s Keeper’s anti-violence initiatives.

John Sengstacke, Chicago DefenderProvident Hospital is a remarkable facility. To illustrate its fascinating and very moving history, Provident Hospital: A Living Legacy, was commissioned by the Provident Foundation in 1997. The publication is dedicated to the memory of the late Chicago Defender publisher, John H. Sengstacke, who served as the Hospital’s board chair and was a tireless advocate in advancing the rights of black citizens. The Hospital’s history is told in the context of Chicago’s history in the words of those who lived it and offers a unique perspective on this noteworthy institution.

After the death of James Myles, the Foundation entered a new chapter and the new board is shaping the Foundation to continue to build on this legacy.

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