Who is Dr. Justina Ford?

Justina L. Ford (1871–1952) was a medical pioneer and Denver’s first licensed African American female doctor. She was born in Knoxville, Illinois on January 22, 1871.  As a child, she often accompanied her mother – a practical nurse – on her calls. Ford received her medical schooling from Chicago’s Hering Medical College and moved to Denver in 1902. Because of her race, she was not allowed to practice in a hospital and was denied membership into the Denver and Colorado medical associations. This did not stop her! She set up a practice in her Five Points home and served patients in that community for the rest of her life.  She is best known for her obstetrics and pediatric work. Patients knew Dr. Ford as “the Baby Doctor,” and it is estimated that she delivered over 7,000 babies during her fifty years as a doctor in Denver.