Union Community Hospital Building | Olde English District

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Union Community Hospital Building

213 W. Main St.
Union, SC 29379
(864) 427-4940

After receiving his degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN, Dr. Lawrence W. Long opened a medical office in Union. When several of his critically ill African-American patients were not allowed admittance to white hospitals, Dr. Long realized the need for a hospital that would admit his patients. Subsequently, in November of 1932, he founded the Union County Hospital in a rented two-story frame building in Downtown Union. It was the first in the state to be headed by a black physician. Preventive medical services and mass immunizations were also provided at the Union Community Hospital. Its immunization program was so successful that other health care facilities throughout the county adopted its procedures. Around 1934, Dr. Long began to sponsor annual medical clinics in Union which attracted doctors of all races from many southern states. These clinics provided many African-American doctors with the opportunity to upgrade their skills in the face of segregation. Among the many guest physicians who attended the conferences was Charles Drew, M.D., the inventor of blood plasma. Dr. Long was named "Doctor of the Year" in 1957 by the National Medical Association. Not only was Dr. Long an innovator in the medical profession, he also advocated integration in the community in the 1930s. This idea was as unpopular with many of his African-American colleagues as it was with most white southerners. Dr. Long died in 1985. Though no longer used as a hospital, the building still stands. Efforts are under way to turn it into the L. W. Long Resource Center in honor of Dr. Long and his legacy. Contact: Modest Keenan.