Georgia Patton Washington
Georgia Esther Patton Washington, born into slavery, became Tennessee's first licensed Black woman physician and surgeon. Despite the challenges her family faced after the Civil War, they supported her education. She graduated from Meharry Medical College in 1893 and obtained her medical license. Driven by her faith and a desire to serve, she served as a medical missionary in Liberia, where she developed a new treatment for Guinea worm disease. Upon her return, she established a successful medical practice in Memphis and was known for her philanthropy and church involvement.
In 1897, she married David W. Washington, another respected leader in the Black community. The couple had two children, both of whom died in infancy. Dr. Washington had contracted tuberculosis while on a mission, and in 1900 she succumbed to the disease. Although she only lived 36 years, her life of achievement and service has inspired generations, especially young girls and women.
YWCA Women of Achievement Awards