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PHSC Celebrates its 50th Anniversary and Black History Month: Hospitals for Black Americans

Lily White Society Is The Largest Benevolent Organization In Florida

Hospitals for Black Americans

In segregated Tampa, there were two main options for Black citizens to receive medical care: The Lily White Hospital and Clara Frye Hospital. 

  • The Lily White Benefit Association was a mutual aid society in Florida and Georgia that provided member benefits including birth, health care, and burial assistance. It also sponsored a hospital, nursing home, and housing initiatives for Black residents. ​
  • The Lily White Hospital was open from 1948-1971.​

  • In 1908 nurse Clara Frye established a small hospital in her own home. She eventually was able to open the Clara Frye hospital in a larger location in 1923.​

  • No patient was ever turned away for inability to pay, but the financial situation was difficult, and the city purchased her hospital in 1928, taking over operation. ​

  • Navigating the segregated hospital system was difficult, as these community hospitals were not as well equipped as white hospitals.


Adams, John Henry. “The Clara Frye Hospital,” The Negro Blue Book of Tampa, 1925. 1925, p. 26 & 47.

Glamsch, Panky. “Funerals Honor Black Members,” Tampa Tribune. 10 Oct 1974, p. 57. ​

Historical Monument Trail Selection Committee, Friends of the Riverwalk, “Clara C. Frye,” 2022. ​

Walker, Linda and Elder Isaac Whitehurst. “Elder Isaac Whitehurst interview by Linda Walker,” April 10, 2014, 22:50, ​