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Dr. W. Filmore Haith was born in Greensboro on April 10, 1923; he died January 13, 2013 in Kansas City. He was the fifth of seven children and the third son of Robert Haith, from Alamance County, NC, and Georgia Reid Haith, from Virginia.
After the war, he resumed studies at A and T and also met his future wife, Frances Gorden of Nashville, Tenn. After graduating from A and T with a B.S in 1947, he taught chemistry there for a year and then went to Meharry Medical College, graduating in 1952. He married Frances on June 6 of that year and they moved to St. Louis, where he began residency training at Homer G. Phillips Hospital. They next moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where he continued his training at General Hospital #2.
In Kansas City, he was a member of the nation’s first all black multi-specialty practice. He and his colleagues “quietly broke down and removed” barriers that “routinely denied privileges” for black physicians at private hospitals. He retired from medical practice in 2007.
Dr. Haith’s tuition to Meharry was paid for by the state of North Carolina. “If you were admitted to a law school, med school, or dental school, the state of North Carolina would help you go, absolutely, to stay the hell out of here,” he said. Dr. Haith’s specialty was OB/Gyn and he delivered thousands of babies in Kansas City during his 50-year career.
He was a lifetime member of the NAACP and also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha and the Midwesterner’s Club.
The Haiths had two children, Walter, Jr. and Kim.
General Hospital #2, the Kansas City hospital for African Americans, was closed in 1957 when it was ordered that it and #1, the hospital for whites, were to be consolidated.
“Dr. W. Filmore Haith, Sr.” Funeral program. Kansas City, MO: Watkins Heritage Chapel. 19 Jan. 2013.
Rogers, Samuel U. “Kansas City General Hospital No. 2: A Historical Summary.” Journal of the National Medical Association 54.5 September 1962: 325-339.