Times Chronicle & Public Spirit

Frank Boston legacy honored

Portrait unveiled at hospital he founded in 1931

- By Dan Sokil dsokil@thereporte­ronline.com

HATFIELD TWP » A local legend has now been honored by a hospital he helped create nearly a century ago.

Local officials including administra­tors from Jefferson Health and Jefferson Lansdale Hospital held a ceremony Monday to formally dedicate the lobby and unveil a commission­ed portrait of the hospital’s founder, Dr. Frank E. Boston.

“Today we gather to dedicate the Jefferson Lansdale Hospital main lobby in Dr. Boston’s memory and to unveil a commission­ed portrait of him, which will be proudly displayed, to be seen by all who walk through our doors,” said Katie Farrell, chief administra­tor officer of Jefferson Lansdale Hospital.

Boston was a Black physician who was born in 1891 in Philadelph­ia, served in the U.S. Army during the First World War, then returned to settle in Philadelph­ia, and establishe­d what is now Jefferson Lansdale Hospital and the Volunteer Medical Service Corps of Lansdale. A nonprofit “Dr. Frank E. Boston Legacy Foundation” has been founded to tell his story and share his legacy, and members of that group were thanked in a dedication ceremony Monday, as local dignitarie­s gathered in the lobby of the hospital, now located on Broad Street in Hatfield, to unveil a portrait of Boston painted by local artist Mario Moore.

“On behalf of Jefferson Lansdale Hospital, I would like to thank George Whitehair, executive director of the Boston Legacy Foundation, for educating the community about Dr. Boston and advocating to keep his memory alive, both on a local and a national level,” said Farrell.

According to informatio­n provided by the hospital, when World War I began, Dr. Boston was one of 104 of the nation’s estimated 3,000 African American doctors who volunteere­d for service. They were assigned to care for the wounded and sick in the Black units of the 92nd and 93rd divisions.

Upon his discharge from the service in 1919, Dr. Boston worked at Mercy Hospital in Philadelph­ia where he distinguis­hed himself as an excellent physician and major supporter of veterans. In 1934, Dr. Boston founded Elm Terrace Hospital in Lansdale, which opened with 23 beds and a maternity ward at the corner of Broad and Seventh Streets in Lansdale, near where a memorial to the late doctor now stands, and along a stretch of road the foundation is working to have formally named after Boston.

Over the years, Lansdale’s hospital has moved and grown into what’s known today as Jefferson Lansdale Hospital, a 140bed acute care general hospital providing a comprehens­ive range of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services. The hospital recently added a robotic surgery program for general surgery and orthopedic patients, and was recently granted national Age Friendly status, which is awarded to hospitals that follow an essential set of evidence-based practices and align with what matters most to older adults.

During his lifetime, Dr. Boston establishe­d many important medical services for the community and greatly contribute­d to the longstandi­ng health and wellbeing of people living in the North Penn region. To memorializ­e the historic legacy and longstandi­ng contributi­ons of Dr. Boston, the main lobby has been named for him and a portrait in his likeness was commission­ed with funds from the administra­tion of Jefferson Lansdale Hospital and Jefferson Health — Abington’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Benefit and Diversity Committee, according to the hospital.

Moore, the artist who created the Dr. Boston portrait,

earned a BFA in Illustrati­on from the College for Creative Studies (2009) and an MFA in Painting from the Yale School of Art (2013). He has been awarded the prestigiou­s Princeton Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University and has participat­ed as an artist-in-residence at Knox College, Fountainhe­ad residency and the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, according to the hospital.

In posts on their respective social media pages Monday and Tuesday, members of the Boston Legacy Foundation thanked those who attended the ceremony and who worked to have Boston’s legacy honored, and state Rep. Steve Malagari said, “We hope to formally designate this stretch of road this year.” Members of the Boston Legacy Foundation have

said they plan to seek national recognitio­n of the late doctor later this month in Washington D.C., and could create a second “Doc Boston Adventures” comic representi­ng the doctor

and introducin­g him to a new generation.

For more on the Boston Legacy Foundation, search for “Dr. Frank E. Boston” on Facebook or email FEBlegacy@gmail.com.

 ?? SUBMITTED PHOTO ?? Local officials stand next to a portrait of Dr. Frank Boston now on display in the lobby of Jefferson Lansdale Hospital after an unveiling ceremony on Monday, May 22022. From left to right are artist Mario Moore, creator of the Dr. Frank E. Boston portrait; Katie Farrell, Chief Administra­tive Officer of Jefferson Lansdale Hospital; Bruce Meyer, MD, President of Jefferson Health; Jean Fitzpatric­k, Chair of Abington Health Foundation/Abington Health Board of Trustees; and Alison Ferren, president and chief operating officer of Jefferson Health — Abington.
SUBMITTED PHOTO Local officials stand next to a portrait of Dr. Frank Boston now on display in the lobby of Jefferson Lansdale Hospital after an unveiling ceremony on Monday, May 22022. From left to right are artist Mario Moore, creator of the Dr. Frank E. Boston portrait; Katie Farrell, Chief Administra­tive Officer of Jefferson Lansdale Hospital; Bruce Meyer, MD, President of Jefferson Health; Jean Fitzpatric­k, Chair of Abington Health Foundation/Abington Health Board of Trustees; and Alison Ferren, president and chief operating officer of Jefferson Health — Abington.
 ?? SUBMITTED PHOTO ?? Dr. Frank E. Boston Legacy Foundation members George Whitehair, at microphone, and Dr. Francis Jeyaraj, center, along with other members of the Boston Legacy Foundation team, speak at a portrait unveiling and dedication ceremony at Jefferson Lansdale Hospital on Monday, May 2 2022.
SUBMITTED PHOTO Dr. Frank E. Boston Legacy Foundation members George Whitehair, at microphone, and Dr. Francis Jeyaraj, center, along with other members of the Boston Legacy Foundation team, speak at a portrait unveiling and dedication ceremony at Jefferson Lansdale Hospital on Monday, May 2 2022.
 ?? SUBMITTED PHOTO ?? Rev. Dr. Bruce Petty, center left, and Reverend Charles Quann, center right, along with other members of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Benefit and Diversity Committee of Jefferson Health — Abington, unveil the portrait of Dr. Frank E. Boston during an unveiling ceremony at Jefferson Lansdale Hospital on Monday, May 2 2022.
SUBMITTED PHOTO Rev. Dr. Bruce Petty, center left, and Reverend Charles Quann, center right, along with other members of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Benefit and Diversity Committee of Jefferson Health — Abington, unveil the portrait of Dr. Frank E. Boston during an unveiling ceremony at Jefferson Lansdale Hospital on Monday, May 2 2022.

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