Medicine: Caring for the Community

Private hospitals are relatively rare in the nation's urban ghettos. Some have followed their white patients and doctors to the suburbs; others have closed because low-income blacks cannot afford their fees. Despite this pattern, which helps make black health care a scandal in many U.S. cities, two small private hospitals in Chicago's West Side ghetto have proved that such institutions can not only survive but also serve their communities as well as ever.

Bethany Brethren Hospital, a 66-bed facility run by the Church of the Brethren, went out of its way to accept poor...

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