Bertha Mae Thomas, RN

National Nurses Day. We are celebrating the life of Registered Nurse Bertha Mae Thomas (1880-1985). Bertha was the first African American Registered Nurse in Kentucky. She was a former supervisor at the former Red Cross Hospital, a former visiting nurse for the Metropolitan Insurance Co., and a former matron of Golden Chapter 80 of the Order of the Eastern Star. Additionally, Bertha was a former recording secretary of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses of America. For much of her life, Bertha lived with her mother and sisters at 1768 W. Ormsby Avenue in the Park Hill Neighborhood. Bertha’s sisters Minnie and Calvin later lived in Chicago, Illinois and passed away before her. At the time of Bertha’s death, she was living with friends Roosevelt and Phyllis Tucker in Chicago with no family survivors. Image of Bertha is from the “Courier-Journal” February 27, 1953 when she won a service award. Thank you to all of the nurses past and present. You’re amazing!