Karen Kruse Thomas, Ph.D.
As a three-year postdoctoral fellow in the Institute of the History of Medicine, Dr. Thomas
will be researching and writing a history of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public
Health from 1940 to the present. She holds a Ph.D. in U.S. history from the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her research interests include twentieth-century U.S.
history of race, medicine, and public health; southern, rural, and African-American health;
federal-state relations in health policy; medical education; the medical civil rights movement;
and oral history of medicine. As associate director of the Reichelt Oral History Program at
Florida State University in Tallahassee from 2005 to 2008, she completed an oral history
project on the founding of the first new U.S. medical school since the 1980s at FSU
(interviews are accessible at http://digitool.fcla.edu/R/E9124MIGV5I3QTS6FGCTKNKAC5UC1T3X7B1QUNPY889V44I765-00925?func=collections-result&collection_id=1325). Her 2006 article "The Hill-Burton Act and Civil Rights:
Expanding Access to Hospital Care for Black Southerners, 1939-1960" received
the Green-Ramsdell Award for best article in the Journal of Southern History for
2006-2007. She has received research grants from the National Endowment for
the Humanities, the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library, the Claude Pepper
Library at Florida State University, and the Reynolds Medical Archives at the
University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has lectured in history at the University
of Florida, the University of Minnesota, and Hamline University.
Deluxe Jim Crow: The South and National Health Policy (under contract w/ University
of Georgia Press)
A Century of Orthopaedic Heritage: The History of the University of Minnesota
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery (212 pages illus., University of Minnesota
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, 2002
“The Hill-Burton Act and Civil Rights: Expanding Hospital Care for Black Southerners,
1939-1960.” Journal of Southern History 72.4 (November 2006):823-70.
“‘Law Unto Themselves’: Black Women as Patients and Practitioners in North Carolina’s
Campaign to Reduce Maternal and Infant Mortality.” Nursing History Review 12 (2004):47-66.
“Dr. Jim Crow: The University of North Carolina, the Regional Medical School for Negroes,
and the Desegregation of Southern Medical Education, 1945-1960.” Journal of African American
History 88.3 (Summer 2003):223-44.
James C. Thomas and Karen Kruse Thomas. “‘Things ain’t what they ought to be’: Social
forces underlying racial disparities in rates of sexually transmitted diseases in a rural North
Carolina county.” Social Science and Medicine 49.8 (1999):1075-84.
“‘I Got These Hands Dirty Saving A Life’: Oral Histories of Three African-American North
Carolina Physicians.” North Carolina Literary Review 7 (1998):28-50.
Institute for the History of Medicine
Welch Library room. 318
The Johns Hopkins University
1900 East Monument Street
Baltimore, MD 21205