Dr. Susan LaFlesche Picotte Memorial Hospital

After graduating at the top of her class from the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1889, Susan LaFlesche Picotte emerged as the first Native American doctor and one of the most extraordinary figures in American history.

In 1913, Dr. Picotte opened her hospital doors in Walthill, NE, a small town on the Omaha Indian Reservation. Inspired by the Craftsman style, William L. Steele designed the one and one-half story building which features a recessed porch that embodies Dr. Picotte’s love for “fresh air and sunshine.” In 1993, the National Park Service declared the Susan LaFlesche Picotte Memorial Hospital a National Historic Landmark. Today, Dr. Picotte’s hospital is at risk. In order to save this historic site, a coalition of public and private partners, including the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs, the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, the Village of Walthill, and BVH and our team of consultants are embarking together on a strategic planning process.

The coalition has a dual vision for the hospital: honoring the past and building for the future. The restoration project aims to save and repurpose the structure of the Picotte Memorial Hospital as a cultural treasure and a catalyst for rural small business development in Walthill. Through green technology, Native plants, walking paths, and a butterfly habitat, the coalition will restore and enliven the building and surrounding grounds while preserving its historic integrity. The renovated building will also house a state of the art museum for all to visit and learn about Dr. Picotte’s pioneering vision and story.

Location

Walthill, NE

Year Completed

Ongoing

Owner

Size

6,220 sq. ft.