Drs. W. Harold M. Johnson and Frank P. Raiford opened Trinity Hospital in October 1938 after 25 years since dreaming of it in medical school (Norfolk Journal and Guide). Costing more than $100,000 (Norfolk Journal) and upwards of $150,000 (The Chicago Defender), it was designed as a “race hospital” (Norfolk Journal) to cater to the needs of Black patients with the most modern medical equipment available.
Over eight years later, Drs. Johnson and Raiford were assisted by Dr. Robyn Arington and Wayne State University’s Dr. Marjorie Peebles to open a cancer detection center within the hospital for Black patients, the first hospital in Detroit to do so with the American Cancer Society’s cooperation (Michigan Chronicle). Much of the volunteers, reported the Chronicle, included members of the first Black Gray Ladies Society chapter in the country.