Dr. Bruner and a nurse perform an obstetrics exam for a patient at the Arlington County Department of Health, 1938. Image had the caption "Prenatal Clinic" under it in the 1938 Rural Health Conservation Scrapbook. Photo Source: RG 21, Records of the Arlington County Department of Health: 21-1-"1938"-9

Dr. Roland Bruner

Dr. Roland Herman Bruner (1902-1978) was an obstetrician, lecturer, and the first African-American doctor to be hired by Arlington County’s Department of Health’s Prenatal Clinic in a time of bigotry, racism, and segregation.

Bruner received a Bachelor of Science degree from Howard University in 1928 and a Medical Degree in 1932. One of just 24 students to receive the offer of an internship at Freedmen’s Hospital in Washington D.C., he joined the staff thereafter completing his internship.

On July 29, 1934, Bruner and his wife Georgia purchased a property in Green Valley/Nauck at 2018 S. Glebe Rd. where he opened a private practice specializing in obstetrics. This allowed African-American women to deliver children in Arlington rather than having to travel to the Freedmen’s Hospital in the District of Columbia. He bartered with patients and often provided free services to the most disadvantaged, even delivering babies at the homes of people turned away by a segregated medical establishment.

Excerpted from https://library.arlingtonva.us/