UCSF Conference to Honor African-American Nurse

The UCSF School of Nursing will host the first annual Florence Stroud Black History Month Conference Series in honor of the late pioneer nurse on Friday, Feb. 11.

The conference, titled “Health Care Reform: Looking it Straight in the Eye,” will be held at the UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center’s Robertson Auditorium, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The keynote speaker for the event is Debra A. Toney, president of the National Black Nurses Association. Advance registration fees are $100.00 for health professionals and $50.00 for students. For more information, please contact Cheryl Kemp.

The event is co-sponsored by UCSF, the Bay Area Black Nurses Association and Samuel Merritt University. A registered nurse, Florence “Flo” Stroud, a UCSF professor and public health researcher, was the first African American to serve as health director for the city of Berkeley.

Stroud also served twice as interim director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and was former Mayor Frank Jordan's choice to head that city's largest agency in 1994.

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing, the central role of African Americans in the nation’s history. Stroud is recognized as an advocate for the improvement of care, as well as an innovator of health care initiatives that addressed disparities.

“She laid the foundation of excellence in nursing care for all of us to remember and cherish as we embrace health care reform in our nation,” says Linda Gregory, who is workforce, outreach and diversity coordinator for the UCSF School of Nursing. “We are happy to establish a conference in honor of a nurse with such high esteem.”

Gregory organized the conference with Shirley Manly-Lampkin, assistant dean of Academic Services and Diversity Enhancement, and Cheryl Kemp student funding coordinator. Advance registration fees are $100.00 for health professionals and $50.00 for students. For more information, please contact Cheryl Kemp. 

About Florence Stroud

Stroud was born was in Oklahoma in 1933 at the time of the Great Depression and at the start of the Dust Bowl years. Her parents moved to Washington, where she graduated from Seattle Pacific University and earned her nursing degree at the University of Washington.
Stroud later worked as a staff nurse for the Seattle-King County Department of Public Health. While earning her master's degree in nursing, she delivered obstetrical care in Nigerian villages through a World Health Organization program. Her scholarly work took her to the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, where she earned a master’s degree in Public Health while conducting several population-based studies.
Stroud taught nursing at UCSF from 1967 to 1976 and was appointed head nurse of pediatrics at the UCSF Medical Center. She conducted research on health disparities in ethnic communities, and taught cultural sensitivity to nonminority health professionals.
After six years as the Berkeley health director, she was recruited in 1982 to San Francisco to become deputy director for Community Health Services. She served throughout the most difficult years of the AIDS epidemic, before antiviral drug combinations began saving lives.
Stroud authored critical guidelines for the prevention of prenatal transmission of HIV and the care of mothers, infants and children infected with the AIDS virus. Filled with energy and a sense of mission, Stroud was active in organizing and serving on organizations of health care professionals and programs promoting health care in the African American community.
She was a co-founder of the Bay Area Black Nurses Association; the Bay Area Consortium for Quality Health Care; and the California Black Health Network. Stroud was the first registered nurse appointed to the Medical Board of California.
Stroud was a former president of the California Board Medical Quality Assurance and of the Division of Licensing. She also served as chairwoman of the California State Black Health Conference and the Berkeley Mental Health Advisory Board; and was a director of the Western Addition Early Childhood Education Project.