Alice Woodby McKane

Despite extreme setbacks—the death of both her parents at age seven, and the three-year loss of her eyesight—Alice McKane (1865-1948) rose above tribulation to obtain a medical degree in 1892 and to co-found the first training school for nurses in southeast Georgia.  Her co-founder was her friend, fellow doctor, and husband Cornelius McKane.  The couple also traveled to Monrovia, Liberia where they opened the country’s first hospital, complete with a nurse training school similar to the one in Savannah.

Upon her return to Savannah, she worked hard to establish the McKane Hospital, which opened in 1896.  Following her husband’s death in 1912, Alice continued practicing medicine and joined the NAACP.  She also published two books: The Fraternal Sick Book (1913) and a book of poetry entitled Clover Leaves (1914).

Adapted from Georgia Women of Achievement website: