CHI Black History Month Spotlight
To celebrate Black History Month, CHI is spotlighting and honoring the pioneers who forged the path for us to succeed in fulfilling our mission.
Doris Ison was a South Dade community activist who was the driving force behind the expansion of healthcare access to poor and underserved people in south Miami-Dade County during the 1970s.
Despite limited formal education, Ison was a skilled strategist who engaged physicians and public officials which resulted in the creation of CHI.
The naming of the Doris Ison Health Center came in 1976 as an acknowledgment of her significant contribution to creating a more equitable healthcare model in South Florida—a vision CHI continues to work toward today.
Brodes H. Hartley Jr.
Colonel Brodes H. Hartley, Jr. served as the CEO of CHI for 40 years.
Under Hartley’s leadership, CHI achieved designation as a patient-centered medical home. Medical home standards focus on higher quality, lower costs, greater patient satisfaction and a stronger physician-patient relationship.
Mr. Hartley’s decades of dedicated service raised the bar for CHI, pushing the organization to move from meeting baseline management and budget requirements to exceeding expectations in every area.
Odell T. Johns
Odell T. Johns was a talented and powerful political strategist who played a pivotal role in the establishment and the running of CHI throughout the first 25 years of its history.
He became chairman of the board in 1977 and was involved in hiring every CHI medical and executive director, including former CHI CEO Brodes H. Hartley Jr.
A force to be reckoned with, Mr. Johns was known for being outspoken and using the political system to the advantage of the South Dade community.
Dr. Edwin S. Shirley
Dr. Edwin S. Shirley Jr. was CHI’s Emergency Room Director who used his life and career to bring desperately-needed healthcare services to communities denied access because of race and poverty.
Dr. Shirley was also a long-time friend and trusted personal physician to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who often referred to him as his “Miami doctor.”
He founded and chaired the Sickle Cell Council in Miami-Dade County and was the first African-American chair of the Miami-Dade County Community Relations Board. He is remembered for his extraordinary skill and compassion.