How a Historic Heart Transplant Exposed a Troubling Truth About Race and Health in America

August 19, 2020

(TIME) – The work that led up to his achievement left a trail of surgeons, patients, politicians and everyday people. When I set out to investigate the heart transplant race of the late 1960s, I found that—despite the success in South Africa—my work would begin much closer to home: in Richmond, Va., where I live, at the local teaching hospital, the Medical College of Virginia (MCV). And despite the life-saving endpoint, the story wouldn’t be a happy one. Rather, it would expose a troubling moment in the long-fraught history of the relationship between race and health in America.