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Agnes Lattimer, who became Cook County Hospital medical director and campaigned against lead poisoning, dies

Thursday, March 01, 2018
Chicago Tribune
by Graydon Megan

Dr. Agnes Lattimer decided as a youngster she wanted to be a physician and overcame poverty, sexism and racism to achieve her dream, rising to become a pediatrician and medical director of what was then Cook County Hospital.

She was a 6-year-old in Memphis, Tenn., when she broke her arm and the kindness of the physician who treated and reassured her decided her career choice.

“She was a brilliant dynamic woman who had goals,” said her sister, Camille. “Her main interest was in providing good quality health care for the poor and that they get respect and be treated properly.”

Along the way, Lattimer worked to improve health care access for the poor, especially children, with a special focus on eliminating the dangers of lead-based paint in old houses. And she also achieved two more life goals, learning to play the piano and to fly an airplane.



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