By Kathy Walsh


DENVER (CBS4) – The search is on for former patients of a beloved Denver doctor who died in 1952. Dr. Justina Ford was the first licensed African American female doctor in Colorado. She overcame prejudice and discrimination, and a big photo shoot is now planned in front of a new mural that honors her.

(credit: CBS)

She was known as the baby doctor. Dr. Ford delivered more than 7,000 babies in the city’s Five Points neighborhood during her 50-year career. Charlene Mozee is proud to be among them.

“Her being able to practice with opposition and all of that always stuck in my heart,” she said.

Charlene and her twin sister were born on Valentine’s Day 1946. Her 88-year-old mother, Olivell Owens, was just 14 when Ford delivered the twins.

(credit: Denver)

“Dr. Ford was a very humble woman and very sensitive to the community that she served,” said Charlene.

Charlene said she became a nurse because of Ford.

“There’s been some times in my life where I’ve called on her to give me courage like she had,” Charlene said.

Ford practiced from her home in Five Points which is now the Black American West Museum.

(credit: CBS)

On Feb. 21, a new mural honoring her will be dedicated at 2701 Welton Street.

Charlene will be there and a few others delivered by Ford, but Sylvia Lambe, PR strategist with BAWM, is looking for more.

“It’s about capturing history,” Lambe said. “They can tell us things about the past and the history of Denver and of Colorado as a whole.”

The mural celebrates Ford’s contributions. Charlene celebrates Ford’s resolve.

“Her spirit’s with us right now. I know it is. I can feel it,” she said.

The museum is asking for anybody who was delivered by Dr. Ford or former patients who would like to take part in the photo shoot, to please get in touch at sylvia@lambepr.com or 720-276-3880 or leave a private message on the BAWM’s Facebook page.

Kathy Walsh

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