The late Dr. Roselyn Payne Epps was a pioneering pediatrician and medical administrator who achieved some notable firsts in her long career. Dr. Epps is the first Black national president of the American Medical Women’s Association, and we take a look back at her career on her day of birth.

Epps was born on this day in 1930 in Little Rock, Arkansas and raised primarily by her educator parents in Savannah, Georgia, growing up on the campuses of Savannah State University. Epps attended Howard University in 1951, earning both her undergraduate and master’s degrees there. She began working in a variety of medical roles throughout the Washington, D.C. region, later obtaining her MPH degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1973.

After working in a variety of high-profile roles, including her role as Acting Commissioner of Heath for the District of Columbia in 1980, and as chief of Howard University’s chief of its Child Development Division and director of the Child Development Center, the AMWA elected Epps as its president in 1991. Part of her role was to expand the reach of medical professionals across all communities via volunteer work and academics.

Epps and her husband, Dr. Charles H. Epps Jr., an orthopedic surgeon, passed their wealth of knowledge to  their four children, three of whom hold medical degrees and one who earned an MBA. Epps has also authored over 90 medical articles in both children’s and women’s health research, and served as an editor of medical books.

Dr. Epps passed in 2014 at the age of 83.

PHOTO: American Medical Women’s Association

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