New Jersey Women's Heritage
Lena Frances Edwards, MD
Courtesy, Jersey Journal
Dr. Edwards, a 1924 graduate of Howard University Medical School,
established her long medical practice in Jersey City in 1925. Her practice was largely
within the European immigrant community. An advocate of natural childbirth, she struggled
for years before being admitted for a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Margaret
Hague Hospital in Jersey City. During her long career in service to others, she taught
obstetrics at Howard University Medical School, was medical advisor to the National
Association of Colored Women's Clubs, and volunteered at a mission for Mexican migrant
workers in Texas. Her service to society was recognized by President Lyndon B. Johnson in
1964 when he awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. A devout Roman Catholic, she
was given the Poverello Medal in 1967, as one whose life exemplified the ideals of St.
Francis of Assisi.