Meet Herberta Smith
She’s Called Simpson House Home Since 2018
A lifetime of caring
A plaque on Herberta Smith’s wall at Simpson House quotes Philippians 4:13—“I can do all things through Christ.” That faith has taken her halfway around the world and back again, caring for others.
Nursing body, mind and spirit
Herberta was born in Darby in 1932. In the 1950s, she went to the Mercy-Douglass Hospital School of Nursing, an African-American hospital and Philadelphia’s first school for Black nurses. She also attended Northeastern University. She started her nursing career in 1955. Eventually she became a nurse practitioner—an advanced practice registered nurse certified and licensed to provide primary care, including evaluating patients, ordering tests, diagnosing and treating patients, and prescribing medications. They emphasize a whole-patient approach to care. She has a daughter, who also became a nurse, and a son who is a bank trust officer.
Responding to the call
In 1988, facing a personal challenge, Herberta prayed to Christ for a sign.
“The Holy Spirit came to me,” she says. The Episcopal Diocese had an opportunity for her to go to the mission field in Uganda. Over the next three decades, she would spend a total of six years in various locations there. She made her last trip to Uganda in 2016 at the age of 83, two years before she moved to Simpson House. Today, she still encourages others to follow a spiritual path and stay connected to others.
“Persevere and be patient,” Herberta counsels. “And, above all, care about others.”