Millie E. Hale contributed significantly to the health and welfare of Nashville's African American population in the early twentieth century by establishing a small hospital for those turned away by white institutions. A graduate of Fisk University and the Graduate School for Nurses in New York City, Hale opened the Millie E. Hale Hospital July 1, 1916, and served as its head nurse and chief administrator. Located at 523 Seventh Avenue, North, the facility grew from an original twelve beds to seventy-five beds by 1923 and became a training center for local nurses.
In addition to providing much needed medical care to African Americans, the Millie E. Hale Hospital formed an auxiliary branch that conducted a variety of beneficial charitable and social programs. The auxiliary gave instruction in health education and assisted the poor and the elderly with basic needs such as food and fuel. It also managed a prenatal and infant clinic in the Hale's home.
Hale's husband, John Henry Hale, a prominent surgeon and professor at Nashville's Meharry Medical College, continued to manage the hospital after her death in 1930. In 1938 Dr. Hale, the surgeon-in-chief at the Hale Hospital, was appointed chief of surgery at Meharry, and the Millie E. Hale Hospital closed.