Friday, March 4, 2016

Women's History Month and Public Health Contributions

March is celebrated as Women’s History Month. There are many women who have made a difference in our public health:
  • Marie Curie, a two time Nobel Prize winner. After her husband’s death, she continued the couples radiation research while raising two daughters.
  • Dr. Virginia Apgar, M.D., developed a system of evaluating the health of newborns which is still used today.
  • After the death of her beloved grandfather by cancer, Gertrude Belle Elion developed the first major drug used to fight leukemia and continued to find ways to fight cancer during her career.
  • In the 1990s we saw the first female Hispanic Surgeon General, Dr. Antonia Novello. She focused on the health of young people, women and minorities. She had an effective campaign against the tobacco company’s use of Joe Camel advertisements.  
  • Dr. Regina Benjamin continued to rebuild a rural health clinic she founded in Alabama that was destroyed after multiple storms and a fire. She was appointed the first black woman, under the age of 40, as a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Medical Association and our 18th U.S. Surgeon General.
Let's celebrate all the women throughout history, and those that are currently making their mark, and their contributions to public health.