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Lillian Wald

Lillian D. Wald was a practical idealist who worked to create a more just society. Her goal was to ensure that women and children, immigrants and the poor, and members of all ethnic and religious groups would realize America's promise of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Gertrude Elion

Gertrude Elion's accomplishments over the course of her long career as a chemist were tremendous. Among the many drugs she developed were the first chemotherapy for childhood leukemia, the immunosuppressant that made organ transplantation possible, the first effective anti-viral medication, and treatments for lupus, hepatitis, arthritis, gout, and other diseases.

Phoebe Yates Levy Pember given charge of Confederate military hospital

November 29, 1862

On November 29, 1862, Phoebe Yates Levy Pember wrote a letter to her sister indicating that she was about “to take charge of one o

Dr. Rosalyn S. Yalow becomes first American-born woman to receive Nobel Prize in science

December 8, 1977

On December 8, 1977, Rosalyn Yalow became the first American-born and American-trained woman to receive a Nobel Prize in science when she accepted

Dr. Gerty Theresa Radnitz Cori wins Nobel Prize

December 10, 1947
Dr. Gerty Theresa Radnitz Cori became the first American woman to receive a Nobel Prize in science.

Army nurse Frances Y. Slanger killed by German artillery

October 21, 1944

On October 21, 1944, Frances Y. Slanger, R.N. died in Elsenborn, Belgium, a victim of a German artillery attack.

Gertrude Elion wins Nobel Prize

October 17, 1988

The October 17, 1988 announcement that chemist Gertrude Elion had won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine represented the culmination of an unlikely career.

Construction begins on Denver hospital inspired by Frances Wisebart Jacobs

October 9, 1892

Construction on a building that was to be called the Frances Wisebart Jacobs Hospital and is now known as the National Jewish Medical and

Rita Levi-Montalcini Wins the Nobel Prize

October 13, 1986

Rita Levi-Montalcini’s pioneering work on nerve growth earned her the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on October 13, 1986.

Birth of Confederate nurse Phoebe Yates Levy Pember

August 18, 1823

Phoebe Yates Levy Pember was born into an assimilated Charleston, South Carolina, family on August 18, 1823.

Spotlight on work of AIDS activist Mathilde Krim

June 24, 1983

Biologist Mathilde Krim recognized soon after the first cases of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) were reported in 1981 that this new dise

Lillian Wald celebrates 26th birthday by opening settlement house

March 10, 1893

Born into a successful merchant family in Cincinnati, Ohio, on March 10, 1867, and raised in Rochester, New York, Lillian Wald is remembered today as the

Public health pioneer Margaret Arnstein appointed dean of Yale School of Nursing

March 13, 1967

Born in New York City in 1904, Margaret Arnstein grew up in a family deeply involved in social health and welfare projects.

"New York Times" Reviews "Our Bodies, Ourselves"

March 13, 1973

In 1969, a group of women began meeting in the Boston area to discuss women's health issues.

Hilde Bruch publishes "The Importance of Overweight"

March 4, 1957

When The Importance of Overweight was published on March 4, 1957, Hilde Bruch was already a leading childhood obesity researcher.

"New Orleans Times-Picayune" celebrates 100th birthday of Elizabeth D.A. Cohen, Louisiana's first practicing female physician

February 22, 1920

The "New Orleans Times-Picayune" published an interview with Elizabeth D.A. Cohen, the first practicing female physician in Louisiana, on her 100th birthday.

Death of Henrietta Szold

February 13, 1945

Failing health had brought Henrietta Szold, in July 1943, to the Henrietta Szold Nursing School on the grounds of the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.

Who’s your women’s health hero?

Judith Rosenbaum

Our Bodies, Ourselves has created the Women's Health HeroesAward and is seeking nominations! I'm so excited about this opportunity to celebrate the activists I admire and to learn about the women whose work I'm not yet familiar with.

Topics: Feminism, Medicine


Judith Rosenbaum

Barbara Glickstein, a loyal reader of JWA's This Week in History feature, also happens to have a weekly program on public health on WBAI in NYC. Last week, she decided to do a piece on one of her personal heroes, Lillian Wald, to commemorate Wald's March 10 birthday and Women's History Month.

Topics: Radio, Medicine

Rosalyn Yalow

Rosalyn Yalow made a breakthrough contribution to medical research with the discovery of radioimmunoassay, which contributed to major advances in diabetes research and other medical conditions. She won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1977. At a time when it was rare for a woman to have a career in science, she defied gender barriers and pursued both a career and a family.

Lillian D. Wald

Guided by her vision of a unified humanity, Lillian D. Wald passionately dedicated herself to bettering the lives and working conditions of immigrants, women, and children. She founded the Henry Street Settlement in New York City and initiated America’s first public-school nursing program. A talented activist and administrator, Wald’s pathbreaking work continues to be memorialized.

Lillian Laser Strauss

Lillian Laser Strauss performed pioneering work in public health and child welfare in Pennsylvania, became a lawyer at age fifty, and, in the midst of active legal advocacy for public health, died suddenly of a heart attack at age fifty-six.

Maida Herman Solomon

Professor of social economy Maida Solomon was recognized as a pioneer in the field, contributing to the “invention” of the field of psychiatric social work and overseeing its definition, its development of standards, and its integration with the other institutions of modern American medicine and education—in short, its professionalism.

Esther Rome

A coauthor of Our Bodies, Ourselves, a classic women’s resource book, Esther Rome came of age with the onset of the modern feminist movement and was a leader in shaping modern American notions of self-help and advocacy for women’s physical and mental health.

Phoebe Yates Levy Pember

Phoebe Yates Levy Pember was a passionate Confederate and managed a hospital through the Civil War. Her memoir offers a window into daily life for acculturated Southern Jews and Jewish women in Christian high society in the South.


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