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    This group of women are just a few of those who have been advocates for women's health and awareness, leading women in health sciences, or have been a beacon of hope through very trying times. Adhering to the theme of "Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope," these notable women are being shown for their advocacy, accomplishments, and perseverance of hope when faced with the odds against them.

    Notable women in history were selected from various categories to represent how far-reaching the meanings of health and healing truly mean, from the physical to the mental and from the founders to the educators. If you would like to view more notable women in history of different categories, you may take a look at History's Women's History Month for 2022.

    Nadia Murad is a Yazīdī human rights activist who was kidnapped by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL; also called ISIS) and sold into sex slavery. She escaped three months later, and shortly after she began speaking out about human trafficking, sexual violence, and the mistreatment of the Yazīdī community more broadly. She was appointed the United Nations’ Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking in 2016 and received several accolades. In 2018 she was a corecipient, with Congolese physician Denis Mukwege, of the Nobel Prize for Peace. She has been a beacon of hope, taking a horrible crime done to her, and then turning her voice to fight for the mistreatment and rights of the Yazīdī women and community.

    Reference: Photo was provided from Britannica.

    In 1879, Mary Eliza Mahoney made history as the first African American woman to become a professionally trained registered nurse in the United States. She helped form the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses and was an advocate for education and professional rights for all minorities. 

    Reference: Photo was provided from EBSCOHost.

    Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rohde specialized in psychiatric nursing. She focused on cultural awareness in nursing, working specifically with Hispanic populations in New York City and stressing that a nurse must know a culture well to provide the best care. Dr. Murillo-Rohde was instrumental in the founding of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses in 1975. An active member of the American Nurse Association, Ildaura was concerned that the ANA was not meeting the needs of Latino nurses. Her vision was to assist Latinas in securing their education to provide service to their community and in helping themselves.

    Reference: Photo was provided from National Association of Hispanic Nurses.

    Virginia Henderson's legacy is still alive today through the use of her theory that nurses should be devoted to their patients and help them learn to care for themselves again. Her career centered on educating nurses, and her work continues to influence the nursing practice. 

     

    Reference: Photo was provided from Nurse Labs.

    Susan La Flesche Picotte was the daughter of a white army surgeon and his Omaha wife, she was a practicing physician, missionary, social reformer, and political leader. Picotte defended the interests of the Omaha, and even devoted her energies to their physical well-being at home. She was a vigorous leader in modern medical care, and public health improvements, but even with all this she never abandoned her tribal roots or her overriding concern for her people.

    Reference: Photo was provided from EBSCO.

    Antonia Coello Novello was born in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, with a birth defect affecting the large intestine called megacolon. Novello overcame childhood illness and poverty to become one of the country’s most successful public health leaders. She turned what could have been a discouraging medical diagnosis into motivation to help others gain equal access to health care. Novello is one of the most influential Latino role models in health care and continues to work to improve care for minorities.

    Reference: Photo was provided from EBSCO.

    Zitkala-Sa's activism helped secure the passage of the Indian Citizenship Act in 1924. In 1926, Zitkala-Sa founded the National Council of American Indians,  this council actively sought to unite all Native American tribes and obtain citizenship for all Native Americans, as well as to improve health-care, and education for all Native Americans. Zitkala-Sa served as president of the council until her death in 1938.

    Reference: Photo was provided from EBSCO.

    Joycelyn Elders served as U.S. surgeon general, the first black and the second woman to hold that post. As chief U.S. medical officer, she played an important role in Clinton’s early efforts to reorganize the health care system, and she regularly urged the public to consider unorthodox solutions to public health problems. While working in the Arkansas Department of Health in 1987 she nearly doubled childhood immunizations, expanding the state’s prenatal care program, and increasing support for elderly and terminally ill patients.

    Reference: Photo was provided from Britannica.

    Dr. Ellen Ocha made history as the first Latina woman to go into space via Space Shuttle Discovery in 1993. Since then, she served as the 11th director of the Johnson Space Center and has continued to be an advocate for education and research in the STEM field.

    Reference: Photo was provided from EBSCO.

    Chien-Shiung Wu was considered one of the foremost female physicists during her lifetime. She is remembered primarily for her research in nuclear forces and structure, which helped disprove the principle of conservation of parity. Until 1957, the conservation of parity, related to symmetry, was considered a basic law of nuclear physics. Wu’s findings in nuclear physics led to further research by other influential physicists, including Feynman, Gell-Mann, Robert Marshak, and George Sudarshan.

    Reference: Photo was provided from EBSCO.

    Mary Anning was a self-taught Paleontologist who discovered the first Plesiosaurus, along with thousands of other fossils that she sold to make a living. Scientists would often purchase her fossils to benefit their own scientific research, rather than recognize her research and work. 

    Reference: Photo was provided from EBSCOHost.

    Zora Neale Hurston, as a writer and anthropologist, spent her life studying and promoting black culture. Most known for her work, Their Eyes were Watching God, Hurston was a lifelong student, artist, writer, and educator of the culture she dedicated her life to.  

    Reference: Photo was provided from EBSCOHost.

    Star of the silver screen, Anna May Wong was the first Chinese American actress in Hollywood. She appeared in over sixty films, numerous plays, and was even cast in one of the first movies made in Technicolor. She developed an illness called Sydenham's chorea, at a very young age, but recovered after months of treatments. Shortly after this encounter, she pursued her dream of becoming an actress with renewed vigor, even against the protests of family and friends.

    Reference: Photo was provided from EBSCO.

    Dr. Annie Dodge Wauneka was a politician and public health activist who worked tirelessly to reconcile differences between Western and Navajo traditions in healthcare. Wauneka was named chair of the Health and Welfare section of the Community Services Committee. She addressed cultural differences hampering treatment as well as sanitation and cleanliness issues impacting the spread of disease. In addition to her work on tuberculosis, she focused on other medical issues, including healthcare for pregnant women and infants, and alcohol abuse. Annie also assisted doctors with compiling an English-Navajo dictionary of medical terms after observing the inadequacy of translations.

    Reference: Photo was provided from New Mexico Historic Women Marker Initiative.

    Rebecca Lee Crumpler was the first black woman to earn a medical degree. She wanted to help people and believed that training to become a physician was the best way to do this. Although few people originally remembered her accomplishments, researchers were able to confirm her rightful place in history as the first black female doctor in the United States.

    Reference: Photo was provided from EBSCOHost.