WOMEN IN HISTORY AND HEALTH
HELLO everyone and Welcome to #FACTUAL FRIDAY. Today we continue our Four- Part Series on WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH. This week we’ll profile three more women whose accomplishments changed the way medicine and healthcare are practiced throughout the world. These are our HEROINES IN HISTORY AND HEALTH – Enjoy!
ELIZA ANN GRIER
In the middle of the Civil War in 1864, Eliza Ann Grier was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, to Emily and George Washington Grier. Although she was born into slavery, the end of the War brought with it new opportunities for all African Americans – especially the opportunity to attend school and seek an education.
By the time Eliza Ann was twenty, she had enrolled in the Normal Department at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. She worked her way through school juggling course work and several different jobs, while also involving herself with social change in the South and serving as the President of the Young Ladies Lyceum in 1890.
Eliza Ann graduated from Fisk in 1891 and began teaching at the Haines Normal and Industrial Institute until she applied for and was accepted to the Woman’s Medical College in Pennsylvania. She became one of a handful of African American female physicians in America and made history when she became the first African American woman to be granted a license to practice medicine in Georgia.
Eliza Ann was devoted to improving the health and hygiene standards for African Americans in the rural South by building a private practice and teaching at the Hospital and Training School for Nurses in Charleston, South Carolina. She also was among the 200 attendees of the Tuskegee Negro Conference in 1901 – just one year before her death. THANK YOU, ELIZA ANN GRIER.
Although this brilliant chemist never lived or worked in America, the scientific accomplishments and contributions of Rosalind Franklin resonated in the world of scientific discovery laying the foundation for modern medicine and healthcare not only in the United States, but throughout the world. Because, it is she who discovered “the secret of life.”
Born in London, England in 1920, Rosalind knew from an early age she wanted to be a scientist. Her education included years at several schools and universities, including Newnham College in Cambridge from which she received her Bachelor’s Degree in chemistry.
While working as a research associate at King’s College London, Rosalind made an amazing discovery. She photographed DNA and realized there were two different kinds. And, it was one of these photographs that became famous as the critical evidence in identifying the structure of DNA.
Unfortunately, when Rosalind’s work and photographs were given without her permission to James Watson and Francis Crick, it was they who received the credit for cracking the DNA code and awarded a Nobel Prize for the work – not Rosalind.
Without complaint, criticism or confrontation, Rosalind turned her attention to other sciences and published 17 papers on viruses, which laid the foundation for structural virology. She died prematurely at the age of 37 from ovarian cancer, but left a scientific legacy that made modern medicine and healthcare as we know it today possible. THANK YOU, ROSALIND FRANKLIN.
Born in 1867 in Warsaw, Poland, Maria Sklodowska or Marie Curie, was another world figure whose scientific work impacted modern medicine and healthcare in America and around the world as we know it today.
While a top student in her secondary school, Marie could not attend the male-only University of Warsaw. So, she continued her education in Warsaw’s “floating university,” which consisted of underground classes held in secret. She studied chemistry, physics and math as she supported herself working as a tutor and governess.
Earning Master’s Degrees in physics and math, Marie’s experiments on uranium rays created the field of atomic physics and it was she who coined the term “radioactivity.” Teaming with her husband, Marie also discovered the radioactive elements “polonium” and “radium.”
For her work with radioactivity, Marie became the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in physics. And, she worked tirelessly during World War I to support the troops and bring x-ray machines known as “little Curies” onto the battlefield. She devoted her life to science and fought for the rights of women everywhere. THANK YOU, MARIE CURIE.
And, once again THANK YOU everyone for joining me. Next week, we’ll continue with Part 3 of our Series – HEROINES IN HISTORY AND HEALTH. I hope you’ll be here as we Salute three more amazing women who changed the face of Healthcare for all.
Until then, stay in GOOD HEALTH and . . .