Huffington Post has come up with a list of 50 of the most influential women in health. Most of them are Americans. Some are living and some are not. Their list is quite comprehensive but not all women are included. For example, one comment mentioned Frances Oldham Lelsey who kept thalidomide off the US market in the early 1960s. President Kennedy awarded her the President's Award for Distinguished Federal Service.
This is in honor of Women's History Month. The women mentioned may have been the reason you were able to receive a blood transfusion, had radiation therapy, or lost weight by counting calories.
One noted woman is Rosalind Franklin. Her story tells the too-familiar one of how women’s remarkable contributions were not recognized at the time. Ms. Franklin was a geneticist whose work led to the best images of DNA strands of her era, but co-worker Maurice Wilkins shared her images with others. It was Mr. Wilkins and the others who won a Nobel Prize. It was decades later that Franklin was recognized for her contribution.
Ten of these women are:
1. Sarah Adamson Dolley, M.D., Advocate For Women In Medicine
Dr. Sarah Adamson Dolley was the third female physician in the U.S. and the first female hospital intern. After studying in Rochester, N.Y., Paris, Prague and Vienna, she had a joint practice with her husband.
2. Virginia Apgar, M.D., Developer Of Apgar Score
Dr. Virginia Apgar, M.D., (born in 1909, and died in 1974) is best known for developing a standardized system to evaluate the health of babies when they are born. The system, called the Apgar score, was developed in 1952 before the era of fetal monitors and involved looking at the infant's breathing, skin color, muscle tone,
3. Regina Benjamin, U.S. Surgeon General
Dr. Regina Benjamin, M.D., M.B.A., 56, was appointed by President Barack Obama to be the 18th U.S. Surgeon General.
Prior to her appointment, Benjamin was an inspirational example of continuing on in the face of adversity -- the rural health clinic that she founded in Bayou La Batre, Alabama., was destroyed multiple times by storms (including Hurricane Katrina).
4. Elizabeth Blackwell, First Female M.D.
Today, close to half of medical school graduates are women -- but the first woman to earn an M.D. after her name was Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, who achieved the milestone by graduating from New York's Geneva Medical College on Tuesday, January 23, 1849. Blackwell, who was born in England in 1821 and moved to the U.S. at age 11, also co-founded the New York Infirmary for Women and Children in 1857.
5. Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler, M.D., First African-American Female M.D.
Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler was the first African American woman to earn an M.D. in the United States. She attended the New England Female Medical School (now Boston University School of Medicine) and graduated with a degree in 1864.
6. Rachel Carson, Biologist And Author
Scientist and writer Rachel Carson grew up on a 65-acre farm in rural Pennsylvania. She attended the Pennsylvania College for Women, where she started out as an English major, but then switched to biology, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service -- she later earned her master's degree in zoology from Johns Hopkins.
7. Jane Fonda, Actress And Fitness Advocate
The 1980s queen of fitness brought workouts to the living room. Fonda released her first exercise video, "The Jane Fonda Workout," in 1982, which sold 17 million copies and earned the distinction of the best selling home movie of all time, according to IMDB. "No one had ever done a fitness video before."
8. Patricia S. Goldman-Rakic, Neuroscientist
Patricia S. Goldman, a renowned neuroscientist, was born April 22, 1937 in Salem, Mass. She received her bachelor's degree from Vassar College in 1959 and a doctorate from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1963. She went on to join Yale's faculty in 1979 after an impressive stint of research at facilities like UCLA, New York University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
9. Jane Hodgson, M.D., Gynecologist
The only doctor ever convicted for performing an abortion, Dr. Jane Hodgson agreed to perform the procedure in order to challenge the law in her home state of Minnesota.
Hodgson's conviction was suspended pending an appeal, according to her obituary, and overturned once the Supreme Court case, Roe V. Wade was heard.
10. Mia Hamm, Professional Soccer Player
Mia Hamm is on the (very) short list of household names when it comes to American soccer players. And rightfully so: Hamm played for the U.S. Women's National Team for 17 years, winning two world championships and two Olympic gold medals, before retiring in 2004, according to her website. In that time, she scored 158 goals in international games -- more than any other soccer player, male or female, in the history of the sport, Forbes reported.