Celebrating Inspiring Women

Feb 8, 2023


During March, we celebrate Women’s History Month – 31 days to acknowledge the female pioneers who have paved the way for us all to experience more health, more hope and more possibilities.

Who comes to mind when you think of an inspiring woman? Read on for a few women who could be added to your list!

A pioneer in health
Since Elizabeth Blackwell, MD, became the first woman in the United States to earn a medical degree in 1849, women have been making their mark as physicians. One pioneering public health advocate is Antonia Novello, MD, who was the first female and first Hispanic U.S. Surgeon General when she was appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1990.

Dr. Novello focused on the health of women and children, including pediatric AIDS. One of her most notable impacts was her initiative to end tobacco advertisement targeting children, such as ads with the “Joe Camel” cartoon. Learn more about Dr. Novello.

A pioneer in wholeness
Women are often known for wearing multiple hats – colleague, mother, spouse, friend. But they weren’t always recognized for being capable leaders and accomplished teammates. That changed in part thanks to Leta Stetter Hollingsworth, who is best known for her landmark contributions to the psychology of women and to education of gifted children.

Though not able to become a teacher because of New York City’s policy not to employ women in the role, Hollingsworth went on to complete a PhD in 1916. Her doctoral dissertation research monitored women over a three-month period and showed no evidence to support the myth that women’s mental and motor functions were inhibited by their menstrual cycle. Her work helped open the door for women to accomplish all the things they are capable of. Learn more about Leta Stetter Hollingsworth.

A pioneer in hope
Ellen G. White wasn’t just a founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. She was also a dedicated health reformer with a unique perspective about caring about the body for the 1860s. She encouraged her fellow Adventists to be on the cutting-edge of the health reform movement and to work to fix health-related problems in society. She was pivotal in the establishment of hospitals (including the centers that would later become Adventist Health White Memorial and Adventist Health St. Helena) as a way to show God’s love and to provide more health and well-being for all. Read more about Ellen White and the history of Adventist Health.

Tell a woman in your life she inspires you
While individuals like Novello, Hollingsworth and White are game-changing historical figures, women don’t have to be well-known to make a difference in the world around them. You may have a friend, family member, colleague or mentor who inspires you. 

Download our graphic and send a quick email or text during Women’s History Month to let her know the impact she’s made in your life.