This week, the Voice of America Health Report highlighted Mary Ellen Avery and her life-saving surfactant discovery. The story includes a clip from Avery’s oral history interview in the Archives for Women in Medicine, and a fascinating anecdote from Children’s Hospital’s Dr. Anne Hansen regarding early use of surfactant replacement therapy:
“…The attending who I was on with said, ‘When you’re on call tonight, if there’s a baby born who’s premature, you should watch very closely the natural history of that disease, because this is the last night before we’re going to start giving Exosurf to all our preterm babies. So, this will be your last chance ever in your life to see what a preterm baby does when they don’t receive Exosurf.’ And then he told me the whole story of Dr. Avery and her discoveries.”
Read more: How a 1959 Discovery Saves Premature Babies
Perspectives, January 2011
“Margaret (Peggy) Hostetter, MD, Albert B. Sabin Professor and Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital presented “Tuberculosis in Literature from the 19th to the 21st Century” at Medicine Grand Rounds on September 29. Dr. Hostetter, a former CHB pediatric resident, discussed how fiction writers intuited the link between certain physical characteristics and susceptibility to TB, well in advance of medical science. Estherann Grace, MD, prefaced Dr. Hostetter’s presentation with a history of CHB women physicians including Dorothea May Moore, MD, CHB’s first woman physician and Mary Ellen Avery, MD, the first woman physician-in-chief at Children’s and the first woman to chair a major clinical department at Harvard Medical School.”
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NEA Newsletter, January 2010
With a newly hired project archivist, The Archives for Women is resuming progress on its efforts to bridge a documentation gap in the manuscript holdings of the Center for the History of Medicine by collecting, preparing for access, and promoting the papers of outstanding women in the Harvard medical community.
Several exciting new collections have recently been acquired by the AWM, including the papers of Carola Eisenberg, MD, former Vice-President of Physicians for Human Rights, an organization dedicated to the championship of physicians subjected to persecution in other countries; Joanne Ingwall, PhD, pioneer in the use of magnetic resonance spectroscopy to study cardiac energetics and function; and Nancy Tarbell, MD, an internationally recognized expert in pediatric radiation oncology and Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Office for Women’s Careers. We are looking forward to opening these and other collections of influential women leaders for research!
Press release, 27 April 2006
Archives for Women in Medicine at the Countway Library hosts opening of “Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America’s Women Physicians.”
On March 23rd 2006, the Countway Library officially opened the National Library of Medicine/American Library Association’s exhibition “Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America’s Women Physicians.” The exhibition tells the extraordinary story of how American women who wanted to practice medicine have struggled over the past two centuries to gain access to medical education and to work in the medical specialty they chose.
Read the full press release
Children’s Hospital created a poster, “Three women…a breath of life,” celebrating Mary Ellen Avery M.D., Mary Ellen Wohl M.D., and Lynne Reid M.D., in conjunction with the traveling exhibition, “Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America’s Women Physicians,” hosted by the Archives for Women in Medicine. The Archives for Women in Medicine’s holdings include personal and professional records of each of these luminaries.
"Three women... a breath of life" poster