We honor the service of all health care workers. Here are just a few of the women who have shaped American health history and places associated with them.
Dr. Virginia Alexander
Dr. Virginia M. Alexander was a pioneering Black doctor and public health expert who studied racism in the healthcare system.
Cora Reynolds Anderson
The first Native American woman to serve in a state legislature, Anderson championed public health.
Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell
Dr. Blackwell was the first woman in the US to earn a medical degree.
Dr. Margaret "Mom" Chung
Dr. Margaret “Mom” Chung was the first Chinese American woman to become a physician.
Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler
Dr. Crumpler was the first Black woman to earn a medical degree in the US.
Dr. Marie Equi
Dr. Equi was a physician and activist who focused on caring for poor and working-class patients in the American West.
Dr. Alice Hamilton
Dr. Hamilton was a pioneer in industrial health and worker safety.
Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte
Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte was the first American Indian to receive a medical degree.
Orlean Hawks Puckett
Puckett was a midwife in Appalachia who served her community for years.
Dr. Helen Rodríguez Trías
Dr. Helen Rodríguez Trías was a public health expert and women’s rights activist.
Dr. Mary Edwards Walker
Dr. Mary Walker was a physician, women's suffrage advocate, Civil War veteran, and the only woman to receive the US Medal of Honor.
Annie Dodge Wauneka
A member of the Diné (Navajo) Nation, Annie Dodge Wauneka was a public health professional who served her community.
More Women of Public Health and Medicine
Clara Barton Homestead, Oxford, MA
Clara Barton grew up in this house. She went on to found the American Red Cross.
Blackwell's Island, New York City
Nelly Bly spent time as an inmate at the asylum here and wrote about it. It changed how people were treated. Now known as Governor's Island.
Kalaupapa Peninsula, Hawaii
The peninsula was the site of a leper colony during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Leprosy is now called Hansen's Disease.
Last updated: July 6, 2021