Seven women who transformed Healthcare

[wpdts-date start=”post-created”] / By Blue Agilis

The world of Healthcare is a complex environment, and we have seen women in history and even today playing a vital role in shaping it. Their contributions have changed the course of health and healthcare, saved many lives, improved the quality of care, and built a safer place for us all to live in besides all the odds.

In the lead-up to Women’s History Month 2022, we want to highlight seven women who went above and beyond to innovate the way care was delivered in the Healthcare Industry. Each of these women successfully implemented evidence-based solutions and ran sprints in their line of work and made transformation easy.

1. Judy Faulkner | CEO of Epic Systems Corp.

She is one of the most talked-about self-made women who is changing the face of the Healthcare Industry. Judy Faulkner co-founded Human Services Computer, now Epic Systems, America’s leading medical-record software provider, in 1979. This software supports over 250 million patients’ medical records and is used by many top medical centers such as Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, and many more.

Started from a basement in Wisconsin, Judy now donates 99% of her earnings to a private charitable foundation. She is also on the Forbes list of Power Women 2021, America’s Self-Made Women 2021, America’s Top 50 Women in Tech 2018, and others for her success and contribution.

2. Dr. Joycelyn Elders

American physician and public health official, Joycelyn Elders, was the first African American and the second woman US Surgeon General. Joycelyn met a doctor for the first time in her life when she was 16 years old and that’s when she got the determination to become a physician. In 1960, she graduated from the University of Arkansas Medical School.

She became the first-ever board-certified pediatric endocrinologist in Arkansas. During her career, she initiated a project on preventing teen pregnancy through the availability of birth control, counseling, and sex education at school-based clinics, and increased the prenatal care program in the state. She achieved a 10-fold increase in early childhood screenings from 1988-1992 and a 24 percent rise in the immunization rate for two-year-old children.

3. Virginia Apgar

Virginia Apgar was an American physician, obstetrical anesthesiologist, and medical researcher. She invented the Apgar test, a system designed to combat infant mortality by evaluating the health of newborns. In 1949, she became Columbia’s first female professor at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She dedicatedly worked on anesthesia and childbirth and demanded to pay more attention to premature birth and childhood vaccination against rubella. Apgar received several awards and honors for her work and dedication to medicine.

4. Tan Sri Jemilah Mahmood

Tan Sri Jemilah Mahmood is a Malaysian medical professional and is the founder of Mercy Malaysia, a southern-based international humanitarian organization and co-founder of Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN). ADRRN remains the leading network for improving disaster response through capacity building, knowledge sharing, and policy support. She is currently serving as the Pro-Chancellor at the Heriot-Watt University since September 2021. Under her Leadership at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the IFRC developed a global innovation, including a futures and foresight unit, and spearheaded the use of Islamic social finance to address humanitarian crises.

5. Katalin Karikó

When the world was standing on the edge due to Covid 19 pandemic, many people worked effortlessly to save the lives of people. Among many, Katalin Karikó, a biochemist and researcher, is an important personality. She specializes in RNA-mediated mechanisms and along with her former colleague Drew Weissman, developed a method of utilizing synthetic mRNA to fight disease. This discovery is now the basis of the Covid-19 vaccine.

6. Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale was the pioneer of modern nursing practice. She was popularly known as “The Lady With the Lamp”, for spending her time in the wards during the nighttime going rounds giving aid to the wounded soldiers during the Crimean War in the 1850s. She changed and transformed the standard for hospitals and care facilities.

Nightingale drastically improved the sanitary condition of the military hospital and successfully decreased the mortality rate from 40 percent to just 2 percent. She was the one who created new standards and safe nursing practices that carried on for ages.

7. Katherine Luzuriaga, MD.

Dr. Luzuriaga is a renowned Filipino American physician and pediatric immunologist who uses scientific investigation to improve human health. She along with two other women researchers discovered and made a breakthrough that could cure newborns of AIDS when HIV is transmitted to them from their mother during birth. In 2013, Katherine was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.


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