The founder of the American Red Cross was often referred to as "The Angel of the Battlefield." Her work in the battlefields included an assignment from President Abraham Lincoln to search for the missing men of the Union army. While engaged in this work she traced the fate of 30,000 men. Born in 1821, Barton initially learned about nursing when her brother suffered a serious fall and she cared for him for two years. After a trip to Europe, where she was introduced to the International Committee of the Red Cross, she lobbied for three years to organize the American Red Cross in 1973. A humanitarian through and through, she advocated for women's suffrage and black civil rights. This true battlefield shero died in 1912.
Heide was teacher and director of nursing education at Pennsylvania State University (1957-1967), research assistant and project director for the American Institutes for Research (1967-1971), behavioral scientist and human resources and education consultant (1970-1985), and professor of women's studies and innovative and experimental studies and director of women's studies at Sangamon State University (1980-1982). She served as the third president of NOW, 1971-1974 and, in 1973, helped form the Women's Coalition for the Third Century, serving as the organization's vice president. Born in Pennsylvania iin 1926, she died of a heart attack in 1985.
With a dream to make it as a blues singer, Hunter left her Memphis home for Chicago at 17. By the time she was 21, she landed a 5-year contract with the cream of Chicago's blues clubs, Dreamland. She toured Europe, played New York, and wrote and recorded several records; or particular note is the acclaimed "Downhearted Blues." When her mother died in 1954, her life took a radical turn. She decided to become a nurse. She "invented" a high school diploma, enrolled in nursing school, and spent the rest of her long life fulfilling herself in the healing arts. She died at 89 in 1984.
Known to all as Sister Kenny, it was she who developed, between the years 1928 and 1940, a method of treatment for paralysis brought on by poliomyelitis well before the vaccine Jonas Salk developed was tested and used to prevent polio. It was a fall from a horse that started her interest in medicine: while convalescing, she studied the anatomy books of Dr. Aeneas McDonnell, who became her mentor. The Australian began work as an unofficial bush nurse in 1911, when she was 31. In 1917 she earned the title of Sister, which in the Australian Army Nurse Corps is the equivalent of a First Lieutenant. She used that title for the rest of her life. She developed the "Sylvie Stretcher"(named the patient for whom it was first devised). She gave the profits to the Australian Country Women's Association, who administered the sales and manufacture and marketed it in Australia, Europe and America. Kenny died in 1952.
Founder of nursing profession, she was the first woman to receive the British Order of Merit. Known fondly as "The Lady with the Lamp," the English nurse was born in 1820 to a wealthy English family in the city of Florence, Italy. Her parents strongly disapproved of her decision to become a nurse, but she prevailed. During the Crimean War, Nightingale led a staff of 38 nurses into the most horrific conditions: no medical supplies, defective sewers, and a lack of ventilation escalated typhoid, cholera, typhus and dysentery: 4077 soldiers died there. When she returned to England she began compiling evidence as to they whys and wherefores of these hospital deaths. Her subsequent advocacy of sanitary conditions played the central role in the establishment of the Royal Commission on the Health of the Army. Her 1,000-plus page detailed statistical report ultimately led to a major overhaul of army military care, and to the establishment of an Army Medical School, and of a comprehensive system of army medical records. She established the Nightingale Training School at St. Thomas' Hospital in 1860. Her comprehensive statistical study of sanitation in Indian rural life led to improved medical care and public health service in India. In 1859 Nightingale was elected the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society and she later became an honorary member of the American Statistical Association. She never married. She died in 1910.
A pioneer of the birth-control movement, she was the founder of the American Birth Control League, which eventually became the International Planned Parenthood Federation in 1948. She as the 6th of eleven children; her mother had 16 pregnancies. After her marriage to architect William Sanger, she went to work in the eastside slums of Manhattan and also started writing a weekly column, "What Every Girl Should Know," for the New York Call. She launched a monthly newsletter, The Woman Rebel, with the slogan "No Gods and No Masters": this was a year after her divorce. She opened a family planning and birth control clinic in Brooklyn in 1916-the first of its kind of the nation. The American nurse and civil rights activist also organized the first World Population Conference in 1927. Sanger's views on sexuality were conservative to the extreme, and she was a firm believer in eugenics. Nonetheless, she was a staunch defender of free speech and, for 50 years, an ardent and untiring advocate for family planning and birth control.