Recognizing Healthcare Innovators This Black History Month
There are many great ways to celebrate and recognize Black History Month this February. Educating yourself is a foundational step to honoring those who have made a significant impact in our history and in the healthcare industry. From developing vaccines to fighting for health equity, Black healthcare professionals fought prejudice and injustice to change the health and wellness space.
Here are four inspiring individuals who changed the course of healthcare and race relations in the United States.
Mae Carol Jemison, Physician, Engineer and First Black Woman in Space
Before becoming the first Black woman in space, Mae Carol Jemison helped people all over the world as a medical officer in the Peace Corps. With her engineering background, she also formed the Jemison Group, an telecommunication organization that improves healthcare delivery all over the world. Today, Jemison is committed to her work at the BioSentient Corporation. As president and CEO, she oversees the medical device company as it designs equipment that monitors the autonomic nervous system.
Mary Eliza Mahoney, First Black Licensed Nurse and Women’s Rights Advocate
In 1878, Mary Elizabeth Mahoney earned her nursing degree at one of the first nursing schools in the United States. She became a private nurse for families where she found it was easier to care for the needs of her patients without overwhelming discrimination. Throughout her nursing career, she also championed women’s rights and was one of the first women to sign up to vote in Boston after the 19th Amendment was ratified.
Dr. Jane Cooke Wright, Surgeon and Cancer Researcher
The daughter of one of the first Black graduates of Harvard Medical School (Dr. Louis Wright), Dr. Jane Cooke worked alongside her father at the Cancer Research Foundation in Harlem after earning her medical degree. When her father passed, Dr. Jane Cooke Wright took the lead at the Foundation and continued her father’s research. Her findings helped transform cancer treatment by discovering how chemotherapy can be a viable treatment instead of a last resort.
Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, Scientific Lead of the Coronavirus Team
Dr. Kizzmekia “Kizzy” Corbett was a lead researcher in the COVID-19 vaccine development at the National Institute of Health’s Vaccine Research Center. Her research on spike proteins and mRNA encoding was foundational for creating the COVID-19 vaccines, including Moderna. Years of research led her and her colleague Barney Graham to design the basic structure of the lifesaving vaccine in just one weekend.
Additionally, to combat the historical hesitations Black communities have had on medical practices, Corbett worked to build trust by addressing the community’s concerns and increasing education on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. On top of being an advocate for health education, she also advocates for more diversity in her field, and we do too.
Honoring Our Industry’s Past By Helping Shape Its Future
We understand how crucial it is for people from all backgrounds to take care of others everywhere. That’s a big part of why our talent pool is so diverse. HealthCare Support is a national staffing resource that supports the professional, personal and financial goals of passionate healthcare professionals and places them in roles they’ll thrive in. With compassionate guidance and highly responsive support, our dedicated team helps healthcare workers take steps towards growing in their career.
To connect with our team, please give us a call at 888-219-6285.