March is National Women’s Month, which recognizes and celebrates the contributions women have made throughout our nation’s history – and continue to make today. Women have engineered especially significant impacts in science and health care, and I’m proud to be one of the many leaders at Kaleida Health making Western New York’s community healthy and strong.
In the 1960 and 70s, the world was changing around me at an unprecedented pace. Gender norms were being challenged for the first time on a truly nationwide level. While it wasn’t unheard of to see women physicians, it was rare…and rarely encouraged. Plus, since the field was dominated by men, finding a mentor was particularly challenging.
Mentorship is vital to becoming a successful physician and surgeon — uniquely so for women trainees and even for young girls interested in the natural and physical sciences. I benefitted tremendously from having outstanding teachers and I’ve been committed to educating, training and mentoring future generations ever since. As an experienced surgeon, it’s important to share my knowledge and encouragement with tomorrow’s difference makers. I’ve guided hundreds of aspiring pediatricians, pediatric surgeons, and general physicians, helping them to develop their physical examination skills, surgical techniques, patient/family communication and empathy, collegial rapport, administrative knowledge, industry awareness and research interests.
Leadership and innovation continues today by amazing women around the world. The book, “Passion and Purpose: Black Female Surgeons,” by Dr. Praise Matemavi, is a collection of inspiring stories from 75 women who span numerous surgical subspecialties and continents. As the book’s introduction states, “…these women were girls with visions who had the courage and fortitude to follow their dreams and embark on journeys that for most, no one who looked like them embarked on before.”
I’m also proud of what Kaleida Health is doing to serve women and their unique issues during the pandemic. Women’s mental health, for example has many unique characteristics and nuances, and I’m very pleased to see our system offering programming like this free March 10 workshop, Bearing the Brunt: Navigating Women’s Mental Health & Wellness in Unprecedented Times.
Also, throughout this month, Kaleida Health will highlight inspirational women on our Facebook and Instagram pages, so be sure to follow these pages to learn more – and then share their amazing stories with your own children and families!
#womenshistorymonth #womeninscience #womeninSTEM #InternationalWomensDay