Celebrating Women's History Month
March is Women’s History Month. While the country commemorates the role of women in American History, at Cook Children’s Health Care System, we celebrate the role of women in building one of the largest free-standing pediatric health centers in the country. After all, it was the vision and generosity of two women that started it all.
One, a former postmistress with few financial resources, Mrs. Ida L. Turner, who dreamed of a place where fragile babies would be cared for regardless of their family’s ability to pay. Her vision and hard work led to the opening of the Fort Worth Free Baby Hospital in 1918.
The other, a wealthy heiress who wanted to honor her late husband by helping sick children. In 1929, Mrs. Missouri Matilda Nail Cook dedicated the oil royalties from the Cook Ranch to build the W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital.
Eventually, the two children’s hospitals became one and grew to be one of the finest pediatric medical institutions in the country with more than 1.5 million patient encounters every year. Throughout our 105-year history, the women of Cook Children’s have championed children; nurtured the sick and hurting; led innovation in science, medicine and technology; and steered the business of health care with imagination, safety, generosity, kindness, respect and collaboration. While these women number in the thousands over the course of Cook Children’s history, this year, we’re highlighting a few who have made their mark in medicine. Each comes from different backgrounds, different specialties and different decades, but they all share two things — a passion for their work and the Promise to improve the well-being of every child in our care and our communities.
VIDEO: We went around and asked our Cook Children's employees to tell us about a Woman Who Inspires Them, and here's what they said.
Want to share your story or highlight a woman at Cook Children's? Email us at InternalCommunications@cookchildrens.org with an overview of what you want to share for Women's History Month.
Meet Dr. Candace Gamble, a geneticist and skeletal dysplasia investigator. She looks to her career as her calling, relying on her faith and the team she leads, keeps her well-rounded and focused on her divine purpose to serve others.
Dr. Carla Smith, D.O. is a trailblazer and inspiration to many at Cook Children's. She's always wanted to be a doctor and pediatrician, and loves working with children and their love for health and wellness.
Dr. Shanna Combs, our first pediatric and adolescent gynecologist (PAG) in the history of Cook Children's never saw herself as an OB/GYN, now Dr. Combs describes how she landed in the world of PAG.
Here's a list of fun facts and recognitions to celebrate women pioneers.
Last updated: March 3, 2023
|Elizabeth Blackwell, M.D.
|First woman in the United States to be granted an MD degree.
|Rebecca Lee Crumpler, M.D. First African American woman to earn an M.D.
|“I early conceived a liking for, and sought every opportunity to relieve the suffering of others,” - Dr. Crumpler
|Mary Putnam Jacobi, M.D.
|The first woman to study at l’École de Médecine in Paris with her most outstanding contribution was debunking myths about menstruation.
|Ann Preston, M.D.
|The first woman dean of a U.S. medical school
|Susan LaFlesche Picotte, M.D.
|First Native American woman in the United States to earn a medical degree.
|Gerty Theresa Cori, PhD
|First U.S. woman to win a Nobel Prize in science.
|Virginia Apgar, M.D.
|Created the first tool to scientifically assess a neonate’s health risks and need for potentially life-saving observation.
|Trailblazing disability rights activist with contributions to the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act into law in 1990.
|Patricia Goldman-Rakic, PhD
|Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia — scientists’ understanding of these conditions and many more are founded on the groundbreaking research of Patricia Goldman-Rakic.
|Antonia Novello, M.D.
|First woman and Hispanic to serve as U.S. surgeon general.
|Joycelyn Elders, M.D.
|First African American and second woman to serve as U.S. surgeon general.