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To kick off 'Women's History Month', we wanted to take a moment to honor and share the lives of five incredible women — pioneers for women's health who helped shape the field. These five foremothers helped to understand and implement female health practices that are still widely used today. Together, they changed our healthcare system forever. 


An Egyptian gynecologist (around 200-420 CE), Metrodora is the author of the oldest medical text known to have been written by a woman "On the Diseases and Cures of Women". Through her work, which was used for centuries throughout ancient Greece, Rome and Medieval Europe by doctors treating women’s ailments, she taught countless doctors about gynecological examinations done with speculums, sexually transmitted infections and other medical concepts that have become a part of modern OB-GYN techniques.


The first female doctor in the United States, Dr. Blackwell co-founded the New York Infirmary for Women and Children. This was the first medical college for women (opened in 1867) that provided training and experience for women doctors and medical care for the poor. Dr. Blackwell faced numerous challenges throughout her education and practice as a female doctor, and therefore founded this institution to help provide opportunities for woman.


Marie Stopes was a scientific researcher, writer and public speaker, who published “Wise Parenthood” in 1918. This free book, was available to the general public, and was the first of its kind that explained how contraception worked. Stopes’ simple, concise advice helped countless women worldwide control their own fertility.


Eleanor Roosevelt had a significant impact on healthcare in the U.S. and around the world as the First Lady (1933-1945). With her belief that all people deserved access to healthcare as a fundamental right, Roosevelt was appointed as head of the UN Human Rights Commission in 1948. She helped write the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a “standard” to which all nations are, to this day, encouraged to aspire.


Virginia Apgar was an obstetrical anesthesiologist who also worked as a researcher. Apgar created the Apgar Score in 1952, which is still used worldwide to determine the health of newborns. Apgar also was an important figure during the Rubella pandemic, when she helped to prevent mothers from transmitting Rubella to their children during pregnancy.