Women’s History Month

In honor of Women’s History month, we celebrate former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Antonia Coello Novello. When Dr. Antonia Coello Novello was appointed Surgeon General of the United States by President George Bush in 1990, she was the first woman and the first Hispanic ever to hold that office. Her appointment came after nearly two decades of public service at the National Institutes of Health, where she took a role in drafting the Organ Transplantation Procurement Act of 1984. One of her most visible and effective campaigns was against the 1980s tobacco industry advertising aimed at children that featured the cartoon character “Joe Camel.” Continuing her childhood dream to help other sick children, in 1993 she left her post as U.S. Surgeon General to work for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). She later became Health Commissioner for the state of New York where she continued her efforts to increase awareness for urban health and education.

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