Hopkins Grants Focus on Contributions of Women in Medicine

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‘Our mutual commitment to excellence and equality makes this an ideal partnership’

The Women in Medicine Legacy Foundation and The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have partnered to offer two grants to research and preserve the contributions of women in the field. 

Founded in 1893, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine was the first graduate-level medical school in the nation to accept women on an equal basis as men, a mandate imposed by the women who raised funding for establishment of the school. 

“Our mutual commitment to excellence and equality makes this an ideal partnership,” says Julia Haller, M.D., president of the Foundation. Dr. Haller also completed her residency and fellowship at Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital. “Together, we will preserve important historical research into women in medicine that will inform and inspire future generations.”

The Foundation is granting $3,500 to each award recipient to research contributions made by women in medicine. Grants will be awarded annually to a medical student and graduate student respectively. Male students as well as female students are eligible to apply.

The research awards are named for two trailblazing women. Mary Elizabeth Garrett, a Baltimore philanthropist, successfully campaigned for the admission of women to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Florence Rena Sabin, a 1900 graduate of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, was one of the first women physicians to embark on a career as a research scientist, becoming the first full professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Research will be conducted in the collections of the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives of The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. The archives contain significant holdings relating to the rise of women in medicine from the late nineteenth century to the present. Personal paper collections of women physicians and scientists affiliated with Johns Hopkins are represented in addition to other resources in which the role of women faculty and students are documented. Included are collections of institutional records, visual materials, sound recordings, and artifacts.

Being able to pursue a research topic in the archives will afford grant awardees a special opportunity to contribute to the scholarship of the history of women in medicine. Each award recipient will work closely with a faculty mentor and an archivist mentor. The works created through their research will be preserved in the Chesney Medical Archives, forming a rich, continually growing, and publicly available body of original scholarship that will serve as a valuable resource for years to come.

Nancy McCall, director of the archives, is hopeful that the launch of the program for the research awards will also “inspire more women faculty to contribute to the continuum of scholarship by preserving the records of their careers in the archives."

Alicia Lazzaro