On October 5, Martha N. Hill, PhD, RN, professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, was named one of Reader’s Digest 1999 Women’s Health Heroes. The award is given annually to 10 leaders who have made a significant impact on women’s health.
Dr. Hill was cited for her efforts to raise awareness about women and heart disease. In 1997, Dr. Hill was the first nurse and non-physician to be elected president of the American Heart Association. A representative from Reader’s Digest referred to Dr. Hill as “a cultural mechanic – tuning up the health care machine to keep up with real-life trends.”
“More than 500,000 women die from heart disease every year,” says Dr. Hill. “That’s more than all of the fatalities from breast, cervical, endometrial and ovarian cancers combined.”
In addition to Dr. Hill, the other 1999 Women’s Health Heroes are Joan Borysenko, one of the first to study mind/body medicine; Katie Couric, co-anchor of the Today show and colon cancer awareness advocate; Gail Hayward, founder of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition; Joanne Koenig-Coste, founder of the first special care facility for Alzheimer’s patients; Sandra Levison, creator of the first model women’s health medical school curriculum; Representative Nita Lowey, D-NY, women’s health advocate; Karolyn Nunnallee, president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving; Betty Rollin, breast cancer awareness pioneer and NBC correspondent; and Lila Wallis, founder of the National Council on Women’s Health.
The award was given at an October 5 banquet held at The Plaza Hotel in New York.