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Lape, Esther Everett (8 Oct. 1881–17 May 1981), journalist, World Court advocate, and medical care activist, was born in Wilmington, Delaware, the daughter of Henry Lape and Esther E. Butler, both Quakers. Receiving her primary and secondary education in public schools in Philadelphia, she attended Bryn Mawr College on a scholarship but transferred to Wellesley College where she received a bachelor’s degree in ...

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Parker, Pat (20 Jan. 1944–17 June 1989), poet, performer, health care administrator, and lesbian-feminist activist, was born Patricia Ann Cooks in Houston, Texas, the youngest of five children of Marie Louise Anderson Cooks, a domestic worker, and Ernest Nathaniel Cooks, who worked as a roofer in the summer and retreaded tires in the winter. Later the family moved outside of Houston to a small, tin-roofed house with an outhouse. Pat recalled writing at an early age, particularly composing greeting cards for festive occasions. In high school, she joined the staff of the local black newspaper and became the first woman junior editor of her school newspaper. She also served as editor her senior year and graduated from Houston’s Evan E. Worthing Senior High School in ...

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Parran, Thomas (28 September 1892–15 February 1968), public health administrator, was born in St. Leonard, Maryland, the son of Benjamin Parran and Mary Susan Latimer, farmers. After receiving his A.B. from St. John’s College in Annapolis in 1911, he enrolled in Georgetown University Medical School. He worked summers in the District of Columbia health service laboratory, an experience that led him to choose a career in public health, and he received his M.D. in 1915....

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Poston, Adele Suyder (7 Sept. 1884–15 May 1979), psychiatric nurse and nursing reformer and administrator, was born in Springdale, Arkansas, the third child of John Poston and Katherine (or Catherine) Elmore. She was raised and educated in Springfield, Illinois and, in 1904, she entered the Passavant Memorial Hospital Training School for Nurses in Jacksonville, Illinois. Following her training, she became in ...

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The Surgeon General serves as the federal government’s spokesperson on public health issues. The position has its roots in the Marine Hospital Service, established in 1798, which would evolve into the United States Public Health Service. In 1870, Congress created a national hospital system based on the Marine Hospital Service. The following year, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed the first supervising surgeon to lead the national hospital, and the position would come to be called the Surgeon General beginning in 1902....