The renowned Puerto Rican doctor Antonia Novello, the fourteenth surgeon general in the United States, has been selected by USA Today as one of the 100 most influential women of the century for her contributions to the world of science, medicine and education. .
The publication singled out Novello for raising national awareness of women with AIDS and neonatal HIV transmission, domestic violence, and underage drinking during her years as the first Hispanic woman to serve as Surgeon General.
The outlet also highlighted her work as special representative of the United Nations Children's Fund from 1993 to 1996, where she expanded her efforts to address the health and nutrition needs of women, children, and adolescents.
The list was created to commemorate the centennial of the 19th Amendment — which protects the constitutional right of women to vote — and celebrates women it is those who have had a significant impact on their communities and their country.
Along with Dr. Fajardeña is the first female astronaut Ellen Ochoa; Mona Hanna- Attisha- pediatrician and scientist who tested the health damage of children from leaded water in Michigan; NASA scientists responsible for making the first trip to space, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson and Katherine Coleman Johnson (story in the movie Hidden Figures). Also Virginia Apgar, creator of the Apgar method that is used to measure the health of newborns; and Grace Murray Cooper, who is credited with programming a language accessible to all through the computer.
Additional figures on the list are recognized for their achievements in categories such as: arts and literature, business, rights civil, education, entertainment, law, media, non-profit organizations and philanthropy, politics, and sports.
In recent years, Dr. Novello has dedicated herself to serving those most in need, especially her beloved Puerto Rico. Promoter of immunization as spokesperson for VOCES Collation of Immunization and Health Promotion of Puerto Rico, constantly carrying educational messages through the media. His work after Hurricane María
restored health to the most affected areas. And more recently, it has remained in support of the communities on the island with consequences as a result of the earthquakes and in orientation about the Covid-19 pandemic.