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UVA Health Historical Research

Women at UVA Health

Women at UVA Health Historical Resource Guide

Pioneers

The Claude Moore Health Sciences Library maintains a list of woman pioneers in the history of UVA Health. We recognize that this list is incomplete and will add to it over time. If there are any additions that you would like to suggest, email us at: cmhslhc@virginia.edu.

Exhibits and Online Resources

  • Changing the Face of Medicine. An exhibition created by the National Library of Medicine to honor the lives and achievements of women in medicine. Several women physicians associated with UVA are featured, including Dr. Marcella F. Fierro, Dr. Vivian W. Pinn, Dr. Karen S. Rheuban, Dr. Laurel Wysong Rice, and Dr. Diane G. Snustad.

  • Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry. Based in the UVA School of Nursing, the Bjoring Center was established in 1991 to support historical scholarship in nursing. The Bjoring Center publishes a bi-annual newsletter, hosts a nursing history conference and other programs, and maintains manuscript and photograph collections. The website features recent digital projects and lists of historical resources and publications. (The scope of the Bjoring Center covers the broader history of nursing, but certain resources relevant to women at UVA Health are present.)

  • Retold: Celebrating the Women of UVA. An online exhibit and historical overview created by the UVA Alumni Association to mark the 100th anniversary of the Board of Visitors' 1920 resolution allowing some women to enroll in graduate and professional programs and the 50th anniversary of full coeducation at UVA.

  • Women at the University of Virginia: Breaking and Making Tradition. A library exhibit marking important events in the history of women at UVA. The original exhibition was curated by Larissa Mehmet and displayed at the Alderman Library in 2003. An online version was created in 2012.

  • Women's Education at UVA. A website and walking tour created by the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women's Center at the University of Virginia. The walking tour focuses on the women who attended UVA in the years between 1920-1970 and includes information on women in UVA's nursing and medical programs. 

  • Women's Survey Database. Part of a University of Virginia Library project documenting the history of women at the UVA. The database contains a collection of responses to a 1998 survey sent to women who were students at the University of Virginia between 1920-1976. Survey results have been anonymized and compiled into a searchable database.

Books, Articles, and Presentations

Below is a list of books, articles, and presentations related to the history of Women at UVA Health. The list is arranged in chronological order.

Oral Histories, Interviews, and Conversations

This is a list of known oral histories and interviews arranged in chronological order that document the history of women at UVA Health. Whenever possible, we include a direct link to an online version of the resource. When that is not possible, we provide a link to a catalog record that will indicate how you can access the resource at one of the University of Virginia's libraries.

  • Oral History Interview of Roy C. Beazley, 1973: Roy Carpenter Beazley received a nursing diploma from UVA (1930) as well as a B.S. in Nursing Education from the UVA Department of Education's Cabaniss Memorial School of Nursing Education (1941). She made significant contributions to nursing education during her 40 years at UVA, which included time as the Nursing Service Director at the UVA Hospital. Interview conducted by Charlotte Shelton.

  • Oral History Interview of Ruth Beery, 1973: Ruth Beery received her nursing diploma from UVA in 1928 and went on to serve as an instructor and Superintendent of Nursing at the UVA School of Nursing. In this recording she is interviewed by Charlotte Shelton.

  • Oral History Interview of Zula Mae Baber Bice, 1973: Zula Mae Baber Bice served as Professor and the second dean of the UVA School of Nursing (1961-1962, 1964-1966). Interview conducted by Charlotte Shelton.

  • Interview of Drs. W. LeRoy and Thelma Brumfield Dunn, 1976: Dr. Thelma B. Dunn and her husband Dr. William LeRoy Dunn (both graduates of the SOM Class of 1926) are interviewed by Charles E. Moran, Jr., about their lives and medical careers. 

  • Interview of Angela Brown, April 3, 1989: Angela Brown shares her experiences at the University of Virginia Hospital, both as a patient and as an employee for more than 40 years (circa 1930s to 1970s). Mrs. Brown talks about the different positions she held at the Hospital, her experiences as an African American patient in a period of racial segregation, the effects of racial integration on the Hospital, and stories about several physicians she worked with.

  • Julian Bond Interview of Dr. Vivian Pinn, 2007: Julian Bond conducted this interview of Dr. Vivian Pinn (SOM Class of 1967) as part of a series on Black leadership directed by Bond and Phyliss Leffler. During the conversation, Dr. Pinn shares stories about her childhood, education, experiences as a Black woman attending the UVA School of Medicine during the 1960s, and her distinguished career in Medicine. Julian Bond and Dr. Pinn also engage in a discussion about leadership and Black leadership. 

  • Interview of Dr. Sharon L. Hostler, 2010: Dr. Sharon L. Hostler is interviewed by Dr. Morton C. Wilhelm as part of the "History of Cancer Care at the University of Virginia" project, an effort sponsored by the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library which produced a book of the same title.

  • HistoryMakers Interview of Dr. Vivian Pinn, 2013: Dr. Vivian Pinn (SOM Class of 1967) is interviewed by Larry Crowe for the HistoryMakers project. In this 8 part interview, Dr. Pinn recalls her family history, childhood, early education, and her time at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. She also discusses her medical career and pathology research, the National Medical Association, and issues related to Black women's health.

  • A Conversation with Mavis Claytor, April 7, 2017: Mavis Claytor (UVA SON MSN 1985, BSN 1970) shares stories about her early life, her experiences as the first Black degree student in the UVA School of Nursing, and her distinguished career in nursing. The conversation was moderated by UVA SON PhD student Tori Tucker and was held in front of a large public audience. Ms. Claytor also takes questions from the audience. The program ends with a formal apology to Ms. Claytor from the UVA School of Nursing.  

  • Interview of Dr. Barbara Starks Favazza, 2017: Dr. Barbara Starks Favazza (SOM Class of 1966), shares stories about her experiences as the first Black woman to attend and graduate from the UVA School of Medicine. She also shares stories about her childhood, early interest in medicine, participation in the Civil Rights Movement, and later medical career. This interview is published in the book, "The Key to the Door: Early Experiences of African American Students at the University of Virginia."

  • Interview of Dr. Vivian Pinn, 2017: Dr. Maurice Apprey, UVA Dean of African American Affairs and Professor of Psychiatric Medicine, interviews Dr. Vivian Pinn (SOM Class of 1967). Dr. Pinn shares stories about her experiences as the only woman and African American in UVA School of Medicine's Class of 1967. She also discusses her views of and relationship with the University of Virginia after receiving her medical degree. This interview is published in the book, "The Key to the Door: Early Experiences of African American Students at the University of Virginia."

  • Double Take Talk by Dr. Vivian Pinn, 2018: Dr. Vivian Pinn (SOM Class of 1967) participates in the storytelling event that marked UVA President Jim Ryan's inauguration. In her presentation, Dr. Pinn recounts her experience as a first-year medical student at UVA in 1963.

  • Oral History of Dr. Linda Thompson, November 15, 2021: Part of a joint project to document the stories of medical alumni, led by the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library and UVA Medical Alumni Association.

  • Oral History of Dr. Dorothy Tompkins, November 19, 2021: Part of a joint project to document the stories of medical alumni, led by the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library and UVA Medical Alumni Association.

Records and Other Archival Materials

  • Women Medical Students at UVA, Notes of Janet Coleman Kimbrough, M.D., 1978: This is Dr. Janet Coleman Kimbrough's account of her experiences as a UVA medical student when women students were first being admitted to the school (with contributions added by Dr. Thelma Brumfield Dunn). Kimbrough graduated in the Class of 1926. Kimbrough describes courses in the various year, living arrangements, and her search for internships. A number of professors are mentioned including Robert Bennett Bean, Carl Caskey Speidel, Harvey E. Jordan, Harry T. Marshall, Gregory F. Lukianoff, Theodore Hough, James A. Waddell, John Staige Davis, Stephen "Burley" Watts, and James Carroll Flippin.

  • Women Medical Students at UVA, Additions by Thelma Brumfield Dunn, M.D., 1978: After collaborating with classmate Dr. Janet Coleman Kimbrough on an account of "Women Medical Students at UVA," Dr. Thelma B. Dunn wrote an additional section containing other memories and thoughts on her time at UVA. She writes about Sarah Ruth Dean, the first woman to graduate from the UVA School of Medicine. She also includes three stories about distinguished visitors to the University: William M. Thackeray, [Charles] Dickens, and Teddy Roosevelt. Professors that are mentioned include James A. Waddell, Harry T. Marshall, John Staige Davis, Stephen "Burley" Watts, Robert Bennett Bean, Harvey E. Jordan, Theodore Hough, John S. Lawrence, Alfred Chanutin, James Carroll Flippin, Henry B. Mulholland, J. Edwin Wood, William H. Goodwin, Isaac A. Bigger, John H. Neff, Allen F. Voshell, Lawrence T. Royster, William E. Bray, D. C. Smith, William A. Lambeth, George B. Young, Paul B. Barringer, and Kenneth F. Maxcy.

  • First Report on the Status of Women at the School of Medicine, Health Sciences Center, University of Virginia. (1990). Prepared for Robert M. Carey, Dean of the School of Medicine, by the School of Medicine Committee on Women, chaired by Dr. Sharon L. Hostler. The report includes statistics and other findings, as well as recommendations by the Committee.
Personal Papers (In Alphabetical Order by Last Name)
  • Rose Marie Chioni Papers, Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry: Rose Chioni was a faculty member and Dean of the UVA School of Nursing. Under her leadership, Virginia's first doctoral program in nursing was begun. The collection include personal and professional papers, presentations, and published articles focusing primarily on issues in nursing and nursing education (1950-1993).

  • Elizabeth Brown Mulholland Gamble papers, MS-16, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library: Elizabeth Brown Mulholland Gamble was active in volunteer efforts of the University of Virginia Hospital and School of Medicine for over sixty years. This small collection contains mostly correspondence.

  • Jeanette Lancaster Collection, Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry: Jeanette Lancaster served as Dean of the UVA School of Nursing from 1989-2008 and was elected to the Sadie Heath Cabaniss Professorship in Nursing. Later she became the first woman dean at UVA to have an endowed professorship named in her honor. Lancaster's papers come primarily from her years as Dean.

  • Josephine McLeod Collection, Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry: Clare Josephine McLeod served as Superintendent of Nursing at the University of Virginia Hospital from 1924-1937, overseeing both the hospital nursing service and the school of nursing. McLeod was a strong advocate for nursing education, and the collection includes correspondence, reports, and informational brochures relative to nursing training programs in Virginia. The collection also contains records from the Virginia State Board of Nursing.

  • Catherine Marie Russell Papers, MS-41, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library: Catherine Russell received her PhD in Microbiology from the University of Virginia in 1951 and served on the faculty of the UVA School of Medicine from 1951-1977. In 1974, she was appointed a full Professor in the School of Medicine, becoming the first woman to receive that distinction.

Video Content (In Chronological Order)
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