Women’s History Month – Dr. Florence Nightingale Ward

Continuing our look at talented and trailblazing women, we’re highlighting the work of homeopathic physician Florence Nightingale Saltonstall Ward (1860-1919).

Illustration of Ward from San Francisco Chronicle, July 11, 1895. MSS 2011-08, box 1

Illustration of Ward from the San Francisco Chronicle, July 11, 1895. MSS 2011-08, box 1

Ward was a prominent San Francisco surgeon, obstetrician, and gynecologist from 1887 to her death in 1919. She dedicated her life to providing safer, more accessible medical care for women and developing techniques that made childbirth less dangerous.

Ward received medical training from a number of hospitals and schools in Europe and the United States, including California’s foremost homeopathic institution, Hahnemann Medical College of the Pacific. She later served as Professor of Obstetrics at Hahnemann and held leadership positions in local and national organizations, including becoming vice president of the American Institute of Homeopathy. In 1915, Ward became the second woman to be elected to the American College of Surgeons, an appointment that recognized her many contributions to the fields of gynecology and surgery.

Ward's diploma from the New York Polyclinic Medical School, 1888. MSS 2011-08, oversize box 1

Ward’s diploma from the New York Polyclinic Medical School, 1888. MSS 2011-08, oversize box 1

Ward built her own sanatorium exclusively for women in San Francisco between 1907 and 1910. She employed an all-female staff and provided unique career opportunities for women with professional medical training.

Invitation to Ward's sanitarium, 1910. MSS 2011-08, box 1

Invitation to Ward’s sanitarium, circa 1910. MSS 2011-08, box 1

Ward’s practice blended conventional medical techniques with homeopathic remedies and treatments. Homeopathy was developed by Samuel Hahnemann in the early 19th century. His system was based on the theory that a substance that causes certain symptoms in a healthy person will cure those symptoms in a sick person. Ward was likely drawn to homeopathy in part because the field provided more opportunities for women than conventional medical practice. For instance, homeopathy schools regularly accepted female students while medical schools routinely denied women applicants because of their gender. Homeopathic professional organizations also welcomed women’s participation. As women struggled to find a place in the American Medical Association, Ward and other women helped lead the American Institute of Homeopathy and delivered papers at major homeopathy conferences.

Ward's list of symptoms and their homeopathic treatments, ca. 1880. MSS 2011-08, vault

Ward’s list of symptoms and their homeopathic treatments, ca. 1890. MSS 2011-08, upstairs vault

At UCSF, we house the Florence Nightingale Ward papers, MSS 2011-08, and a collection of rare homeopathy material. Ward’s papers include homeopathic medicine kits used by her in the late 19th century. Take a look inside one monogrammed kit below. Many of the vials contain substances still used in homeopathic remedies today!

Ward's monogrammed homeopathic medical kit, circa 1900. MSS 2011-08, upstairs vault

Ward’s monogrammed homeopathic medicine kit, circa 1890. MSS 2011-08, upstairs vault

mss201108_upstairsvaultL6B_wardkit1

Ward’s monogrammed homeopathic medicine kit, circa 1890. MSS 2011-08, upstairs vault

mss201108_upstairsvaultL6B_wardkit3

Ward’s monogrammed homeopathic medicine kit, detail, circa 1890. MSS 2011-08, upstairs vault

mss201108_upstairsvaultL6B_wardkit2

Ward’s monogrammed homeopathic medicine kit, detail, circa 1890. MSS 2011-08, upstairs vault

New TCA Archivist

David Krah

David Krah

David Krah joins UCSF to work on processing collections in the Tobacco Control Archives. He will work alongside David Uhlich on processing state reports on tobacco control policy as well as the balance of unprocessed collections held in the Tobacco Control Archives.

David has a Masters Degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University, with a concentration in Archival Studies. He has worked on archival projects with the California Historical Society, the San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the Road & Track Magazine collection at Stanford University, and previously worked on the Ira Herskowitz papers and Lawrence Crooks Radiologic Imaging Laboratory records at UCSF.

He is a native Californian with interests in California history and transportation and livability issues. He enjoys composing and performing experimental and song-form music and cycling jauntily. He lives in San Francisco with his wife Nia and newborn daughter Thalia.

Women’s History Month – Ellen Brown

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re spotlighting a few of the many talented and trailblazing women who have been important in the history of UCSF and you may not have heard of before.

Today, read a little about the remarkable life and career of Ellen Brown, MD. We are fortunate to have Brown’s manuscript collection, MSS 87-42, and her oral history in the UCSF Archives & Special Collections.

Ellen Brown was born in San Francisco in 1912. She and her older brother Fred were raised by her parents, Warner and Jessie Brown, in Berkeley. Jessie was a high school teacher and botanist and Warner was a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley. Fred died at the age of 16 of respiratory complications of polio. His death had a lasting impact on Brown– she dreamed of becoming a doctor as a child.

photocoll_portraits_brown_1939

Ed Fong, Tesauro, and Brown in June, 1939.

Brown attended University High School in Oakland and went on to study at the University of California Berkeley, graduating with a bachelors degree in 1934. She continued to the UC Medical School’s San Francisco campus and graduated with her medical degree in 1939. In a class of  63 students, she was one of a handful of women.

Following graduation, Brown became chief resident under William J. Kerr, UC Chair of Medicine, from 1939-1943. The two worked closely for years– prioritizing cardiovascular research at UCSF. Brown helped to found the , which opened in 1958. Kerr was instrumental in laying the groundwork for the Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI), procuring the space on the 13th floor of Moffitt Hospital and funding from both UCSF and the National Heart Institute. The CVRI opened in 1958 with Brown as a co-founder and, later, a senior staff member. (Check out some of the CVRI’s milestones here.)

photocoll_portraits_brown_harvard1946

Ellen Brown at Harvard Medical School, 1946

Brown’s academic appointment at UCSF began with clinical instructor, 1943-1944, moved to associate professor, 1946-1959, and became professor of medicine in 1959. In 1944-1946 she was a Commonwealth Fund fellow in the Department of Physiology at Harvard Medical School (see photo above) and in 1958 she was a Guggenheim Fellow at Oxford University.

Brown operated a lab on campus for peripheral vascular research though the 1960s and 1970s. Concurrently, she worked on improving teaching techniques in predoctoral medical classes, initiating the “Introduction to Clinical Medicine” course and later serving as a residency evaluator for the School of Medicine.

This quote, from Brown’s oral history, demonstrates her zeal for education, enthusiasm for change in curriculum, and sense of humor: “The wonderful thing was how interested all these people in the non-medicine departments were. An ophthalmologist would sit down with a bunch of absolute nerds, and come and do that, four or five times, and teach them. The hardest thing to learn to do is to see in an ophthalmoscope. It is for most doctors. It’s one of the last things you feel comfortable about. That and a pelvic exam, I guess.”

Over the course of her illustrious career, Brown’s research interests included capillary pressure and permeability, blood volume and vascular capacity, cardiac failure, cardiac complications of pregnancy, and peripheral circulation in relation to pain syndromes and vascular diseases.

photocoll_portraits_brown_sanfrancisco1960

Brown on Edgewood Ave behind the CVRI on May 29, 1960.

When Brown officially retired from UCSF in 1979, she became a professor emeritus of medicine. Ten years later, in 1989, Brown received UCSF’s highest honor, the UCSF Medal, for outstanding personal contributions to the University’s health sciences mission.

photocoll_portraits_brown_2

Brown and Francis Sooy, UCSF Chancellor 1972-1982, at the time of her retirement.

 

Brown passed away in October of 2006 at the age of 96. At that time, she gifted over $100,000 to the UCSF School of Medicine for the improvement of teaching for medical students.

Browns’ numerous contributions over the course of fifty plus years can still be felt today– through her impact on cardiovascular research as well as her in her insight and refinement of medical education.

Contact us if you have any questions or would like to learn more. And please don’t hesitate to use the calendar on the right to make an appointment to come in and use the collections!