August 17 is Nationwide Nonprofit Day.
HealthyWomen’s unique founder, Violet Bowen-Hugh, M.D., was a power of nature. Born and raised in Clendenin, West Virginia, Bowen-Hugh got here from an underprivileged background, which impressed her to create a spot the place girls, irrespective of their socioeconomic standing, had entry to dependable well being info. As an academically gifted lady who graduated on the high of her class, Bowen-Hugh was the primary lady in her household to finish highschool. She went on to attend school and, upon her commencement, started a profession in accounting.
Bowen-Hugh made a very good life for herself, however she had a deeply rooted need to assist others. And in the summertime of 1954, she realized that need might now not be denied. Impressed by a feminine doctor — certainly one of solely 48 feminine medical doctors within the state — who was treating her nephew within the hospital, she determined to comply with her dream and attend medical faculty.
After graduating, Bowen-Hugh grew to become a resident on the Columbia Hospital for Ladies, certainly one of solely seven girls’s hospitals on the time, the place she practiced obstetrics and gynecology, finally turning into head of the division. Nonetheless not able to cease dreaming, Bowen-Hugh continued combating for greater high quality healthcare for ladies and advocated for extra analysis to be completed on well being points particular to girls.
It was this advocacy that alerted Bowen-Hugh to the shortage of scientifically correct details about girls’s healthcare wants, which led to the creation of the Nationwide Ladies’s Well being Useful resource Heart (NWHRC) in 1988. The NWHRC realized Bowen-Hugh’s dream of offering girls with medically vetted, trusted details about their healthcare issues and to reply questions on diagnoses and supply suggestions for wholesome residing.
The NWHRC started as a 1-800 quantity that girls might name for details about medical circumstances they’d been recognized with and common well being recommendation. The lady who answered the telephone was Beth Battaglino.
Much like Bowen-Hugh’s origin story, Battaglino started by acquiring levels in enterprise and political science however at all times knew she needed to be a nurse. To get her foot within the door, she utilized for a volunteer coordinator place at Columbia Hospital for Ladies, however the recruiter noticed one thing particular in Battaglino and really helpful she work for the NWHRC as a substitute.
Throughout the day, Battaglino labored as a part of this well being useful resource for ladies, and he or she studied to be a registered nurse at evening. Over time, the group flourished and commenced branching out into new methods to tell its target market. Considered one of its hottest choices was the Nationwide Ladies’s Well being Report, a bimonthly publication, which centered on well being circumstances distinctive to girls. The publication was a precursor to our well-liked Actual Ladies, Actual Tales collection, as girls shared their experiences with the featured analysis in every version. Together with the publication, Battaglino additionally created a database of present well being matters, assets, organizations and help teams that the NWHRC might present its callers, which grew to become the template for the HealthyWomen.org web site.
Beth Battaglino speaks on the fifth Annual HealthyWomen Occasion, March 2022
The mid-’90s noticed a push to combine girls’s well being and wellness into current way of life publications like Cosmopolitan and Redbook, and the normalization of discussing girls’s well being matters allowed the NWHRC to make a reputation for itself. Nevertheless, the late ’90s introduced monetary woes to Columbia Hospital and its closing was imminent. Recognizing that the NWHRC was nonetheless an important useful resource, Battaglino and two of her colleagues developed a marketing strategy to take over the NWHRC and preserve it working — a plan that paved the best way for HealthyWomen to return into existence. Because the small however mighty crew of ladies labored to maintain the NWHRC afloat, they obtained a name from representatives at Johnson and Johnson who needed to study extra concerning the group and the way the 2 firms might accomplice. Battaglino’s ensuing pitch led to a grant that not solely stored the useful resource middle in existence however allowed the NWHRC to be much more bold than earlier than. Recognizing that the general public and the media’s curiosity in well being and wellness wasn’t abating anytime quickly, Battaglino created a advertising plan that positioned the middle as a go-to useful resource for ladies’s way of life manufacturers and magazines and well being editors. This led to partnerships with manufacturers like Prevention and Mattress, Tub & Past.
As time and expertise superior, the NWHRC transitioned into the web area by turning into the primary ever web site that comprehensively addressed girls’s well being and wellness points, and in 2009, it rebranded as HealthyWomen. Since then, the positioning was acknowledged by Forbes Journal as a high web site for ladies three years in a row, and Oprah Journal acknowledged the positioning as its high girls’s well being web site in 2010.
Over time, Battaglino’s function at HealthyWomen has developed, and he or she grew to become CEO in 2006, positioning HealthyWomen because the go-to well being useful resource for ladies.
For greater than three a long time, girls have trusted HealthyWomen’s extremely researched and dependable info to have interaction, educate and empower them.
It’s been an honor to be a company that girls depend on — and one the HealthyWomen crew hasn’t taken evenly at any time in our historical past.
Hearken to our CEO speak extra concerning the historical past and evolution of HealthyWomen.