Dr. Jennifer Ashton opens up about what it’s like to live with anxiety
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Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News' Chief Medical Correspondent, talks to TJ Holmes on about anxiety

Dr. Jennifer Ashton’s anxiety attacks started to happen after she had a severe allergic reaction to a food. “I had a couple of episodes where I thought mistakenly that I had eaten that same food that I was allergic to,” said Ashton, ABC News’ chief medical correspondent and a board-certified OBGYN. “And even though I was not having any true physical symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction, once my mind went there, it was almost like a marble rolling off the edge of a table.”

“I started to feel dizzy. I started to feel chest tightness. My heart was racing. I was short of breath, but objectively, I was not having an allergic reaction,” she said. “And even though I recognized that I was having an anxiety attack, I was unable to stop it.”

Ashton spoke out about her own experience with anxiety during Mental Health Awareness Month to put a spotlight on a condition that is common but not always easily understood.

Anxiety is the feeling evoked when someone experiences fear of something bad happening, and it can lead to avoidance, attacks, excessive worrying or other symptoms. Everyone has anxiety sometimes, but when anxiety becomes overwhelming to the point it consistently interferes with daily life, or in the case of Ashton, prompts anxiety attacks that interfere with daily life, it can be an anxiety disorder, according to the U.S. Office on Women’s Health (OWH).

“Women are more than twice as likely as men to get an anxiety disorder in their lifetime”

Anxiety disorders are so common they affect about 40 million American adults every year, according to OWH.

And women are more than twice as likely as men to get an anxiety disorder in their lifetime, a discrepancy not yet completely understood from a medical perspective. Some experts say it may be due, in part, to women’s changing hormones and different responses to stress, and women may report symptoms of anxiety more frequently than men.

The prevalence of anxiety underscores that it is a serious mental health concern and not something to be dismissed by doctors or patients, according to Ashton.

“What I learned from my own experience with anxiety attacks is that I think a stigma occurs in a lot of society with people thinking that it’s not real, or it’s not serious or it’s insignificant because we all know that there’s no actual situation occurring,” she said. “But none of that matters. The physical manifestations, the symptoms that I felt when I experienced these anxiety attacks, were absolutely real.”

Ashton noted the coronavirus pandemic, an anxiety-inducing global event that has now lasted more than one year, should have highlighted for people the importance of taking anxiety seriously and treating it just as one would any other medical condition.

“There was not a week that went by that I didn’t hear from patients that they were experiencing anxiety,” she said. “I think what needs to happen is a very objective assessment, not only of ourselves as individuals, but collectively, and what’s going on in the world, so then you can say, ‘This is not surprising, really … it’s common. It’s understandable.'”

Click here to read the full article on ABC News.

Alicia Keys Lends Voice to Athleta With New Partnership, Product Line Promoting Women’s Well-Being
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Alicia Keys wearing a pink jumpsuit during sunset posed to the side with one hand over her head and one on her own shoulder

By Stephen Garner, Yahoo! Life

Alicia Keys is lending her powerful voice to a strong cause.

The 15-time Grammy Award winner has joined forces with Athleta to further their mutual commitment to women’s well-being.

As such, Keys has signed on to Athleta’s “Power of She Fund” grant program as a mentor and advisor. According to Athleta, Keys will also work with the brand to connect with women through “meaningful community conversations” in AthletaWell, the retailer’s digital community that supports women’s well-being.

And, on International Women’s Day, which is March 8, the duo will release the Athleta x Alicia Keys collection. Athleta, a division of Gap Inc., said the collection will have exclusive products co-created and co-designed by Keys, who worked alongside the brand’s all-female design team. Among the items, which will be available in sizes XXS-3X on athleta.com and at all Athleta retail locations, will be Keys’ favorite piece — a pink jumpsuit. More details of the collection will be released closer to the launch, according to Athleta.

“Alicia has made a powerful commitment to well-being and we are thrilled to welcome her to Athleta’s community of empowered women,” said Mary Beth Laughton, president and CEO of Athleta. “With a values-driven partnership like this one with Alicia, we are ideally positioned to continue to meet our customer’s needs in the well-being space and support her across all aspects of her life.”

“I was drawn to Athleta because we both want to encourage women to discover, accept and own their power,” added Keys. “We’re all about the uniqueness of women, body positivity and creating a lifestyle that showcases our immeasurable power within. It’s time to thrive – not just to survive – and my hope is that these offerings are another outlet for you to amplify your personal power, your possibility, and feel comfortable in your own skin.”

Keys joins a roster of powerful, like-minded partners, including Simone Biles and Allyson Felix.

Biles, a former Nike athlete and the country’s most-decorated gymnast, signed a long-term partnership with Athleta in April 2021. The deal includes a signature performance wear line designed with Athleta’s team and capsule collections for the company’s Athleta Girl sister brand.

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Life.

Bella Hadid Opens Up About Her ‘Excruciating and Debilitating’ Mental Health Struggles
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Bella Hadid wearing a brown tank top and a brown cardigan posing for the paparazzi

By Nicholas Rice, People

Bella Hadid is speaking honestly about her mental health.

The 25-year-old supermodel spoke to WSJ. Magazine for the publication’s “My Monday Morning” series, where she opened up about her mental health struggles, which she described as “excruciating and debilitating.”

When asked by the publication what her secret is to putting together her outfit in the morning, Hadid explained that she hasn’t had a stylist “in a long time, maybe two years now,” and she was “in such a weird place mentally that it was really complicated for me to get out of the house and put an outfit together, especially with the anxiety of [paparazzi] being outside and all that.”

But, after learning to deal with her anxiety and other mental health struggles, Hadid said she learned to embrace her fashion and dress in a way that makes her happy.

“In the last year, it was really important for me to learn that even if people talk about my style or if they like it or if they don’t, it doesn’t matter, because it’s my style,” she noted. “When I leave the house in the morning, what I think about is: Does this make me happy? Do I feel good in this and do I feel comfortable?”

In her interview with WSJ. Magazine, Hadid continued to chat about her own mental health, as well as what her thought process was behind an Instagram post she shared in November, where she posted a series of selfies of herself crying.

“I would have really depressive episodes and my mom or my doctor would ask how I was and instead of having to respond in text, I would just send them a photo,” she said. “It was the easiest thing for me to do at the time because I was never able to explain how I was feeling.”

“I would just be in excruciating and debilitating mental and physical pain, and I didn’t know why. That was over the past three years,” she continued. “[When I posted them] it was to make sure that anybody that was feeling that way knew it was OK to feel that way.”

Added Hadid: “Even though on Instagram things look so beautiful, at the end of the day, we are all cut from the same cloth. I felt like it was just good for me to be able to speak my truth and at some point I wasn’t able to post nice pretty pictures anymore. I was over it.”

Click here to read the full article on People.

Fitness Trainer Karena Dawn Launches Mental Health Organization in Honor of Her Late Mother
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Fitness Trainer Karena Dawn smiling at the camera in a green silk button up shirt

By Stephanie Emma Pfeffer, People

Karena Dawn doesn’t shy away from hard conversations.

The co-founder of Tone It Up is launching a new charitable organization, The Big Silence, to normalize discussions about mental health issues.

“I’ve been wanting to create a foundation and a resource for many years,” says Dawn, who was just 12 years old when her mom was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and depression.

“[My mom] was in and out of the house many times, from being a missing person to being in the hospital,” Dawn tells PEOPLE exclusively. “And it was in the ’90s, so no one was talking about mental health.”

As a teenager, Dawn tried to research mental illness and schizophrenia at the library. “There were no resources out there for me to lean on,” she recalls. “It kind of sent me in a spiral of my own situational depression, drug abuse, suicide attempt and losing a lot of friends because no one around me was talking about it.”

That’s why she believes so strongly in offering support for those who are struggling. “There’s a stigma around mental health,” says the NYT bestselling author. “That is what The Big Silence is: It’s the thing you don’t want to talk about. At The Big Silence, we are here to break the silence.”

The content platform, which she leads with her sister Rachel Sahaidachny as executive director, is dedicated to normalizing conversations around mental health through online and social content, as well as a podcast hosted by Dawn.

“Because of my mom’s mental illness, I went through a really dark period — from about 12 years old until about 22,” she says. “I was at a breaking point.”

She found light again by focusing on fitness. “I was on a three-day bender and was thinking back about when I was my happiest,” she says. “It was when I was running, and I was active and I was working out.”

“At that time I thought, in my own depression, that I was going to end up like my mom, so I didn’t believe in myself.” But she decided to do something positive and signed up for a triathalon. “I trained my butt off and did the race,” she says. “I crossed the finish line, like ‘Wow, like I accomplished something.’ ”

From then on, she says, she wanted to teach people that movement is medicine, which led to her co-founding Tone It Up in 2009 and further dedicating herself to not only her physical health but her mental health as well, through self-help books, therapy and meditation.

Click here to read the full article on People.

Breast Cancer Survivorship and the Impact on Mental Health
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Picture of a pink ribbon for breast cancer

By Leona Vaughn, Everyday Health

Three years ago, Hil Moss says she was lounging around, casually watching television and relaxing when she touched her chest and felt a lump. She was 28, and with no family history, she says her doctor reassured her that she had nothing to worry about. But after a few more appointments, they confirmed a diagnosis of breast cancer, likely caused by an ATM gene mutation they found.

After three years and a 14-month treatment plan — which included three months of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, and a tissue-based reconstruction, later followed by hormone therapy — Moss, a student in the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Connecticut, and an advocate for cancer care, now considers herself a breast cancer survivor.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) defines survivorship as, “living with, through, and beyond cancer.” But some patients who get to the “beyond cancer” stage say they were unprepared for the toll this experience would take on their mental health.

When she was first diagnosed, Moss says she anticipated that the most difficult part of her experience would be receiving the treatment, but a fellow survivor warned her that it would actually be the months following her completion of it that would be the hardest. Sure enough, Moss says she found the first six months of her recovery period more mentally challenging than anything she had physically gone through, including the amputation of both her breasts.

“That just seems impossible to believe,” Moss says. “You’re in chemo, you feel horrible, how could it possibly be worse? But it kind of is. When you’re actively in treatment, you at least have this sense of what your day-to-day is, and sometimes that can feel like a safety blanket.”

“When you are removed from that, you are forced to essentially reckon with what’s happened. You have to come to terms with your own mortality,” Moss says.

Breast Cancer Survival Rates Are Increasing
Marleen Meyers, MD, a medical oncologist and the founding director of the Survivorship Program at Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health in New York City, says that breast cancer is a “hopeful cancer,” because more and more patients diagnosed with breast cancer are surviving, but that living through this experience “comes with a price.”

“I’ve been an oncologist for a long time, and early on, we were just happy that people survived,” Dr. Meyers says. “We didn’t really look at what their quality of life after survivorship was. I always like to say that the cancer treatment may be over, but the cancer experience is far from over.”

Experts say that the vast majority of patients struggle with mental health after receiving cancer treatment.

“There’s anxiety about what the next steps are, how they’re going to feel, how long it’s going to take for them to get better,” Meyers says. “The reality is, while you can give somebody an estimate, it’s impossible to predict.”

Click here to read the full article on Everyday Health.

First deaf ‘Bachelor’ contestant, Abigail Heringer, celebrates her disability with photo of cochlear implant
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Abigail Heringer with her back facing the camera as she lifts her hair to show her new cochlear implant

By Kerry Justich, Yahoo! Life

Abigail Heringer made history with her appearance on Season 25 of The Bachelor as the franchise’s first deaf contestant. Now, the 26-year-old is reflecting on her experience and sharing gratitude for how Bachelor Nation welcomed her.

“As 2021 starts to wrap up, I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for this past year. The amount of support and love I’ve experienced through DM’s, comments and more continues to blow me away,” Heringer wrote alongside a slideshow of photos of her wearing her cochlear implant — a small electronic device that helps to provide her with a sense of sound, although she was born completely deaf.

“When I first got the call saying that they wanted to cast me for The Bachelor, I called my mom in a panic,” she wrote. “I was excited but also so scared and unsure if I wanted to talk about my hearing loss on tv, especially on a show that hasn’t had much disability representation.”

While Heringer was ultimately celebrated for being on the show and bravely sharing her story during her first meeting with bachelor Matt James, she explained that she had reservations about being so open about her disability on television.

“After countless awkward interactions growing up, I had become so used to trying to ‘act normal’ which meant to me, undermining my hearing loss. Acting like I had nothing different about me,” Heringer shared. “I wouldn’t tell new friends, first dates, teachers and I felt guilty about it. I had something beautifully different about me and so when my mom said ‘if sharing your story can help just one person, one family, you should do it’, that’s all it took for me to say yes.”

Heringer went on to explain how going on the show changed her life “overnight.” More importantly, however, it was just the beginning of a longer journey to finding confidence to fully embrace her cochlear implant, which has long made her feel different.

“It took me 26 years,” she said of showing off her device. “But I got here and I’m not ready to stop sharing. I’d like to think a lot of you are here because either you have a similar situation, know someone that is deaf or hard of hearing, or simply just curious and want to learn more. And I’m happy you’re here.”

Heringer received an outpour of love and support in the comment section from fellow Bachelor contestants turned friends.

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Life.

Selena Gomez launches new media platform with a focus on mental health
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Selena Gomez smiling at the camera at a red carpet event

By Megan Marples, CNN

Talking about mental health is good for you, according to pop star, actor and producer Selena Gomez, and she’s determined to be the catalyst for positive change.

The “Ice Cream” singer announced the launch of her latest venture, Wondermind, a mental health platform focused on connecting people with educational resources and ending the stigma around mental illnesses.

She teamed up with her mother, Mandy Teefey, and The Newsette founder and CEO Daniella Pierson to create the media company, which is set to launch in February 2022.

Gomez hasn’t been shy when it comes to discussing her mental health publicly. She previously wrote for CNN about how she’s a “big advocate for social media detoxes” and therapy.

And she announced on Miley Cyrus’ Instagram show “Bright Minded” in April that she has bipolar disorder.

“I went to one of the best mental hospitals in America, McLean Hospital, and I discussed that after years of going through a lot of different things, I realized that I was bipolar,” Gomez said. “And so when I got to know more information, it actually helps me. It doesn’t scare me once I know it.”

Her mother revealed being misdiagnosed for over 20 years with bipolar disorder that later turned out to be attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, with trauma, according to the Wondermind website’s welcome video.

Pierson opened up in the video as well, saying she has dealt with obsessive-compulsive disorder since she was a child.

The three said they struggled to find a safe space online where they could engage with uplifting content about mental health on a daily basis. Enter Wondermind.

Click here to read the full article on CNN

Wedding planning, driving and potentially more music: What’s next for Britney Spears post-conservatorship
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Britney spears smiling at camera. She is no longer in a conservatorship

By , Yahoo! Entertainment

Britney Spears has spent the last three days blissfully happy following the termination of her 13-year legal conservatorship.

“What an amazing weekend … I felt like I was on cloud 9 the whole time !!!” Spears wrote Monday on Instagram. “I actually got my first glass of champagne at the most beautiful restaurant I’ve ever seen last night !!!! I’m celebrating my freedom and my B day for the next two months !!!!!!!!!!! I mean after 13 years … I think I’ve waited long ENOUGH !!!! I’m so happy my lawyer Mathew Rosengart came into my life when he did … he has truly turned my life around … I’m forever thankful for that !!!! What a sight seeing so many people celebrating my victory …. I love my fans so much … so thank you !!!!⁣”

Spears has a lot of famous fans cheering her on, too, including Lady Gaga, Dionne Warwick, Jameela Jamil and Andy Cohen.

So what’s next for the superstar now that she’s free? As her lawyer said immediately after Judge Brenda Penny made her ruling in a Los Angeles courthouse, “What’s next for Britney, and this is the first time this could be said for about a decade, is up to one person: Britney.”

Here are a few things we know are on the horizon:

Planning her wedding
When Spears gave a shocking testimony in court in June, she flat-out said that she would like to “get married and have a baby.” And she’s moving ahead on that front.

She and Sam Asghari, the personal trainer and actor she has dated for four years, announced their engagement in September, less than a week after her father, Jamie Spears, filed a petition to end her conservatorship. “She would love a beach ceremony at a tropical destination,” a source told People at the time. “It will be a small wedding.”

Then, just last week, Spears said that designer Donatella Versace — a longtime friend — is already making the bridal dress.

On the family front, Spears had said in court that she had been forced to use birth control, but that obviously won’t be the case any longer.

Making her own medical decisions
Speaking of, Spears will also no longer have to take anything she doesn’t want to take, and that includes the antidepressant lithium. The singer said in a June hearing that it made her feel “drunk” and unable to have a conversation. But no more.

Harry Nelson, the founder and managing partner of Los Angeles-based law firm Nelson Hardiman, tells Yahoo Entertainment that, without a conservatorship over her person, Spears is free to make all her own health choices.

Driving whenever and wherever she wants
Spears was reportedly thrilled to be driving again, once her conservatorship allowed her to do so, over the summer, for the first time in years. (MTV’s 2008 For the Record documentary on Spears, filmed at the start of the conservatorship, contained a scene that showed her explaining that the last time she had felt free was when she had gotten to drive her car a lot.) So, of course, she spent her first free weekend cruising around by herself, too. According to TMZ, at one point, Spears drove her Mercedes to Catch restaurant in West Hollywood, where she had a date with Asghari.

That goes for shopping, too
Remember in July when Spears wrote about having splurged for new sneakers? Spears controls her own finances now, so she can look forward to as many new kicks as she’d like. Spears’s considerable assets are now being transferred from the conservatorship into a trust that she controls.

Nelson explains: “A trust is a highly flexible legal structure set up by a person to protect property assets. In setting up a trust, Britney can decide who the trustees of the trust, who will manage the trust, are, and who the beneficiaries will be. She can name herself as a trustee and a beneficiary, designate other trustees or beneficiaries, and change trustees and beneficiaries over time. She can set up the rules by which the trust is managed. Absent some dispute between trustees or beneficiaries, the trust is easy to manage. This is in sharp contrast to conservatorship, which is governed by the court and cannot be set up, amended, or removed without court approval. Conservatorships are only necessary when the person who is the subject won’t cooperate and is putting themselves at risk. The trust structure will allow Britney to protect herself, her children, and other loved ones, with the flexibility to make the structure work for her needs.”

Click here to read the whole article on Yahoo! Entertainment

Rebel Wilson Says She ‘Never Thought’ She ‘Could Overcome’ Emotional Eating
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Rebel Wilson wearing a blue velvet blazer while smiling at the camera

By Nicholas Rice, People

Rebel Wilson is looking back at how far she’s come after her recent weight loss.

While chatting with PEOPLE, the 41-year-old actress opened up about the feelings she experienced during her self-imposed “year of health” in 2020. “One of the emotions was that I’m sad I didn’t do it before,” she tells PEOPLE exclusively.

“Last year, I lost a lot of weight — close to 80 lbs. — and then I’ve maintained it for this year. [So] part of me was like, ‘Well, damn! If I could have done it before, should I have done it?'” she continues. “And I felt a bit sad about that point.”

Wilson said that it was partly do to a lack of faith in herself.

“I thought I was the person that [would] never do it,” she says. “Like, yeah, I can lose a few pounds if I try really hard one week and be really strict with myself, but then I’ll always gain it back. So I never thought that I could successfully do it.”

“Last year, I — for the first time ever — prioritized my health,” she continues. “And even though that was my 40th year, I was just like, it’s never too late to improve yourself or to improve your health.”

“I shouldn’t feel sad or beat up on myself because of that. I should just feel proud of myself for actually doing it,” Wilson adds.

Still, the Isn’t It Romantic star says she has “always been a very confident person,” and it’s not as though her weight loss has made her that way. “But you do feel better in yourself,” she explains.

“I’m not perfect, like, I still emotionally eat at times, there’s stressful things that still go on in my life and in my work that can be high pressure, … but I’m not perfect. I’ve [just] learned to manage things.”

Click here to read the full article on People.

Kate Hudson Shares How Fitness Fuels her Mental Health: ‘If I’m not active, if I’m not moving, I don’t feel good at all’
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Kate Hudson from the shoulders up, looking into the distance

By Kaitlin Reilly

There are many words to describe Kate Hudson — she’s an actress, a mom, a podcaster and a brand founder — but perhaps the most fitting word at the moment is simply busy.

After all, Hudson — most recently seen in the juicy Apple TV+ series Truth Be Told — has a very big life. The daughter of Goldie Hawn and stepfather Kurt Russell balances spending time with her tight-knit family with her many projects, but when she does have a free moment, it’s rarely to sit still.

As Hudson tells Yahoo Life, she craves movement, be that a dancing session in her bathroom or a gravity-defying workout routine.

That’s why she needs a diet plan that works for her — which is what WW, the brand she’s been an ambassador for since 2018, can provide, thanks to its recently launched system of PersonalPoints. The program, which Hudson says helped her find balance, includes activity targets — ideal for someone like Hudson, who calls herself a “frustrated athlete.”

Here, Hudson explains what wellness means to her, and why sometimes a girls’ night out is better self-care than anything else.

You became a WW ambassador in 2018. What made you interested in partnering with the company?

Mindy [Grossman], the CEO of WW, came to me. My mom had done it before when she was pregnant, but I hadn’t really done it before. Mindy said, “Try it, and get back to me.” So I did, and I was like, “How do people not know what this is?”

First of all, I lost weight immediately, which is what everyone who is looking into this initially wants to do. But what I loved about it was how supportive the program was, and how thorough it is. For me, it just felt like, what a great partnership. People are always asking me, “What can I do?” And if you weren’t raised with the tools, it’s hard. You don’t know the best way for you to get strong, whether that’s mentally or physically. I just fell in love with the program and the science behind it and how well it works. I’ve been doing the partnership for years and I continue to use it. It just works.

How did your family help you embrace a healthy lifestyle?

When you grow up with actors for parents, it’s a very disciplined craft, especially if you’re an actor who really cares about what you’re doing, like my parents. I watched them be almost like athletes preparing for their roles. Whether it be how active they were, whatever the role entailed, they had to physically and mentally prepare for those things. When you see parents really care about their health and doing things right, it becomes what you know.

I feel really lucky that I have a supportive family through the ups and downs of life. Not everyone has a family as close and connected as we are, and that’s a huge part of my overall wellness. I think mostly, my mom and my dad have always loved being active. That was the biggest thing for me. More so than food — we love our food, we love our cocktails and we enjoy all aspects of life. But we’re very active, and that’s what keeps our mental health really stable. That’s why I love WW, because they encourage the fit points. They want you to stay active. It’s about your sleep, your fitness — it’s motivating you to take care of those things.

Your brother, Oliver Hudson, opened up about his own battle with anxiety for The Unwind. What was your reaction to him being so open about his struggles?

I really admire him for his openness on the subject. I think people sit with anxiety and they don’t talk about it, and it’s so common. We’re living in a time that’s exasperating anxiety. We’re living in an anxious time that’s really affecting people, especially young people. I notice it with my son, and the young people around him. I admire that Oliver is like, “Hey, this is what’s happening, and this is what I’m doing about it.” It makes people feel like they can go get help. They can have a sense of humor about it.

Oliver has really hardcore panic attacks, and I think the thing that you learn is that you need a holistic approach to anxiety. If you need medication, it’s going to a doctor and seeing a professional for guidance. There’s also activity, what you eat. It’s a huge part of how our brain functions, and how it can function, for better or worse. Food is what speaks to the rest of our system. If we’re not putting good things into our body, our body is going to shut down. All of these things matter. Turning off your phone, doing a digital cleanse. I think we should be doing that more. Getting off social media. Taking those breaks are really important. Remembering to look up and connect is a huge part of our mental health.

Click here to read the full article from Yahoo News 

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Meet The First 2 Black Women To Be Inducted Into The National Inventors Hall Of Fame
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Engineer Marian Croak (left) and ophthalmologist Patricia Bath are the first Black women to be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in its nearly 50-year history.

By , NPR

The National Inventors Hall of Fame has been around for nearly five decades but hasn’t included any Black women in its ranks — until now.

Engineer Marian Croak and the late ophthalmologist Patricia Bath will make history as part of the next cohort of inductees, the nonprofit announced this past week. They are the first Black female inventors to receive this honor, which has been bestowed on some 600 other innovators both living and dead.

A spokesperson told NPR over email that there are 48 female inductees and 30 Black inductees in the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF).

“Innovation drives the worldwide economy forward and improves our quality of life. This is especially apparent given what we have experienced over the past 18 months,” Michael Oister, the NIHF’s CEO, said in a statement. “It’s why at the National Inventors Hall of Fame we are privileged to honor our country’s most significant inventors, who are giving the next generation the inspiration to innovate, create, and solve current and future problems.”

Croak and Bath are among the seven honorees announced this month and will join the 22 others announced last year as the hall of fame’s Class of 2022. All 29 will be celebrated and inducted at back-to-back ceremonies in Alexandria, Va., and Washington, D.C., in early May.

Here’s what you need to know about these trailblazers.

Bath was a pioneering ophthalmologist whose work reshaped cataract surgery
Bath, who died in 2019 at age 76, was no stranger to making history.

She is recognized as the first Black female physician to receive a medical patent, according to the NIHF, the first Black woman to complete a residency in ophthalmology at New York University and the first woman to chair an ophthalmology residency program in the U.S. (the King-Drew-UCLA Ophthalmology Residency Program), to name just a few of her accolades.

Bath invented laserphaco, a minimally invasive device and technique that performs all steps of cataract removal, from making the incision to destroying the lens to vacuuming out the fractured pieces.

According to Bath’s National Inventors Hall of Fame biography, she came up with the idea in 1981, published her first paper in 1987 and received her first U.S. patent for the device in 1988. It was being used in Europe and Asia by 2000.

“Bath’s method employed a faster technique and established the foundation for eye surgeons to use lasers to restore or improve vision for millions of patients suffering from cataracts worldwide,” reads a news release.

Bath received five patents over the course of her career. She also advocated for using public health approaches to eradicate preventable blindness, especially among racial minorities.

When she was a young intern spending time at both Harlem Hospital and Columbia University, she noticed that half the patients at Harlem’s eye clinic were blind or visually impaired, while at Columbia’s eye clinic, very few were. She studied this and concluded that the high rate of blindness among Black people was because of a lack of access to ophthalmic care, her biography at the National Library of Medicine notes.

In 1976, she proposed the discipline of community ophthalmology, which combines public health, community medicine and clinical and day care programs to provide eye care to underserved populations.

She co-founded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness as well as the Ophthalmic Assistant Training Program at UCLA, whose graduates have worked on blindness prevention.

“To know that my mother is part of the 2022 class of National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees is an unbelievable honor,” her daughter, Dr. Eraka Bath, said in a statement, saying the hall of fame distinction is “an overdue recognition” of her mother’s accomplishments.

Click here to read the full article on NPR.

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    March 17, 2022 - March 19, 2022

Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fair
    January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
  2. NAWBO Leadership Academy – Winter 2022
    January 31, 2022
  3. NAWBO LEADERSHIP ACADEMY 2022
    January 31, 2022
  4. From Day One
    February 9, 2022
  5. The Small Business Expo–Multiple Event Dates
    February 17, 2022 - December 1, 2022