Vision 2020 Celebrates Dr. Florence Rena Sabin

During Women’s History Month, Vision 2020 is highlighting women who are represented in the U.S. Capitol Statuary Hall with a bust or full statue. Of the 100 statues sponsored by the states, only 11 women are depicted – including the recent addition of Rosa Parks. Vision 2020 Delegates will share their reflections on the women from their respective states represented in the U.S. Capitol.

Rosemary Harris Lytle statue

Colorado Delegate Rosemary Harris Lytle comments on the significance of Dr. Florence Rena Sabin:

The name “Sabin” is one fairly well-known to Coloradans. There’s Sabin Middle School in Colorado Springs and Sabin Elementary in Denver. Still, in order for the awesome legacy of one of Colorado’s most amazing women to be fully known, the name should be spelled out — Dr. Florence R. Sabin. She was born in the Colorado mining town of Central City. She worked there with Marie Curie. She was the first woman to graduate from John Hopkins Medical School. She brought her talents back to Denver and turned around the tuberculosis scourge in the poorest communities. She is a pioneer enshrined in the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame. Still, if you go to the history page on the website of the town of Central City, there is only one line about her contributions. Dr. Florence R. Sabin; a pioneering Coloradan who must be known and fully remembered for her contributions to the state.

The U.S. Capitol Statuary Hall Biography of Dr. Florence Rena Sabin:

A pioneer in science and public health, Florence Sabin was born in Central City, Colorado, on November 9, 1871. She graduated from Smith College in 1893, attended the Johns Hopkins Medical School, and was the first woman to graduate from that institution. In 1902 she began to teach anatomy at Johns Hopkins. Appointed professor of histology in 1917, she was the first woman to become a full professor at a medical college. In 1924 Sabin was elected the first woman president of the American Association of Anatomists and the first lifetime woman member of the National Academy of Science.

In September 1925 she became head of the Department of Cellular Studies at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York City. Her research focused on the lymphatic system, blood vessels and cells, and tuberculosis. In 1944 she came out of a six-year retirement to accept Colorado governor John Vivian’s request to chair a subcommittee on health. This resulted in the “Sabin Health Laws,” which modernized the state’s public health system. In 1948 she became manager of health and charities for Denver, donating her salary to medical research. She retired again in 1951 and died on October 3, 1953.

The Rosa Parks statue increases the number of historic women’s statues and busts to a paltry 11. There are more than 90 men represented. During Women’s History Month, Vision 2020 wants to know who is YOUR CHOICE for the next statue.Vote in the Vision 2020 poll for your choice for the next woman to be honored. Vision 2020 will submit the results to Congress.


About equalityinsight

Vision 2020 is a national coalition of organizations and individuals united in their commitment to achieve women’s economic and social equality. Join Vision 2020 today!
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