Goshen, N.Y. – Orange County Health Commissioner Dr. Irina Gelman and her staff are recognizing Women’s History Month by showcasing several local women who have significantly impacted the lives of Orange County residents throughout history.
In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued a Presidential Proclamation declaring the week of March 8, 1980 as National Women’s History Week. Subsequent Presidents continued to proclaim a National Women’s History Week in March until 1987, when Congress passed Public Law 100-9, designating March as Women’s History Month.
“These women were visionaries and had a passion for education and healthcare equity in Orange County,” Gelman said. “This year’s Women’s History Month theme honors women who championed peace and non-violence to change society and we are proud to acknowledge their incredible contributions.”
Enrichment by women is a part of Orange County’s storied history. Some of the many women who have made contributions to our communities include:
- Amy Bull Crist, born in 1906 to a dairy farmer and school teacher, began teaching at the age of 18 and remained dedicated to higher and vocational education, and to creating opportunities for the disabled throughout her life. She was instrumental in the founding of Orange County Community College and the formation of Occupations, Inc.
- Cornelia A. Henderson is the only woman from Orange County to be killed in military service during World War I. She was a nurse with the Army Nurse Corps and is honored with a plaque at the Armory Unity Center in Newburgh.
- Dr. Julia E. Bradner, Middletown’s first female physician, was a driving force in establishing Thrall Hospital, the city’s first hospital. She also created the Middletown Hospital Association in 1887, which consisted of eight additional women.
- In 1908, Susan Randall Bacon, together with a group of Goshen women, founded the Goshen Emergency Hospital to treat accidents and emergencies. The facility later moved to Greenwich Avenue to the former home of Luella Morris Van Leuvan, who donated the property for this purpose. The hospital continued to flourish and expand, and in 1967 was moved to Harriman Drive and re-named: Arden Hill Hospital.