Antonia Novello

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Jasmine Gonzalez, Copy Editor

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Antonia Novello, a 75-year-old Puerto Rican- American woman, is a former and was the first hispanic and first woman to become the Surgeon General of the United States. She was born on August 23, 1944 in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. During her childhood she had dealt with a painful condition called congenital megacolon that affected her large intestine. It was later fixed when she was 20.

Novello worked in the Public Health Services for many years. She advocated for AIDS research. In 1990 she was sworn in as the Surgeon General of the U.S. She advocated for AIDS research and as Surgeon General focused specifically on women who had AIDS and hiv transmitted through neonatal ways. She was able to set the guidelines toward organ transplants. She brought awareness towards underage smoking and drinking to the public and lead a campaign against tobacco advertisements that were targeting their products to minors. She was also able to improve the medical care and opportunities for women and minority groups.

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