Emory Report

September 27, 1999

 Volume 52, No. 6

Wenger to deliver inaugural Mary Lynn Morgan Lecture

Nanette Wenger, professor of medicine and director of the cardiac clinics at Grady Hospital, will present the inaugural Mary Lynn Morgan Lecture on Women in the Health Professions on Thursday, Oct. 7, at 8 p.m. in the Carlos Museum reception hall.

Wenger's lecture is titled "Women's Health: Not Solely a Medical Issue." "When discussing women's health, so often it is addressed strictly in terms of medical diseases, but education, access to service and research all play an important role in women's health," Wenger said.

"There also are issues of domestic violence, substance abuse and so on that are not usually seen in terms of medical health but can be a major factor," she continued. "Another issue is research-we need research that is specific to women. For example, for so long all prescription drugs were tested on young men, and dosages were extrapolated to to women, which particularly has impacted older women. We need to be looking at gender as a variable in health care."

Honoring one of Emory's more respected citizens, the Mary Lynn Morgan Annual Lectureship was established by the Emory Women's Center with a gift last year from the Eckerd Corp. The annual lectureship will bring a woman to campus who has distinguished herself in the health professions.

"Dr. Wenger's honors are unmatched in distinction as well as number, and she has been doing groundbreaking work in cardiology for more than 40 years," said Ali Crown, director of the Women's Center. Wenger, a nationally known cardiologist and advocate for women's health, is widely credited with a dramatic turnaround in the attitude of the medical community toward women and heart disease.

"Mary Lynn Morgan has been a pioneer and a role model for so many women that this lecture series seemed a great way to honor her," said Crown. "She was one of only a handful of women in dental school at a time when women just didn't do that; she had the only pediatric dental practice in Georgia for years, and she was deeply involved in the civil rights movement in partnership with her late husband, Ralph McGill."

Morgan graduated in 1943 from Atlanta-Southern Dental College, which became the Emory University School of Dentistry the following year. In 1947 she began to develop a practice dedicated exclusively to pediatric dentistry, which she continued until 1976. Morgan was elected to the Emory Board of Trustees in 1974, becoming only the second woman to serve in that role. Named a trustee emerita in 1991, she continues to serve on the board's academic affairs committee and will introduce Wenger at the lecture.

Wenger--who was named the American Heart Association Physician of the Year in 1998--was among the first physician-scientists to speak out about the great underrepresentation of women subjects in medical research. She continues to divide her time between research, patients and aspiring medical students. Wenger was the first president of the Georgia affiliate of the American Heart Association and was elected as a master of the American College of Physicians.

--Maurice Gattis

Return to September 27, 1999, contents page