Public Health Nurse Rosa L. Brown (born 1884) Rosa Brown was a pioneer in public health programs and in professionalizing African-American nurses. After the 1928 hurricane made thousands of African-Americans homeless, Brown began her labors in a tent colony in Broward County where the storm refugees learned for the first time principles of hygiene. In 1929, the local Red Cross Chapter financed a public health nurse among the African-American community, and Brown’s “preeminent qualifications” won her the post. During the three years of her itinerant service, new standards of health and education were put in place. In 1909, she helped form the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses.
First Woman Doctor in Fort Lauderdale Dr. Anna Darrow
(1878-1959) Nicknamed the "Swamp Doctor," Dr. Darrow practiced in the Lake Okeechobee area and moved to Ft. Lauderdale in 1924. She and her husband, Charles Roy, were both physicians. The first woman doctor in Fort Lauderdale, she and her husband treated the general population, Seminole Indians and even the notorious bank robbers the Ashley gang. She enjoyed painting all her life. In 1947 she won second prize, a bond worth $1,000 in the Medical Art Exhibition, during the American Medical Association convention.
Public Health Nurse Betty Lou Fogt (1935-2010) In 1964, Nurse Fogt established the first Family Planning Clinic in Broward County. After earning her nursing degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, she worked at Broward General Medical Center, for two years and for the Broward County Health Department until she established the Family Planning Clinic in Broward County. She worked as a Supervisor of Maternity and Infant Care Program from 1969 to 1970, and later as a night charge nurse in the Benmar Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center.
Math Teacher and Administrator Katherine LaBelle (1906-2003) Katherine LaBelle moved to Broward in 1939 and taught math before becoming principal of Nova Elementary. In 1926 she received her AB degree from Rosary College, E.Ed. from the University of Miami and Ed. D. (honorary) from Barry University in Miami. She was a math teacher, dean and principal in both elementary and secondary schools in Broward County. She was Broward County’s first certified guidance counselor, the first dean and the first woman secondary principal. She was director of In-service Education at Nova University, assistant director of Human Services for Nova College.
Engineer and Environmentalist Martha Munzer (1899-1999) In 1922, Martha Munzer graduated with a B.S. degree in electrochemical engineering from the prestigious and predominantly men’s college Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was a teacher, reformer, environmentalist and author. She taught science during the Depression to help support her family. Munzer came to Lauderdale-by-the-Sea in 1979. A devoted environmentalist and feminist, she wrote several books including an autobiography, a history of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and books on ecology.
Olympic Swimmer and World War II Aviator Katherine Rawls (1917-1982) A resident of Hollywood and Ft. Lauderdale, Katherine Rawls participated in the 1936 Olympics and was a multiple U.S. national champion in swimming and diving in the 1930s. Afterwards, she met the son of the developer of Piper Aircraft, who introduced her to flying. She later married her instructor, Ted Thompson, who owned a local aviation school. When WWII broke out, she became one of the first 28 U.S. women to join the Women Auxiliary Ferrying Service. This corps of women delivered Army Air Force trainers and light aircraft from their factories. As the war progressed they were also responsible for delivering fighters, bombers and transports.
Nurse Marion "Babe" Young (1929-2011) graduated from Dania High School and entered nursing training. She began work at the Hollywood Clinic in the 1950s for Dr. Monroe and remained there for more than 40 years. Her husband Billy Young, was the son of Hollywood founder J.W. Young.