We celebrate Dr. Marilyn Hughes Gaston for her major contributions to the Sickle Cell and public health communities during black history month. In 1986, she published a groundbreaking study that proved the effectiveness of early diagnoses and treatments, which revolutionized how screening and preventative treatment for sickle cell in infants and young children is conducted across the country. Her work has helped to drastically decrease mortality in children by initiating the newborn screening.
Dr. Hughes is the first African American woman to direct a Public Health Service Bureau and only the second African American woman to achieve the position of Assistant Surgeon General and rank of Rear Admiral in the US Public Health Service. As Director of the Bureau of Primary Health Care in Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).