Several North Carolina women – including author and poet Dr. Maya Angelou – were honored for their work to improve the lives and health of women and girls around the world at a benefit for the new Maya Angelou Center for Women's Health & Wellness at Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Dr. Angelou received The Lifetime Achievement Award during "An Evening Celebration of Women" for her encouragement of women to be their own advocates and for her partnership with Forsyth in establishing the Center for Women's Health & Wellness, which opened in July.
Hailed as a global renaissance woman, Dr. Angelou is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker and civil rights activist.
- Medge Owen, a professor at Wake Forest School of Medicine and an obstetric anesthesiologist at Forsyth Medical Center, received The Global Women's Health Awardfor her KYBELE organization, which works to support safe childbirth practices at a minimal cost in locations internationally.
- Charlotte entrepreneur Molly Barker, founder of Girls on the Run, won the National Women's Health Award for her success in building self-esteem and active lifestyles among girls in communities across the country and beyond.
- Raleigh's Camille McGirt, a public health major at UNC Chapel Hill, was given theRegional Women's Health Award for her organization, Healthy Girls Save the World, which promotes healthy minds, bodies and relationships in North Carolina girls ages 8 to 15.
"These women are trailblazers making a difference in the lives of women here and around the world," said Dr. Chere Gregory, director of neurosciences at Forsyth Medical Center and organizer of last week's Maya Angelou International Women's Health Summit.
"Dr. Angelou has continued to inspire women to advocate for themselves for more than 50 years, and our other honorees are establishing legacies of their own with their remarkable efforts to improve women's health," Gregory said.
The inaugural awards event held Saturday benefitted education and early detection programs at the Wellness Center and concluded the three-day health summit, which attracted more than 200 participants to join international health experts to explore pressing health issues.
The gala featured a tribute to Dr. Angelou and cited the award-winners for making a difference in women's lives by fostering their sense of empowerment, promoting personal health, and improving access to education, quality healthcare and economic resources.
Forsyth Medical Center is part of Novant Health, a not-for-profit group of 13 hospitals and a medical group with 348 clinic locations in North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina andGeorgia.