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Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

Posted July 24, 2017 4:30 PM by lmno24

Dr. Minnie Joycelyn Elders is known for her frankness; progressive views on reproductive health and drug legalization and for having served as the first African American Surgeon General of the United States.

Born in Arkansas to a sharecropping family, Elders graduated valedictorian of her class. She went on to Philander Smith College in Arkansas and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in biology. After a short time working as a nurse’s aide at a Veteran’s Administration hospital, she enlisted in the Army. She trained to be a physical therapist during her three years in the Army. Shortly after, she completed medical school and completed an internship and her residency. She then earned a Master’s Degree in biochemistry.

Over the next twenty years, Elders combined her clinical practice with research in pediatric endocrinology. She worked to publish dozens of papers, most about with problems of growth and juvenile diabetes. This work led her to the study of sexual behavior and her advocacy on behalf of adolescents. She observed many health problems, including the problems a young woman with diabetes getting pregnant too young may face like include spontaneous abortion and possible congenital abnormalities in the infant . She helped her patients to control their fertility and advised them on the safest time to start a family.

In 1987, then-governor Bill Clinton appointed Elders as Director of the Arkansas Department of Health, making her the first African American woman in the state to hold this position. While in office, she reduced the teen pregnancy rate by encouraging use and availability of birth control, counseling, and sex education in schools. She also increased childhood health screenings and immunizations and expanded care for those with HIV, while upping prevention methods and education.

She also worked hard to promote the importance of sex education, proper hygiene, and prevention of substance abuse in public schools as well. In 1992, she was elected President of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers.

In January 1993—when Bill Clinton was President—he appointed her as the United States Surgeon General, making her the first African American and the second woman (following Antonia Novello) to hold the position.

Her appointment was controversial due to her views and outspoken attitude. She argued for an exploration of the possibility of drug legalization, and backed the distribution of contraceptives in schools. President Clinton stood by Dr. Elders, saying that she was misunderstood. She also was a strong backer of Clinton’s health care policy.

In 1994, she was forced to resign from the post as her views drew a lot of opposition from conservative leaders, who spearheaded a campaign to remove her from office.

She was invited to speak at a United Nations conference on AIDS. She was asked whether it would be appropriate to promote masturbation as a means of preventing young people from engaging in riskier forms of sexual activity, and she replied, "I think that it is part of human sexuality, and perhaps it should be taught." This remark was the last straw for politicians that disagreed with her, and began the fight to get her out of office.

Elders has since made a number of other statements that put her in the public spotlight, like her January 1994 quote on abortion: "We really need to get over this love affair with the fetus and start worrying about children."

After her resignation, Elders has returned to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences as professor of pediatrics, and is currently professor emerita at UAMS. She is a regular on the lecture circuit, speaking against teen pregnancy.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joycelyn_Elders

https://cfmedicine.nlm.nih.gov/physicians/biography_98.html

http://www.nytimes.com/1994/12/10/us/surgeon-general-forced-to-resign-by-white-house.html

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#1

Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/24/2017 6:29 PM

We should have fought harder to keep this woman as Surgeon General, it's an embarrassment that ignorant people still have so much power, perhaps that will end with the internet.....one can only hope....

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#2

Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/25/2017 9:11 AM

Hey, anybody that mispronounces the name Eric Clapton as Eric Clapner deserves to be fired!

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/25/2017 11:26 AM

That was petty!

Do you have a government masturbation license issuing agency in UK?

We have Liberty over here...

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#5
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/25/2017 3:13 PM

he has no licenses,... and he's breaking the law as you speak...

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#6
In reply to #3

Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/25/2017 8:36 PM

Not petty!!

I think a pope said "stupidity is also a gift from God, just don't over use it!

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#11
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/26/2017 9:23 AM

No, you fool, this is Petty.

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#13
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/26/2017 9:30 AM

Don't Back Doooowwwwn!

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#14
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/26/2017 9:40 AM

I will see your Petty, and raise you one Petty.

BTW- You don't "look beautiful tonight" to quote one "Eric Clapner", I meant Eric Clapton. What do you get when you cross John Clapper with Judge Wapner?

ooooooooooooooo

You get Judge John Clapner, silly wonk!

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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/26/2017 10:36 AM

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#25
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/26/2017 7:58 PM

EC "Beautiful Tonight" is about the ONLY song I will dance (badly) to with my lovely wife.

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#29
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/27/2017 11:35 AM

It's "Wonderful Tonight"! A great song nonetheless.

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#30
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/27/2017 12:31 PM

darned if it ain't! Tell you what I know (very little).

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#31
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/27/2017 8:20 PM

OOPS! You are correct sir!!!

Guess I get that mixed up with "Oh Beautiful" by Joe Bonnamassa - I think of my two grand daughters when I hear it!!

And the crunchy guitar is a bonus!!

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#32
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/28/2017 9:06 AM

That is a sweet image! Grandchildren are the great blessing at the end of the road that leads home.

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#7
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/25/2017 8:38 PM

Good thought - don't speak of something you know nothing about!!!!

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#9
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/26/2017 9:13 AM

Who ever said that? Clinton? That bozo should have been pulled off the public stage with a meat hook.

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#24
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/26/2017 3:44 PM

What politician called Bruce Springsteen...

Bruce Springsong?

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#4

Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/25/2017 3:11 PM

I may be bias or old fashioned, but I liked C Everett Koop.

I felt that the biggest accomplishment Joycelyn Elders did as surgeon general was that she proved that the Surgeon General wasn't needed.

She should have stayed in private practice or as a researcher.

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#8
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/25/2017 10:45 PM

It also shows that a 'Woman of the Week' thread isn't needed either. This is ridiculous!

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#10
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/26/2017 9:17 AM

Get used to it! Women have been around longer than you have...bozo, oh and BTW, get off women's backs.

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#12
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/26/2017 9:29 AM

even though I agree,... but I think the problem is, people keep pigeon hole people's accomplishments as to their race or gender such as;

  • First woman to do this
  • First Black Man to do that
  • First Native Indian to do...
  • First Puerto Ricans to do ...

I myself, like to see the first person or someone accomplishments, Like George Washington Carvers accomplishments on the peanut. You see what I did,... I used a name, not the color of his skin or his gender.

I think her work as Surgeon General was far from spectacular, but her other accomplishments outside this political area are noteworthy.

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#15
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/26/2017 9:52 AM

Yeah I'm waiting for Left Handed Samburu Cheondoist Transgender of the Week. I apologize in advance if I have offended anyone in the Left Handed Samburu Cheondoist Transgender community.

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#16
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/26/2017 10:14 AM

the response is even better.....

"Its amazing how far the Left Handed Samburu Cheondoist Transgender has come and their its accomplishments"

if that isn't a slap in the face.

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#18
In reply to #16

Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/26/2017 10:36 AM

I find the entire side-topic to be self-serving (mental masturbation), and sinister (left-handed).

In fact, it has been a remarkable progress for left-handedness in the United States.

Being T is just a splinter off the old block of firewood. The Samburu folks, I have no idea, but live and let live!

More of a slap in the groin, than a slap in the face, old buddy!

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#19
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/26/2017 10:48 AM

Did you know that to keep us politically correct, the PC politicians will change the face of the one dollar bill to a woman.

They believe they found an acceptable for all.

They are replacing George Washington on the one dollar bill with Barbara Bush.

They feel this is a win/win situation because they wouldn't even have to change plates.

Picture of one dollar bill

Picture of George

Picture of Barbara Bush

Bill Clinton... "Hey ya'all, did someone just say my name?"

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#20
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/26/2017 10:55 AM

Nah, that is an insult to Barbara, although I am sure she loves the Father of Our Country.

Never forget George Washington, never surrender!

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#21
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/26/2017 10:58 AM

well, I did say Politically Correct Politicians...

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#22
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/26/2017 11:04 AM

The PC politicians, and the PC police, may have my permission to go sit and spin on the nearest prickly pear cactus.

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#23
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/26/2017 11:05 AM

what I've heard coming out of Washington DC political degenerates,... They may enjoy that.

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#26
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/26/2017 8:15 PM

I have absolutely no problem with accomplished women!!

My medical technologist wife and my civil engineer daughter are outstanding examples!! But I cannot feel much honor for this woman.

While we ALL know everything on the internet is true......I don't think there is any argument here - of course Bill had other ideas of how to handle this issue.

How can I honor this woman??

In 1994, she was invited to speak at a United Nations conference on AIDS. She was asked whether it would be appropriate to promote masturbation as a means of preventing young people from engaging in riskier forms of sexual activity, and she replied, "I think that it is part of human sexuality, and perhaps it should be taught. "This remark caused great controversy and resulted in Elders losing the support of the White House. White House chief of staff Leon Panetta remarked, "There have been too many areas where the President does not agree with her views

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#27
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/26/2017 9:09 PM

Well easy for him to disagree. He had Monica.

jhammond

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#28
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Re: Woman of the Week – Joycelyn Elders

07/27/2017 9:09 AM

Well Sid, what she advocated is probably well known in psychological circles of wisdom.

I think (happily) that somehow our society has progresses past the Clintons, although the Clinton Foundation still has money and power to deal us all misery for the rest of our lifetimes. I say break out the guillotines, hanging is too good for them.

This country was not founded on power elitism, ladies and lords.

Portions of this post was deleted because it was overly religious or political. While each user is entitled to his or her own opinion on these topics, this forum is not the place for discussion about them. Please review Section 14 of the Site FAQ and the Rules of Conduct.

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