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Chapter 9: New Rules of Engagement

Equipped with her mother’s feminist syntax, her father’s pastoral ethic, and family stories of mothers and babies who died needlessly for want of good care, Martha blasts her way into an era of new possibilities. She meets Ethel Dunham in college and knows she has found her life partner as well as a colleague. The two go to medical school at Johns Hopkins, training in pediatrics, and eventually make their way to the U.S. Children’s Bureau in Washington. Martha writes landmark legislation including the Security Act’s Title V (providing aid for dependent and crippled children) and the bill that enables the distribution of Salk’s vaccine against polio. She serves as the World Health Organization’s Assistant Director General and is one of the founding signers of UNICEF’s charter.