From sabbatical, Gerl produces research on medical pioneer
Dr. Virginia Apgar’s storied medical career is marked with firsts and achievements: The first female professor at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, by retirement she had won numerous awards and published more than sixty articles in a host of academic publications.
Prof. Ellen Gerl’s forthcoming biographical paper on the noted obstetrical anesthesiologist is set to document "one aspect of her career, her work with birth defect prevention and the March of Dimes."
Dr. Apgar joined the March of Dimes in 1959, and eventually became the neonatal health nonprofit’s Vice President for Medical Affairs. In 1969 she testified before congress on their behalf regarding the importance of federally funded rubella vaccinations.
In 1952, Apgar put forth five variables by which medical professionals could assess a newborns health: Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, and Respiration (known by the acronym A.P.G.A.R.). The test has stood the test of time, and has saved countless lives.
Gerl’s research this past semester included trips to archives containing records regarding Dr. Apgar, as well as primary interviews.