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I am Antonia Novello I was the first female and first Hispanic to be appointed surgeon general of the United States As a former pediatrician my concern was on the health of young children As leader of the 6500 employees of the Public Health Service I directed the nations attention to AIDS infected children the dangers of smoking and teenage drinking I was born in Fajardo Puerto Rico August 23 1944 My parents were Antonio Coello and Ana Delia Coello At the age of eight my dad died and from there on I was raised by my mother When I was a child I suffered from a painful illness of the colon which was section of the large intestine I spent most of my summer in the hospital to receive treatments for this illness and I learned what it was like to be a helpless patient My condition was finally corrected by surgery when I was 18 years old These experiences convinced me to pursue a career in medicine I earn my bachelor of science from the University of Puerto Rico in 1965 I continued my studies and earned a medical doctor degree in 1970 That year I married Joseph Novello who was a United States Navy flight surgeon Later on we moved to Michigan were I continued my medical training I was the first woman to be honored with the Intern of the Year award by the centers pediatrics department for my skilled and caring treatments of patients Afterwards I continued my medical training at Georgetown University in Washington DC In 1982 I earned a masters degree in public health from John Hopkins University of Baltimore Maryland In 1986 I became deputy director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development In this position I took a special interest in children with AIDS acquired immune deficiency syndrome I earned a reputation in the medical field and in
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