Holly Harpel
Community Engagement Associate


Featured Makers: Women's History Month

Women’s History Month has been celebrated around the world this month to honor the contributions of women everywhere. As MakerHealth seeks to bring the tools and training of health making to creative clinicians around the world, we’re highlighting women who have gone above and beyond their role in health care. They’re women who have designed and made new health devices that have impacted individual patients and whole health care systems. 

We’re proud to feature the following women who come from the MakerHealth community and beyond.

There’s Holly Cohen, an Occupational Therapist from New York University, who uses interactive technologies to create custom solutions for her patients.

Daniela Urbina, a nurse from Estelí, Nicaragua, showed us how she repaired her stethescope diaphragm by creatively experimenting with tape and x-ray before testing overhead transparency slides. They had the perfect thickness for her to continue being able to hear patients’ heart beats.

A very important historic example of a health maker is Letitia Geer, born in 1852, who developed the modern medical syringe that can be used with one hand. Her design and model inspired many reproductions that followed.

There’s Lisa Vallino, an ER and pediatric nurse, who created an intravenous catheter shield that is safer and easier for patients to use.

From Liberia, nurse Fata Kekula, innovatively responded to the 2014 Ebola outbreak when it infected her family members. She created a makeshift isolation ward outside her home and also devised a new protocol for others to use. She increased usability of nearby materials such as garbage bags, and effectively transformed them into PPE. The protocol was adopted around the world as a way to safely care for infectious patients when commercial supplies are not accessible.

Ge Zhihong, a nurse from China, has invented hundreds of new health devices. One device in particular addresses infusion and can replace the need for patients’ families from having to adjust the dripping speed of medicine. The device also improves accuracy by controlling the dripping speed, and it can be reused after disinfected.