Toni epitomizes the terms self-help, client rights, empowerment, advocacy,
risk-taking and visionary. Her fifty years of volunteer service
began in her children's elementary school. From there she went
on to volunteer with the Marin Public Health Department. Her
work has been a sparkplug, igniting others to action. She participated
in the formation of four continuing empowerment programs: Community
Mental Health (CMH) Companion Program, the Office of the Patient Advocate
for CMH, the Network of Mental Health Clients/Enterprise Resource
Center and Labor Support Services.
Challenging the status quo has been a hallmark
of Toni's efforts. As a supporter of individuals in the mental
health system and of women, she has investigated ways to make sure
that the projects she works on can be institutionalized and maintained
despite sometimes daunting obstacles. Her outrage at denial
of basic rights to women prisoners in the Marin County jail led her
to persuade the local Red Cross to sponsor a program addressing those
needs. That is just one example of her response to unfairness
toward those who are the most powerless, disadvantaged, stigmatized
For fifty years, Toni has served the needs
of others with her husband, children and grandchildren. Her
legacy is one of tremendous courage, tenacity and persistence in speaking
out on behalf of those who do not have a voice or whose voice is often
Read the extended biography by Eleanor Kellogg Smith.
Medicine & Social Change
Over the past 30 years, perhaps no other woman has consistently impacted
the lives of so many Marin County children as Evelyn Callas.
It has been said of her, "She is professional, caring, warm and
understanding, unpretentious, low-key and devoted to her young patients.
She does it all, from fixing the pediatric department's broken toys,
to hugging a scared child, to giving clear instructions to worried
Dr. Callas's advocacy on behalf of children
has resulted in legislative changes to protect children from abuse
and neglect. Largely due to her efforts, an important bill was
passed which allows physicians to photograph children without parental
In 1978, Dr. Callas was appointed Chief of
Pediatrics by Kaiser Permanente, the first woman to be appointed a
department chief. She was also Assistant Clinical Professor
of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco and has
served as Board Secretary of the Easter Seals Society.
When she retired from Kaiser in 1989, Dr.
Callas focused on her work at UCSF, becoming Director of Pediatric
Urgent Care for five years. In the fall of 1995, she moved to
Mt. Shasta where she utilizes her knowledge of pediatrics by volunteering
at a medical clinic and spending one day per week at a school-based
health clinic organized by the county schools and the local medical
group. Particularly concerned with the care of acutely sick
and needy children, she is involved in various committees concerning
emergency medical care for children and school attendance.
Read the extended biography by Nancy Nakai
Medicine & Social Change
Patricia Hallinan was one of the first women to graduate from Stanford
Medical School. Although she was actively discouraged from pursuing
medical studies by some of her professors (who did not want female
students), she successfully completed her medical program. When
medical internships other than at children's hospitals were routinely
denied to women, Patricia Hallinan directly negotiated a general medical
internship at San Francisco General Hospital. When she completed
her internship, she was the first Stanford graduate in twenty years
to be awarded a residency at San Francisco General. She later
entered private practice as a cardiologist.
Dr. Hallinan eventually became Assistant
Health Officer for Marin County. In this position she became
closely acquainted with the special needs of disabled children, children
with birth defects and other children with special needs. She
established a program in the Department of Public Health for the protection
of battered children. She was a champion for the rights of the
developmentally disabled. Later, as a representative of the
Agency for Infant Development, she worked with State Assembly members
to write, sponsor and pass legislation designed to protect California's
children. She actively lobbied in Sacramento and made numerous
television appearances on behalf of these laws and other child-related
issues. She was one of the first to address the problem of fetal
alcohol syndrome. Dr. Hallinan received numerous awards during
her life, including the March of Dimes Meritorious Service Award.
Read Dr. Hallinan's extended biography
NAOMI REMEN, MD
Rachel Naomi Remen, a 1962 graduate of Cornell Medical School, is a
visionary and medical reformer. A pioneer in the development of
Holistic and Mind/Body medicine, her life's work has successfully
legitimized and reintegrated the human spirit into contemporary
medical care and education. Dr. Remen is Clinical Professor of
Family and Community Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine. Her
courses for medical students enable them to see beyond the disease
process and strengthen the mind, heart and spirit of their patients.
Her course "The
Healer's Art" was featured in US News and World Report's Best
Graduate Schools 2002 to illustrate the future of medical education
and is now taught at 33 medical schools.
guidance as Founder and Director of the Institute for the Study of
Health and Illness at Commonweal, thousands of physicians and
medical educators have studied the principles and practices of a
medicine of healing. Her programs for graduate physicians have
helped doctors recover from the wounding of their training and
reclaim their commitment to the heart and soul of medicine.
As a clinician
for 20 years, Dr. Remen worked with people with cancer and their
families and practiced in Marin County. In 1986 she became
co-founder and medical director of the Commonweal Cancer Help
Program in Bolinas, featured by Bill Moyers in his PBS series "Healing and the Mind." She was among the first to recognize the
psychological and spiritual impact of cancer on people and their
families and develop innovative methods to mobilize the healing
power of every individual in recovering their personal wholeness.
Dr. Remen has a
52-year personal history of Crohn's disease and her work uniquely
blends the viewpoints of physician and patient. A master storyteller
and speaker, over the past thirty years she has spoken to hundreds
of thousands of people throughout the country, reminding them of
their courage, the importance and healing power of their stories and
their ability to make a difference.
Remen wrote The Human Patient
(Doubleday 1981), one of the earliest books on the medicine of the
whole person. She is the best-selling author of Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal and My Grandfather's Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge and Belonging.
Her books have been translated into 18 languages and are textbooks
in many nursing and medical schools here and abroad. Dr. Remen has
spoken at many medical school graduations and holds three honorary
Health & Social Change
As a young nurse, Mary Taverna observed that terminally ill patients
were lacking adequate, compassionate care. She decided there
had to be a way to relieve the loneliness, isolation, and fear that
haunted the last days of dying patients."
In 1976 Ms. Taverna joined Hospice of Marin, a fledgling organization
dedicated to helping people die with dignity and support.
Two years later she became the President of Hospice of Marin.
Although the program was growing steadily, there was much resistance
from other health care providers to the concept of hospice care.
Undaunted, Taverna kept on.
Largely because of Mary Taverna's persistence, Hospice of Marin
was a true pioneer in the establishment of hospice, not only in
the County, but also in the U.S. and elsewhere. In 1995 the
National Hospice Organization honored Ms. Taverna as "the individual
who has done the most for hospice in the national and international
Ms. Taverna is a true role model for hospice professionals.
Health care providers from all over the country have come to Hospice
of Marin for specialized training in end-of-life care. Taverna
also helped write legislation to provide public health care insurance
coverage for hospice services. This legislation, enacted in
1983, enabled the hospice movement to remain financially sustainable
and led to private insurance coverage of hospice services as well.
Locally, under Mary Taverna's leadership, Hospice of Marin has become
a vital humanitarian organization that is known in Marin County
for its high-quality patient care and strong community relationships.