Sonoma Valley Hospital

SPR 2013

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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Maya Angelou speaking at Forsyth Medical Center at the announcement for the Maya Angelou Center for Women's Health and Wellness Left to right: Elliott Jones, grandson of Maya Angelou; Jeff Lindsay, president of Forsyth Medical Center; Dr. Chere Gregory, physician leader; and Kirsten Royster, vice president, Maya Angelou Center for Women's Health and Wellness A LIFELONG DEDICATION TO THE ARTS Angelou has spent a lifetime exploring her many interests and passions around the world. Raised by her grandmother in racially segregated St. Louis and rural Arkansas, she won a scholarship to study dance and drama in San Francisco when she was a teenager. In the 1950s she toured Europe with a production of "Porgy and Bess" and went on to write and teach in Egypt and Ghana, returning to the United States to work in the civil rights move- HEALTHY LIVING Angelou says her early career as a dancer helped inspire her to live the healthy lifestyle that she still embraces, and she has never veered from her path of eating a good diet and staying active. "When I was young I had a son, and I had to stay … in some sort of shape for him. And I was a dancer, and I had to stay in some kind of shape to dance," she says. "Fortunately, I've talked myself out of loving sweets, and I don't eat them often. I don't eat a lot—when I'm finished, I'm finished. I've trained myself not to go for seconds." Perhaps the best motivation of all, though, is believing that you deserve to have a healthy body, she adds. "I like myself, and I've been given enough reason to like myself because I have been loved," she explains. "I had a grandmother and a brother and a mother who loved me and told me I was the bee's knees! I believed them. Even though the larger society was telling me the opposite— I believed them." • Maya's milestones • Author of more than 30 best-selling books of verse, nonfiction and fiction • 2011 recipient of the President's Medal of Freedom • Read her poem "On the Pulse of the Morning" at President Bill Clinton's 1993 inauguration • Recipient of three spoken word Grammy awards • Appeared in the landmark television mini-series adaptation of Alex Haley's "Roots" in 1977 • Wrote the first script by an African American woman ever to be filmed, for the 1972 movie "Georgia, Georgia" w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m S P R I N G 2 013 SPI RIT O F WOM EN PHOTO PAGE 16: BRIAN LANKER; PHOTOS PAGE 17: CRAIG HOPKINS PHOTOGRAPHY to coordinate comprehensive services for women at every stage of life, bringing together all the clinical programs and services that touch women's health. "I hope [the new center] will not only help us to cure some of the ailments which bedevil women in particular, but also encourage women to be proactive in their own healthcare," says Angelou. "When women really feel they are worth it, they will have mammograms, they will have the examinations that can forestall [illnesses]. We can't just sit and let somebody [else] tell us what to do and what to think and how to be." ment with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1960s. In 1970, her memoir "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" was released to international acclaim, and today her published verse, nonfiction and fiction works include more than 30 best-selling titles. She has also written plays and screenplays and acted in television programs, series and films, including the epic 1977 television mini-series "Roots," for which she received an Emmy nomination. But Angelou has no intention of resting on her laurels even at this stage of her life, she says. She still teaches and writes, and in February she hosted her third annual radio program for Black History Month called "Telling Our Stories," airing on 175 public radio stations nationwide. 17

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