Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Eleanor Baum

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Eleanor Baum

Women’s Health: Giving Women Control Over Their Health Care

Women’s Health: Giving Women Control Over Their Health Care

A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

Women’s News: US Wins Women’s 8 Final for 2nd Straight Gold

Women’s News: US Wins Women’s 8 Final for 2nd Straight Gold

Women’s News: US Wins Women’s 8 Final for 2nd Straight Gold

WINDSOR, England August 2, 2012 (AP)

Moments before “The Star-Spangled Banner” resounded across a sun-kissed Dorney Lake, Taylor Ritzel looked at the gold medal hanging around her neck. She shook her head and took a deep breath.

Ritzel was part of the U.S. women’s eight that won a second straight Olympic gold, maintaining a six-year dominance in the event. But her journey to the top of the podium was far more difficult than the victory against rival Canada on Thursday at the London Games.

In November 2010, soon after Ritzel had joined the eight, her mother, Lana, died of breast cancer. The loss could have devastated her. Thanks to her crewmates, it didn’t.

“For me … the sport of rowing has been a huge way to sort of get through the grieving process,” Ritzel said, her bottom lip quivering.

“I think the sport and the eight other women in this boat, and the rest of Team USA, have made what seemed to be an impossible thing to get through possible.”

The camaraderie in the women’s eight was in full view as they threw up their intertwined arms when the announcer read out: “Gold-medalists — the United States!”

Esther Lofgren was in tears. Susan Francia looked close to joining her.

Coxswain Mary Whipple received the biggest cheer as the medals were handed out under clearing skies on the pontoon. She would later be tossed into the lake by the jubilant crew.

“That is an American dynasty, baby,” Francia said. “It’s just so special.”

The dynasty began at Dorney Lake in 2006, when the U.S. won the world championship, and it was never in doubt in Thursday’s final.

Racing in a fierce crosswind, the U.S. led from start to finish to win in 6 minutes, 10.59 seconds, a half-length ahead of a fast-finishing Canadian crew who have come close this year to breaking the American stranglehold on the event.

In Lucerne in May, the Canadians lost out by only three hundredths of a second and they qualified for the Olympic final with a faster time in the heats. However, they left their charge for gold too late.

“Coming off the line, I felt so much,” Whipple said. “And then when we took our stride, that was beautiful.

“We were a little high and I just told them to breathe and enjoy the moment. Feel each stroke. Be present. And we were present — the whole time. It was magical.”

The Americans successfully defended the title they won in the 2008 Beijing Games. The country’s only previous Olympic gold in the event came at Los Angeles in 1984.

The Netherlands took the bronze to close the second day of finals that reached a crescendo during a closely fought lightweight men’s four race that was won by South Africa for the country’s first-ever rowing gold.

South Africa came through late to edge a favored British crew by 0.25 seconds. Denmark took the bronze 0.07 seconds further back, having led for all but 100 meters of the race.

“We kept ourselves for the sprint,” South Africa’s John Smith said. “I can’t believe it.”

The country’s only other Olympic medal in rowing came in the men’s pair in 2004.

Denmark’s failure to hold on denied veteran Eskild Ebbesen what would have been a fourth Olympic gold. He still won a fifth Olympic medal.

“It could have been gold. It could have been fourth of fifth, so I am very happy,” the 40-year-old Ebbesen said.

In the day’s other final, New Zealand won its first gold of the games in men’s double sculls.

Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan added an Olympic gold medal to their two world titles with a late surge to overtake Italy with about 200 meters left, winning in 6:31.67.

“It was painful but so, so good,” Sullivan said.

The Italians, a half length behind, captured the surprise silver medal. Slovenia won the bronze, having led for much of the race.

In the semifinals of the men’s four, Britain gained a psychological advantage over Australia heading into Saturday’s eagerly anticipated final by beating its big rival by a half-length.

The U.S. won the other semifinal and could yet be a factor in the final.

A Message From The Creator

Women’s Health: Giving Women Control Over Their Health Care

Sec. Kathleen Sebelius

Secretary of Health and Human Services

Women deserve to have control over their health care. Aug. 1, 2012, ushers in a new day for women’s health when, for the first time ever, women will have access to eight new services at no out-of-pocket cost to keep them healthier and to catch potentially serious conditions at an earlier, more treatable stage. This benefit will take effect for millions of adult and adolescent women over the course of the next year — and it’s just one of many benefits of the health care law that let women and their doctors, not insurance companies, make decisions about a woman’s care.

When it comes to health, women are often the primary decision-maker for their families and the trusted source in circles of friends. Women often take care of their families first and put off their own health care needs. Too often, they have gone without preventive services, worrying about what even a $20 insurance co-pay would mean to their families’ budgets and choosing to pay for groceries or rent instead.

But now, thanks to the health care law, many women won’t have to make that choice.

Because of the Affordable Care Act, women in private plans and Medicare already have received potentially life-saving services, such as mammograms, cholesterol screenings and flu shots at no extra cost. Today, the law builds on these benefits, requiring new, non-grandfathered private health plans to offer eight additional screenings and tests for adolescent and adult women at no extra charge. These include:

  • Well-woman visits.
  • Gestational diabetes screenings that help protect the mother and her child from one of the most serious pregnancy-related diseases.
  • Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling.
  • FDA-approved contraceptive products, which have proven health benefits like a reduced risk of cancer and protecting against osteoporosis.
  • Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling.
  • HPV DNA testing, for women 30 or older.
  • Sexually transmitted infections counseling.
  • HIV screening and counseling.

According to a new report, about 47 million women are eligible for these new additional preventive services that address their unique health care needs. Instead of letting insurance companies decide what care women receive, the health care law requires insurers to cover these preventive services in new plans beginning Aug. 1. Because these changes take effect at the beginning of a new plan year, the requirement may go into effect later in the year. Ask your insurance company when the new benefits will take effect for you.

Women’s health decisions shouldn’t be made by politicians or insurance companies. Rather than wasting time refighting old political battles, this Administration is moving forward and putting women in control of their own health care. If women are going to take care of their families and friends, they have to take care of themselves. The Affordable Care Act is making it easier for women to do that by making health care more accessible and affordable for millions of American women and families.

To learn more about the health care services you are eligible for at no extra charge under the Affordable Care Act, go to

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Eleanor Baum

IEEE Fellow, 1990, “For achievements and leadership in engineering education and efforts to increase the number of women and minorities in the engineering profession.”

Eleanor became an engineer out of rebellion! When she made that decision at the age of 17, it just was not something a woman would do. Her path to college wasn’t a smooth one, she was not accepted to several engineering schools because she was a woman, and in one instance, because they did not have the right facilities (no women’s bathrooms.) She was accepted by the City College of New York (CCNY) and was the only female engineering student. She earned her BEE in 1959 from CCNY, and her MEE (1961) and Ph.D. (1964) from Polytechnic Institute of New York.

She worked as an engineer at Sperry Rand Corp. and later at General Instruments Corp. However, most of her career has been spent in academia. She was the first woman Dean of Engineering at Pratt Institute in 1991. She joined Cooper Union in 1987.

Eleanor is a fearless advocate of issues that relate to women and minorities students in engineering. She is a perfect match for Cooper Union, which is a tuition-free institution. It has a tradition of teaching students from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Eleanor feels that Cooper Union is the most exciting academic institution she has ever encountered. She notes that its small, has a superb faculty, and has the type of students that faculty dream of teaching.

She is also an advocate of Life Long Learning, which the IEEE is committed to through its Educational Activities. Baum participated in the IEEE Technological Literacy Counts (TLC) Workshop, 9-10 October 1998, in Baltimore MD. Over 100 educators and engineers met to launch a collaborative effort to promote universal technological literacy.

She is a past President of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET). Eleanor is a Fellow of IEEE, the Society for Women Engineers (SWE), and the Order of the Engineer as well as the recipient of a number of honorary degrees. She serves on the Boards of several prestigious organizations and has chaired the Committee for Examiners for the Graduate School Record Examination. A member of the Engineer Workforce Commission and the Competitiveness Policy Council, Eleanor has received many awards in the area of engineering education. She has also been active in national efforts to increase the number of women and minorities entering the engineering profession and is a speaker and writer on this topic.

Eleanor’s leisure activities include cooking, traveling, reading mysteries, playing tennis and attending the theatre. She and her husband Paul have two daughters, Elizabeth and Jennifer.

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