January 24, 2022

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Margaret Giannini, Champion of Folks With Disabilities, Dies at 100

Margaret Giannini, Champion of People With Disabilities, Dies at 100

She by no means graduated from Temple and wanted yet another credit score, in natural chemistry, to satisfy the pre-med necessities at Hahnemann. The one college close by that was providing natural chemistry over the summer time was Villanova, which on the time accepted solely males. She enrolled anyway, however after she had attended class for every week, officers insisted she go away. Her professor supplied to offer her personal classes and stated that if she might move the examination, he would give her the credit score she wanted. She handed and started medical college within the fall of 1941.

She graduated in 1945 — one in every of three girls within the class, Hahnemann’s second to just accept girls — and did her internship at New York Medical School in Valhalla. A good friend there set her up on a blind date with Dr. Louis J. Salerno, who had simply returned from service as a significant within the Military on the finish of the warfare. They married in 1948 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.

She saved her personal identify, which was extremely uncommon in that period. She and her husband had been each professors at New York Medical School (she taught pediatrics; he taught obstetrics and gynecology), and he or she needed to reduce any confusion.

Along with her son Louis, she is survived by three different sons, Robert, Justin and Mark Salerno; 5 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Her husband died in 1988.

Dr. Giannini’s work on the Psychological Retardation Institute, of which she was director from 1950 to 1978, drew the eye of President Jimmy Carter, who appointed her the primary director of the Nationwide Institute on Incapacity and Rehabilitation Analysis (now the Nationwide Institute on Incapacity, Unbiased Dwelling and Rehabilitation Analysis).

After Mr. Carter misplaced the 1980 election, she joined the Division of Veterans Affairs, the place she expanded her work to embody bodily disabilities associated to navy service, together with post-traumatic stress dysfunction, traumatic mind damage, blindness, deafness and different issues.

In her second presidential appointment, President George W. Bush named her the principal deputy assistant secretary for growing old on the Division of Well being and Human Providers. There she bought to know Tommy Thompson, the secretary of the division, who appointed her director of the division’s workplace on incapacity in 2002.

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