Dr. A. Helen Martikainen, 99

Dr. Helen Martakainen

Dr. Helen Martikainen

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Dr. A. Helen Martikainen of Chapel Hill, N.C., 99, died on Friday, Jan. 16, 2015 at Carol Woods Retirement Community.

Born and raised in Harrison, she was the daughter of the late Sylvester and Emma Martikainen. She graduated from Bridgton Academy, and received her B.A. degree from Bates College, and received post-graduate degrees in public health from Yale & Harvard.

Dr. Martikainen served as health education specialist with the Public Health Society Hartford, Conn. and several years with U.S. Public Health Service, Washington, D.C. During service with USPHS, she was assigned to Oklahoma, and an extended assignment as Acting Director Health Education with NC Board Public Health, Raleigh, N.C.

In 1949, Dr. Martikainen was appointed first Chief of Health Education, Headquarters, World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva, Switzerland (1949-1974). She assisted national health programs in countries worldwide.

Retired in Chapel Hill in 1978, she volunteered with N.C. Division American Association of University Women, United Nations Association of USA, N.C. Coalition of Aging, Women's Issues, Episcopal Diocese of N.C.

She was a member of Women’s Forum of N.C., board of directors for NC Center of Laws Affecting Women, Board of Orange County Women’s Center, Advisory Board UNC School of Public Health, NC Association of Public Health and Public Health Alumni of Harvard University.

At Carol Woods, she served as chairman of the Resident’s Committee for Health; member of Residents Council, Chapel of Cross, Center of Public Policy Research.

Her awards include: honorary doctorate degrees of science from Bates College and Smith College; International Award, American Public Health Association; Elijah Benjamin Mays Award, Bates College; Women of Distinction Award, NC Council; special medal from National Academy of Medicine, France; Honorary Trustee Hall of Fame Bridgton Academy; election to Phi Beta Kappa, Bates College; Delta Omega Chapter, Yale Univ. Listed in WHO’S WHO: American Women, World Health Care & Medicine.

She was predeceased by brothers, Reino J. Martikainen and Ernest W. Martikainen; and sister Irja M. Bownes.

She is survived by a sister, Sylvia M. Martin; and several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held for Dr. Martikainen at Carol Woods on Saturday, Jan. 31 at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: The Chapel of The Cross, 304 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, NC 27514.

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