On Friday’s I like to write about women who have made a difference in our world. Today I would like to introduce you to Dr. Joan Gault. Not only did Joan become a Doctor at a time when it was very difficult for a woman to do so but in her retirement she continued to help people. She is the founder in Haddonfield of an organization called Interfaith Caregivers.
Dr. Gault was born in England, grew up in Haddonfield, graduated from Haddonfield Memorial HS in 1932, from Wilson College in 1936 and John Hopkins Medical School in 1940, where she was one of five women in her graduating class. She interned at Philadelphia General Hospital and continued her residency and career at Temple. In 1954 she went to Scotland and furthered her medical education at the Univ. of Edinburgh. She returned in 1956 and joined Temple Medical School as a Professor of Physiology until her retirement in 1990 at the age of 75.
After Dr. Gault retired, she founded Interfaith Caregivers in Haddonfield, an organization that helps the elderly or disabled live independently.
Setting out to meet the needs of isolated senior citizens, Dr. Gault elicited support from Haddonfield churches and community groups, formed a Board of Trustees, and organized the first training session for volunteers. In its first year of operation, Interfaith Caregivers served 80 clients with the help of 62 volunteers. While Caregivers has evolved quite a bit from its grass roots beginnings over the years – it now employs an executive director and serves over 300 clients through a corps of nearly 300 volunteers – its basic mission of neighbors helping neighbors through simple kindnesses hasn’t changed. (Information obtained from the Interfaith Caregivers web site.)
Dr. Joan Gault tipped the scales for the Town of Haddonfield.