Margaret Irving Handy was born in Smyrna, Delaware, and was the daughter of L. Irving Handy, a U.S. Representative. After graduating from medical school, she was the first female native-born Delawarean to become a doctor and was also the state’s first pediatrician. She established a pediatric clinic. She became Assistant Chief at Delaware Hospital, and later in 1921, she became Chief of Pediatrics where she set up a nursery for premature babies.

 In 1945, she established the first mothers’ milk bank at Delaware Hospital (former Wilmington Hospital) in Wilmington, Delaware, after a hospital board member whose baby son died because she was unable to nurse him. The bank supplied breast milk to mothers throughout the United States as well as for research purposes, for 40 years.

She received multiple awards including New York Eye and Ear Infirmary’s Elizabeth Blackwell Citation and the Annie Jump Cannon medal from Wesley College.  In 1953, she was awarded the Josiah Marvel Cup for outstanding contributions to the state and to society in the field of children’s medicine. #womenshistorymonth2021 #netde #powerofwecsd