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Wisdom comes with age, and at 84 years old, Maya Angelou has lots of wisdom. But she says she picked up her most valuable piece of wisdom early on. “I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me,” she said. In that spirit, Angelou has taken up the cause of women’s health.

“If I do that well enough, then I’ll be able to look after someone else — the children or the husband or the elderly. But I have to look after myself first,” she says. “I know that some people think that’s being selfish, I think that’s being self-full.”

That philosophy is at the center of her latest effort, a partnership with Novant Health, a not-for-profit integrated system of 13 hospitals that is set to unveil the Maya Angelou Center for Women’s Health and Wellness in her hometown of Winston-Salem, N.C.

The newest facility is the second with which Angelou has been involved. In 2002 she helped open the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Wake Forest University, which is focused on closing the gap in health and healthcare disparities among minorities.

Like the work being done there, Angelou says her women’s health center — which offers an array of clinical programs affecting women’s health, including heart, wellness, cancer and surgical services, as well as maternity, emergency, bone and joint health and behavioral care — will focus not only on treatment but on prevention, a critical step in closing the gap that she says is too often hindered by denial.

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article courtesy of TheHuffingtonPost.com

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