Pat Oriet, Women's Health Advocate

Dublin Core

Title

Pat Oriet, Women's Health Advocate

Subject

Women's reproduction, health, education, contraception, sexuality

Description

Pat Oriet, raised in Havre, Montana, chose to attend nursing school in the 1950s, one of few options available to women at the time. After the birth of her five children, she began working at Montana State University’s Student Health Service in Bozeman in 1967.

In the early 1970s, student health clinics across the United States faced a shifting cultural reality as the impacts of the sexual revolution spread to college campuses. Along with her student health colleagues, Oriet responded to the growing need for services by initiating a women’s health program. She tirelessly offered public presentations in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and at numerous venues across the community, where she openly discussed issues of sexuality, reproduction, and contraception. Always a passionate advocate for education, she championed the importance of women’s health and taught innumerable students about the importance of understanding and caring for their own bodies.

In 1985, Oriet transitioned to employment at OB/GYN Associates where she provided personal guidance and woman-centered counseling to her patients with a special emphasis on reproductive health, eating disorders, and menopause. She loved her work and found meaning in interacting with patients, retiring in 2011 after twenty-six years with the practice.

With a passionate focus on women and their needs, Oriet pioneered dialogue about health, reproduction, and sexuality through all stages of life. Throughout her career, she served as an advocate for generations of Montana women.

Language

English

Contributor

The Oriet Collection

Collection Items

Douching Syringe
This Faultless brand travel syringe was used for douching. Beginning in the mid-1800s, women used douching as a means of preventing conception, especially when more reliable methods were outlawed because of the Comstock Act of 1873. This syringe was…

FemCap Cervical Cap
Cervical caps were first used in the 1920s and are still available today. Pat Oriet used this cervical cap for display during educational talks about contraception.

Prentif Cavity-Rim Cervical Cap, Four Sizes
Diaphragms and cervical caps were both used as barrier methods of contraception. While the diaphragm was more widely prescribed in the United States, the cervical cap was typically ordered from a distributor in England. Both cervical caps and…

Prentif Cervical Cap with Container and Original Packaging
Diaphragms and cervical caps were both used as barrier methods of contraception. While the diaphragm was more widely prescribed in the United States, the cervical cap was typically ordered from a distributor in England. Both cervical caps and…

Ortho Diaphragm Fitting Rings
Diaphragms had to be fitted to determine the correct size for each individual woman. Some women couldn't use the diaphragm due to the position of the cervix or pelvic arch but could use the cervical cap. Oriet began fitting diaphragms at Student…

Ortho-Novum Pills in Dispensing Case
First approved by the FDA in 1960, the birth control pill has been in use for more than fifty years. This packet is from the 1980s.

Ovral Pills in Dispensing Case
First approved by the FDA in 1960, the birth control pill has been in use for more than fifty years. This packet is from the 1980s.

CycleBeads and Informational Pamphlet
While "natural birth control" (avoiding sex during fertile days of a woman's cycle) gained popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, CycleBeads are still produced and marketed as an alternative to hormonal birth control or barrier methods.

Prosthetic Breasts
The push for women to do breast self-exams began in earnest in the 1950s and continued for decades. Pat Oriet used these breast models with small lumps inside to show women what to look for as they performed exams on themselves.

Gestational Wheel
The gestational wheel is still used by women's healthcare workers around the globe to calculate projected delivery dates for pregnant women.
View all 24 items