Alice Hamilton was a pioneer in many ways. As the first female faculty member at Harvard University, and the only female member on the League of Nations health committee, she advanced the role of women in professional and academic life. Her work also pioneered the field of industrial medicine in the United States.
Beyond being a great scientist, searching for knowledge, and a medical researcher, seeking causes for various diseases, Hamilton applied her expertise and abilities to the improvement of the lives of others. She particularly focused on the hard-working but low-income people, people she came into daily contact with during her time at Hull House. Together with other Hull House residents, Jane Addams, Alzina Stevens, Florence Kelley, Sophonisba Breckinridge, and others, Hamilton was able to provide detailed information to state and federal health committees which led to numerous social reforms.
Alice Hamilton exemplifies the use of one's abilities and training to serve others. She was skilled in medical research, and applied her knowledge to improve the lives of others. Through the efforts of those such as Hamilton in the twentieth century, great improvements in the quality of life for all could be made, an indication of the advancement of humankind into an era of recognition of the value of each person and concern for the welfare of all people.