Boyana Hristova (1895- after 1967)

Boyana Christova Dobrinova  was the first trained public health nurse in Bulgaria and started the first children health station in Sofia in 1924 together with Prof. Stefan Vatev. . She is one of the leading personalities in health promotion and modern child rearing in the 1920 and 1930-es. Boyana Christova was born in Sevlievo and studied in the American college in the town of Lovech. After that she joined the Queen Eleonore School for Nurses in Alexander Hospital in Sofia and practiced in Alexander Hospital. The school was organized in 1916 by the American nurses Helen Schott Hay and Rachel Torrance who were invited by Queen Eleonore in order to reorganize Bulgarian education of nurses. There weren’t any  trained public health nurses in Bulgaria at that time. Helen Schott Hay and Rachel Torrance were the first who demonstrated the methods of the public health nursing in Bulgaria. In October 1922, Rachel Torrance, who assisted Helen Scott Hay in 1915-1916 was appointed as Director of the School for Nurses in Sofia and arrived in the town together with Theodora LeGros as her assistant. In 1924, Theodora LeGros was replaced by a new assistant Director, Hazel Avis Goff who stayed till 1927. During these years some young Bulgarian nurses were prepared in the USA and in Europe to take leading positions in Sofia. The first was Nevena Sendova, followed by Krustanka Pachedjieva. After 1920 Boyana Christova participated in the First International Course for public health in London and came back as the first Public health nurse in Bulgaria[ . She was creative in furnishing the health station in order to make them attractive for mothers and children and to be useful for the staff. It was not an easy task in the 1920-es to convince mothers to bring their children to the new opened children health station as well as to allow public health nurses to visit their homes. Boyana Christova wrote a lot of articles to explain the important social tasks of the children health stations and elaborated recommendations for the practical work of nurses with mothers. In 1928 Boyana Christova was one of the Bulgarian representatives who took part in the Social Work Congress in Paris. She had close contacts with the Bulgarian suffragist organization (Bulgarian Women’s Union.) In 1929 she took part in the educational trip of the Union’s Leaders to Germany in order to observe the Women’s activities in social work and health promotion.  In the 1930-es as children health stations became common institutions of the biopolitical measures and they number grew rapidly, Boyana Christova was in charge of the children health stations in Sofia and parallel to that she gave lectures in Public Health at the Sofia Scholl for nurses as well as to female students in Secondary schools in order to teach them in modern child rearing.   


Popova, Kristina  “The Joy of Service”. Biopolitics and Biographies Between New York, Sofia and Gorna Dzhumaja in the First Half of the 20th Century”, Advanced Academia Fellowship, 2011-2012, CAS Working Paper Series.