1. The worst Ebola outbreak in history devastated numerous countries in West Africa and resulted in more than 5,000 deaths to date.
2. Jimmy Kimmel proved that no one knows what the hell gluten actually is.
3. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, allowing religious companies to provide their employees with health insurance that doesn't cover birth control.
And then women shared why they take birth control.
4. Dr. Oz got scolded about weight-loss pills in a congressional committee hearing.
And then he made a colossal mistake on Twitter...
5. Robin Williams' suicide spurred discussion about depression and mental illness.
6. CVS stopped selling tobacco products.
And they actually did it a month earlier than expected.
7. Thirteen women died in India after botched sterilization procedures.
8. The number of Americans with health insurance increased by about 10 million, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
9. The #GetYourBellyOut campaign inspired people to post pictures of themselves with their colostomy bags visible.
10. And Miss Idaho wore her insulin pump at several beauty pageants.
11. A 21-year-old girl from the United Kingdom showed the world what it's like to suffer from trichotillomania, a disorder that causes you to pull out your own hair.
12. Joan Rivers died from complications during surgery.
13. In the midterm elections, voters in Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C., voted to legalize recreational marijuana. Voters in Guam approved of legal medical marijuana.
14. Doctors successfully implanted lab-grown vaginas into four women.
15. The World Cup reminded us that concussions have serious repercussions.
16. And in the ongoing NFL concussion lawsuit, a federal judge approved a settlement proposal in July. Over 5,000 former NFL players have sued the NFL for concussion-related health claims.
Many people were not satisfied with the terms of the settlement and want to alter it.
Damning research shows that people who suffer from concussions experience major health issues down the line, from chronic headaches, to dementia and Alzheimer's, to depression and suicide. In spite of the settlement, this isn't the last we'll be hearing about this issue. Read the cover story from the New York Times Magazine, "Is Football The Next Tobacco?," to learn more.
17. The Ice Bucket Challenge resulted in millions of dollars raised for ALS.
18. The American Academy of Pediatrics officially endorsed the IUD and implants as the best forms of birth control for teenagers.
19. New York City officials accidentally hired a con artist to do Ebola cleanup.
20. And New York and New Jersey governors required mandatory quarantine for anyone who had been in contact with any Ebola patients within the past 21 days.
21. In fact, people in general freaked out monumentally about Ebola.
22. The first baby was born via womb transplant.
23. Apple and Facebook announced that they'll start paying for female employees to freeze their eggs.
24. We learned just how dangerous morcellator devices are, and the FDA issued major warnings against them.
25. The measles returned.
26. And so did the bubonic plague.
27. And Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman with terminal cancer, ended her own life surrounded by her loved ones.
As you can see, 2014 was clearly an important year for how we think about health, with many tragic and terrible stories, but a few inspiring and uplifting ones as well.
Here's to better health in 2015.