Public Health Collections Now Open for Research

By , February 28, 2011

Brochure for Skylab, the United States’ first space station. From the collection of Robert Benford, who specialized in aviation medicine and had been editor of several aerospace journals. From the Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.

Three public health collections are now available for research:..

Robert J. Benford Papers: Robert Joseph Benford (Nebraska, M.D. 1934) was an officer in the Medical Corps, U.S. Air Force during World War II and made Colonel, 1947-1960. He was also Chief, Engineering Development Division of the Armed Services Medical Procurement Agency. The collection includes many photographs and printed material, such as reports about aeronautical research. Processed by Cheryl Ostrowski.

D. Mark Hegsted Papers: Hegsted (Wisconsin, Ph.D. 1940) taught nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health starting in 1942. In 1968 he served as head of the Food and Nutrition Board, National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council. His principal research interests are in nutritional needs in underdeveloped areas of the world and protein and calcium requirements. The collection documents Hegsted’s professional activities, especially his work with the Food and Nutrition Board to formulate national nutritional policies; his research and other concerns, such as food labeling and coordinating national nutritional programs; and his work toward raising public interest in nutritional issues. Processed by Hanna Clutterbuck. Finding aid available here.

Jean Mayer Papers: Mayer (1920- ) (Yale, Ph.D. 1948) taught nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health from 1950 to 1976, when he became president of Tufts University. He chaired the 1969 White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health and served as consultant on nutrition to various countries. He has lectured extensively and written articles and books. His research has dealt primarily with the brain mechanism regulating hunger and food intake and with experimental and clinical obesity. Processed by Hanna Clutterbuck. The finding aid is here.

These collections were processed as a part of the Center’s CLIR-funded project, Foundations of Public Health Policy, which recently concluded. for more informatoion about these collections, additional Foundations collections, or the project, see the project website.

Dissolving Boundaries Event Video Available

By , February 25, 2011

Dr. Frederick John Stare, "March of Medicine" telecast, 1953. From the Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.

A lecture and discussion to celebrate the Foundations in Public Health Policy project was held on February 7, 2011 at the Countway Library, 10 Shattuck St., Boston.  “Dissolving Boundaries: Extending the Reach of Medicine and Public Health” was recorded and can be streamed online by clicking the link above.

Featuring:

Allan Brandt, Ph.D., Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; Professor of the History of Science; Amalie Moses Kass Professor of the History of Medicine

Julio Frenk, M.D., Ph.D., Dean of the Faculty, Harvard School of Public Health; T & G Angelopoulos Professor of Public Health and International Development, Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Kennedy School

Jeffrey S. Flier, M.D., Dean of the Faculty, Harvard Medical School; Caroline Shields Walker Professor of Medicine

with introductory remarks by Scott H. Podolsky, Director of the Center for the History of Medicine.

February 7: Public Health Exhibit and Event

By , November 29, 2010

 

(L to R) Drs. Quentin Gaiman, Donald Augustine, and Thomas Weller of the HSPH Department of Tropical Public Health.

Please join us on February 7, 2011 from 4:00-6:00 PM at the Countway Library for a panel discussion with three distinguished leaders in global health and medicine.

Dissolving Boundaries: Extending the Reach of Medicine and Public Health.

The fields of medicine and public health continue to change, confronting issues of ever-greater magnitude, and framed by debates concerning the boundary between organized medicine and public health, national versus global health concerns, and personal versus societal responsibility. Successful efforts to engage such issues are critically dependent upon a historical understanding of their evolution.The event will feature lecture and discussion from

  • Allan Brandt, Ph.D., Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; Professor of the History of Science; Amalie Moses Kass Professor of the History of Medicine.
  • Julio Frenk, M.D., Ph.D., Dean of the Faculty, Harvard School of Public Health; T & G Angelopoulos Professor of Public Health and International Development, Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Kennedy School
  • Jeffrey S. Flier, M.D., Dean of the Faculty, Harvard Medical School; Caroline Shields Walker Professor of Medicine

An accompanying exhibit, curated by Center staff, will draw from the archival collections of key leaders in American public health from the twentieth century, including Leona Baumgartner, Allan Macy Butler, Philip Drinker, Alice Hamilton, Howard Hiatt, Alexander Langmuir, David Rutstein, Richard Pearson Strong, and James Whittenberger.

RSVP to  contactchom@hms.harvard.edu.

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Howard Hiatt on Web of Stories

By , October 1, 2010

Howard H. Hiatt, Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health from July 1, 1972 to June 30, 1984.

In September of 2006, former Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, Howard Hiatt, told a series of 63 stories (totaling 3 hours and 39 minutes) as part of the “Great Lives” series on the Web of Stories website. Much of the content in the stories speaks directly to the records found in his manuscript collection here at the Center for the History of Medicine: his decision on becoming a doctor, his early medical career, Harvard and the U.S. Army, his time working with the Pasteur Institute, his work against nuclear war, his time as Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, working with Paul farmer and Jim Kim in Partners in Health, as well as stories of his personal life and relationships.

To watch the interviews on Web of Stories, click here.

View the online Finding Aid »

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Staff Finds: The Children’s Medical Center at Mass General Hospital

By , September 2, 2010

Post operative care at the Children's Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital. From the Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.

While processing the papers of Allan Macy Butler, staff at the Center for the History of Medicine came across an early scrapbook from the opening of the new Children’s Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital. Butler served as Chief of Children’s Medical Service and Staff Physician in charge of the Chemical Laboratories at Massachusetts General Hospital from 1942 to 1960. Under Butler’s leadership, and after moving to a building that could accomodate the research and training activities of his laboratories, the Children’s Service at MGH prospered. In Februay of 1951, Butler wrote in an MGH News reslease:

“In a hospital like the M.G.H. that recognises the significance of clinical investigation and provides facilities for this purpose in many departments, pediatric research profits greatly by close contact with the research in progress in other departments. Joint undertakings are possible, because many conditions occur in both the child and the adult. Some studies that are difficult to accomplish in a small and uncooperative human are simple in a large and cooperative subject. The ready access to adult patients may speed the progress of the experiment.  Some conditions occur in what might be called purer form in the child than in the adult and hence are more easily studied in the former.”

In addition to building one of the principle pediatric teaching services in the country, and being appointed as professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, Butler also organized the White Cross in Boston, pioneered prepaid health plans and gave momentum to the Head Start Program.

The finding aid for the Butler collection can be found here.

Foundations of Public Health Policy (FPHP) is an initiative currently funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). With grant funding, the Center for the History of Medicine is enabling, for the first time, access to the manuscript collections of influential leaders in the field of public health and public health administration. FPHP is part of the Center’s larger effort to chronicle the history of public health, starting with the Harvard School of Public Health, its centers, and its institutes.

Coming in February 2010: “Dissolving Boundaries: Extending the Reach of Medicine and Public Health”

By , August 16, 2010

Richard Pearson Strong (third from right) and colleagues on The Harvard African Expedition of 1934. From the Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.

Upcoming exhibit: “Dissolving Boundaries: Extending the Reach of Medicine and Public Health”

The several decades following the end of World War II have been described as a barren era for public health in America, as traditional public health emphases such as acute infectious disease receded, and the nation turned to research-based biomedicine and biotechnology to solve its medical concerns. Yet this era witnessed a striking – and still under-examined – era in public health, as physicians and public health leaders began to grapple with such central issues as the organization and delivery of medical care, maternal and child health, poverty, end of life care, smoking and alcoholism, obesity, and, increasingly, social justice and the assurance of health as a basic human right worldwide.

Today, such fields continue to change, confronting issues of ever-greater magnitude, and framed by debates concerning the boundary between organized medicine and public health, national versus global health concerns, and personal versus societal responsibility. Successful efforts to engage such issues are critically dependent upon a historical understanding of their evolution.

Dissolving Boundaries will draw from the collections of key leaders in American public health from the latter half of the twentieth century Continue reading 'Coming in February 2010: “Dissolving Boundaries: Extending the Reach of Medicine and Public Health”'»

David D. Rutstein: Distinguished Physician

Letter to Dr. Rutstein on his appointment as Distinguished Physician at the Veteran's Administration. From the Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.

Public Health project staff are currently working on the papers of Dr. David D. Rutstein, Ridey Watts Professor of Preventive Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. He was a former chief of the cardiac bureau of the New York State Department of Health; deputy commissioner of the New York City Department of Health (1943-1946), and taught at Harvard from 1946 to 1975.

Recently discovered in the collection were two cubic feet of records from Dr. Rustein’s career with the U.S. Veteran’s Administration.  His research at the VA concentrated on measuring and improving the quality of medical care and studies involving the genetics of alcoholism.  As a result of his recognition as an authority on national and international health care standards and policies, Dr. Rutstein was appointed a “Distinguished Physician” on July 4, 1976. The Distinguished Physician program was established in 1968 to enable the VA to benefit from the talents of outstanding medical scientists and educators. The appointment is one of the highest honors bestowed by the VA Department of Medicine and Surgery. At the time, Rustein was one of nine such physicians in the United States to be given the title.

Foundations of Public Health Policy (FPHP) is an initiative currently funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). With grant funding, the Center for the History of Medicine is enabling, for the first time, access to the manuscript collections of influential leaders in the field of public health and public health administration. FPHP is part of the Center’s larger effort to chronicle the history of public health, starting with the Harvard School of Public Health, its centers, and its institutes.

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Survey on Access to Historical Manuscript Collections

Howard Hiatt, 1972, at the start of his tenure as Dean of Harvard School of Public Health. From the Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.

As part of its Foundations in Public Health Policy grant work, the Center for the History of Medicine is currently seeking students, new and experienced researchers, information providers, and public health professionals to participate in a survey about access to its historical manuscript collections.

Since the surveys began last year, the team has surveyed and interviewed thirty-two people—fifteen for the Allan Macy Butler collection and seventeen for the Leona Baumgartner collection—and has analyzed their answers to assess the effectiveness of various processing strategies. Additionally, the Center’s reference staff has given a similar survey to twenty   researchers to find out which resource discovery tools they prefer. The project team will continue to administer the surveys and, at the end of the grant period, will use the data to inform revision of processing and descriptive approaches.

For this current round of surveys we will be testing access to the Howard Hiatt papers. Hiatt was the first Herrman L. Blumgart Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Physician-in-Chief at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, Mass. from 1963 to 1972, and Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health from 1972 to 1984.Records in the Howard Hiatt papers were created by Hiatt during the course of his career as a physician, researcher, educator, Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, and contributing member of professional health care boards and foundations, and administrator in the Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, and Beth Israel Hospital from 1941 to 2001.

Please contact Michael Dello Iacono, Project Archivist, if you are interested in participating in the survey. The collection will be opened to the public in August 2010.

Foundations of Public Health Policy (FPHP) is an initiative currently funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). With grant funding, the Center for the History of Medicine is enabling, for the first time, access to the manuscript collections of influential leaders in the field of public health and public health administration. FPHP is part of the Center’s larger effort to chronicle the history of public health, starting with the Harvard School of Public Health, its centers, and its institutes.

Howard Hiatt Dean’s Records now available

Hiatt (center) surrounded by HSPH alumni in Oslo, Norway. Directly in front of Hiatt is seated Gro Harlem Brundtland, MPH ’65, later Prime Minister of Norway and Director-General of the World Health Organization. From the Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.

Howard H. Hiatt (1925-), MD, 1948, Harvard Medical School, joined the faculty at Harvard Medical School in 1955 and was the first Herrman L. Blumgart Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Physician-in-Chief at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, Mass from 1963 to 1972, and Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health from 1972 to 1984. From 1988-1990, he was the Head of the Center for Policy and Education, Harvard AIDS Institute. Dr. Hiatt specialized in oncology and internal medicine, molecular biology, and biochemistry. He was also known for his public speeches and essays on the human consequences of nuclear war. During his tenure as Dean, the Harvard School of Public Health introduced teaching and research focused on molecular and cell biology, initiated programs in health policy and management, and biostatistics. Dr. Hiatt also integrated Harvard School of Public Health’s teaching and research programs with those in other Harvard University Faculties, in an attempt to encourage cross-disciplinary research to bring together medicine and social science in the curriculum. Continue reading 'Howard Hiatt Dean’s Records now available'»

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