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THE HEALTH OFFICER

"HOMO SUM: HUMANI NIHIL A ME ALIENUM PUTO."--Terence

VOL. 1 No. 2

OFFICE OF PUBLIC HEALTH EDUCATION
U.S. PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE

JUNE, 1936

THE INTERDEPARTMENTAL COMMITTEE

Cooperative action, both with State Health authorities

and with Federal agencies, has been a basic policy of the

United States Public Health Service

for many years.

The

functions of the Interdepartmental Committee on Health and

Welfare Activities offer encouragement that more effective

coordination in the field of public health may be achieved.

Four Departments of the Federal Government--the Treasury,

Interior, Agriculture, and Labor Departments -- are directly

concerned with the health and welfare of the people.

In view

of the increasing need for better coordination of Federal

health activities, the President created in August, 1935, the

Interdepartmental Committee.

The Committee was

instructed

"To assume full responsibility for the appointment of special
committees to be composed of physicians and other technically

trained persons within the Government service to study and
make recommendations concerning specific aspects of the Gov-

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At the 34 th Annual Conference of State and Territorial

Health Orficers with the Surgeon General, Dr. E. L. Bishop,

Executive Secretary of the Interdepartmental Committee, Re

ported that technical subcommittees in the fields of nursing,

industrial hygiene, food research and nutrition have been ap

pointed.

Two important agreements between the United States

Public Health Service and the Department of Labor have already

been completed and are in effect.

B-1339a

June, 1936

The accumulation and interchange of information, and co

operative action (major objectives of the Interdepartmental
Committee) are also primary functions of the Office of Public
liealth Education. The vast mass of source material in Public

Health, preventive medicine and allied fields dealing with

human welfare awaits analysis and coordination.

Much of this

material is found in publications of private foundations, so-
cial welfare organizations, National, state and municipal
health agencies, Hospitals and Government Departments. This
office has ready access to much of this valuable material.

Although it is impossible actually to collect all such source

materials, the Office of Public Health Education proposes to

coordinate information as to the sources and their availabil

ity, and to make source-information readily available.

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of Public Health Education prepared a bulletin on the Rela

tionship of Health and Recreation, for the use of W.P.A. rec

reation leaders.

The bulletin outlines

a few of the major

objectives in the field of health education through recreation;

contacts with health and welfare agencies are discussed, and

a brief bibliography is included.

The bulletin was sent

to

recreation leaders throughout the country on May 1st, Child

Health Day.

Vol. 1 No. 2

HEALTH OFFICERS' CONFERENCE

"The responsibilities we collectively must assume are heavy. We accept them, with the clear knowledge that no cost of effort is too great, no labor too exacting, if it advance in this generation the cause to which we are dedicated." With these words Surgeon General Parran opened the Thirty-fourth Annual Conference of State and Territorial Health Officers with the Public Health Service. Some 200 health officers and experts attended the conference in the blue-hung auditorium of the Service building in Washington on April 13 th and 14th. Members of r the Pan Anerican Sanitary Bureau mere guests of the Conference.

Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Josephine Roche welcomed the delegates and guests in behalf of Secretary Morgenthau. Paying tribute to Dr. Cumming and wishing Dr. Parran well in his new task, Miss Roche said that "the health officers have been meeting for so many years that they have a working agreement making Federal-State cooperation the order of the day. In new fields opened under the Social Security Act, it is particularly important to have one group such as the health group, well acquainted with the fundamental aims and efforts, not only of the objectives in their own field, but in the very important field of Federal-State relationships."

Symposia on the Control of Syphilis and Industrial llygiene occupied the Monday sessions. Title VI of the Social Security Act, embodying the health proyisions of the Act, was the topic of considerable discussion Tuesday morning. At noon Tuesday, the Conference adjourned to be received by President Roosevelt. Reports of the special committees appointed by the Surgeon General were ready by the afternoon.

Noteworthy was the report of Dr. E. L. Bishop, Executive Secretary of the Interdepartmental Committee on Health and Welfare Activities. Permanent technical subcommittees in three fields have been appointed. In the field of nursing, the committee of experts numbers Dr. Martha Eliot, Children's Bureau, Depantment of

Labor, Miss Naomi Deutsch, Labor's Director of Public Health Nursing, Assistant Surgeon General Waller, and Miss Pearl McIver, Public llealth Service Nursing Analyst.

Industrial llygicne Committee is composed of Mr. Verne A. Zimmer, Mrs. Clara N. Beyer, and Dr. R. R. Jones, all of the Division of Labor Standards, and Assistant Surgeons General Thompson and Waller and Dr. Sayers of the Public health Service.

The Surgeon General heads the Committee on Food

Food Rescarch and Nutrition, with the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Agriculture, Prof. E. 1. McCollum (Johns llopkins), Prof. H. C. Sherman (Columbia), Dr. Harry Steenbock (Wiscons in University), Dr. W. H. Sebrell (National Institute of Health), and Dr. W1lliam Weston (South Carolina University) completing the roster of notables.

The Interdepartmental Committee in its cight months' existence has completed two important cooperative agreements between the Public llealth Service and the Labor Department. Both are not in effect. The first is a formal agreement between the Children's

Bureau

and the Public Health Service for the coordination of nursing activities. The second is a similar agreement on the Industrial Hygiene activities of both departments; the Public Health Service will investigate medical and engineering factors in Industrial Hygiene; the labor Department will gather and distribute information on

working conditions, accidents, wages and kindred subjects.

Health Officer Underwood (Mississippi), chairman of the Committee on Records and Reports presented a proposed form for listing of local health program services and items for descriptive purposes, as the basis of a reporting system. The Tabulation Sheet was described as only one element in the system of records and reports now being developed. An amendment, delegating authority to the Committee to act upon modifications proposed by health departments, with the Federal agencies to be reported to, was recommended by Dr. Godfrey (New York). With this amendment, Dr. Underwood's Committee report was adopted.

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