FEBRUARY 1, 1958
EN ROUTE TO FLORIDA—Because Wednesday was such a busy day for me in New York, unfortunately I could not accept an invitation to testify before the House subcommittee on health and science.
The committee is considering a bill, H.R. 6771, to help overcome the serious shortage of trained public health workers. I think this legislation is important because it concerns the health of everyone in the United States.
The bill would allot one million dollars, out of the $30,000,000 already authorized by law for public health work in the states, for annual grants to 11 university schools of public health.
These schools train public health workers for service in Federal, state and local governments. They are as vital to the country as far as public health is concerned as are West Point and Annapolis to our Army and Navy. Financially, they are in a very poor condition and, of course, this bill would relieve them of only part of their financial burden, since it costs about five times as much to operate them as they would get in Federal grants. But it would help greatly.
Almost three quarters of the graduates of these university schools go into public health service. There is no West Point of public health, no Federal school that the government can expand to train more personnel in this field. The only source of well-trained public health experts is in the graduates of schools of public health in four universities—California, Michigan, Minnesota and North Carolina—and six privately supported universities—Columbia, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Pittsburgh, Tulane and Yale—as well as the University of Puerto Rico.
I bring this need to the attention of the people of the U.S. because their support of this bill, made known to their Congressmen, will be a protection to the health of every one of us.
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What a busy day Tuesday was! I spoke before the Advertising Club in Buffalo, N.Y., at noon and in the evening I was on a television show which has become very successful in Toronto, Canada.
Miss Marguerite Higgins, the newspaperwoman, was also on the TV panel and she and I flew back to New York together. Her life was complicated by the fact that she had to get back to Washington and had missed her connection. I hope she finally reached her destination. Miss Higgins is a charming person and I read with interest all she writes.