In 1913, Harvard became the first school recognized as America’s first Public Health professional program in the United States. Then eight years later, in 1921, Seth M. Fitchet became the first and only student to graduate the Public Health program. This a huge step for all aspects of Public Health because it set a platform and an official starting point for all future students who want to explore this career path.
Department of Nutrition Founded
In 1942, Harvard school of Public Health founded the Department of Nutrition. This was the first medical and health center worldwide of this type. This has helped play a monumental positive change in history that still impacts us today. The Department of Nutrition has made significant contributions towards knowledge of biological mechanisms and how metabolism effects overall health. They are the reasons behind the current knowledge of roles in diets, interactions with genetic factors, cause and prevention of obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer…etc. This department is the backbone to a significant amount of our knowledge and understanding.
First fluoridated Water in Community
On January 25, 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan officially became the first location/community in the United States to implement fluoridated water. Drinking fluoridated water keeps teeth strong and reduces cavities by about 25% in children and adults. By doing this, it helped reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, respiratory infections, pregnancy related problems including infertility and even death rates. This discovery was made by scientists and clinicians at the US National Institutes of Health.
July 1, 1946 Dr. Joseph W. Mountin founded the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in Atlanta, Georgia. At the time of start up, their mission was to prevent malaria from spreading across the United States. Atlanta in 1946 was considered to be in the heart of the malaria zone. It was after this that the CDC expanded their scope. The founding of the CDC was a remarkable moment in history because it was the first organization that dedicated itself to recording and tracking disease and health related issues. They were also the first organization to openly communicate and watch over international issues.
TB or Tuberculosis is a mycobacterium disease that primarily attacks the lungs but has the capability other parts of the body. It is communicable through passage of air when an infected person of the throat or lungs coughs, sneezes or even talks. By 1950, an estimated 110,000 Americans were were dying each year from TB. Because of the immunization, 3.5 million children worldwide were being tested for TB every month and over 1 million were being vaccinated.
Eradication of Malaria
The National Malaria Eradication Program (NMEP) started its attack against this disease in 1947 by the CDC and was found to be completely successful in 1951. This was done by house sprayings, drainage and removal of mosquito breeding sites and aircraft decontamination sprayings. Malaria is no longer considered to be a threat for anywhere in the United States.
1955 - 1957
A man named Jones Salk was responsible for the release of the polio vaccine. This vaccine was responsible for reduction in polio cases from 20,000 to only 2,525. Shortly after in 1957, the oral vaccine was released which made it a lot easier to be distributed considering it required no technical skill unlike giving someone a shot. Polio was completely eradicated by 1999. It took a lot longer than they expected to eradicate this disease.
FDA Approves Oral Contraceptives
This was the first Enovid pill that was widely prescribed as an oral contraceptive. When this was released, it was almost 100% effective at preventing pregnancy. This was apart of the start of feminism and the “sexual revolution” that lasted the next two decades. This was extremely monumental for women because it was accessible to them and it allowed for them to not have to worry about the expense and ramifications of an unplanned pregnancy during their time.
Medicare and Medicaid Bills Passed
President Lyndon B. Johnson signs bills to pass medicare and medicaid. This was under the Social Security Act amendments. Medicare is health insurance for the elderly and medicaid is health insurance for the poor. This changed the lives of millions of people all over the united states. It took the unneeded stress and worry off of elderly people who no longer are able to work and receive benefits or those who finically cannot afford healthcare.
Ban on Tobacco advertising
1970 - 1971
President Richard Nixon signs legislation officially banning cigarette ads on television and radio in 1970, however by the time it went into act the official last televised cigarette ad ran on January 1st, 1971. During this time period smoking was very social and most people partook in it. This ban was the first action done to work against the big tobacco and the tobacco industry in general. It paved a way for less and less use and conversation of it. Even Nixon was an avid pipe smoker during this time period and felt like people did not need to be bombarded on all medias about using tobacco related products.
Nutrition Labeling and Education Act
This act was signed and put into law on November 8, 1990 by President George H. W. Bush. This Act gave the FDA the ability to require nutrition labeling on the items that they approve. It required that all ingredients were put onto the labels as well. This act did not require restaurants to comply with the same standards. It mainly was for food being sold in grocery stores and other modes like that. This act helped people become more educated about what they were putting into their bodies and give them the starting tools to make healthier lifestyle decisions that would have longterm impacts.