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Three news announcements concerning the School of Public Health have in the  past month or two very effectively spotlighted  the three major activities of this division of the University.

The first concerned the establishment of two  new under-graduate programs in public health, one in health administration and the other in sanitary science. Heretofore, all  work in the School of Public Health except that in nursing has been at the graduate level. Now students may enroll at the beginning of the junior year for specialization in one of these two areas of non-medical public  health work. Expansion of health services, from the local to the national level, has made the need for such professionally trained administrative personnel imperative. In addition to the need in governmental agencies, there are positions open in industry, in labor groups, and in such organizations as Blue  Cross and Blue Shield.

Another item in the news dealt with a conference on problems of industrial health. This was a special conference for the physicians of about twenty large industrial concerns having among them nearly five million employees.   Throughout the year, the School of Public  Health arranges conferences of this kind for people who are actively engaged in public work. Among its conferences and short courses during the past year have been those on air pollution, public health statistics, plumbing problems as related to public  health, and sanitation. 

Finally, the School of Public- Health has made news in the past few days by announcement of the isolation of a new epidemic respiratory disease virus similar to influenza.  The virus was studied in one of the research  laboratories of the School. Isolation of a virus and definition of its characteristics are, of  course, necessary first steps in its control or  prevention. 

Professional education, postgraduate in-service training, and research — these are the three functions of the School of Public  Health. Public health work calls for a high degree of specialized training, and for this  reason the School offers degree programs in both administrative and technical fields such as public health engineering, tropical diseases, public health education, public health dentistry, industrial health, and several others. The graduate with diploma in hand, however, must face the fact that professional education is a continuing process and that as he works  in years to come he must also study to keep up with rapid developments in his field. To help the professional worker, the School has organized its postgraduate program of conferences and short courses. Finally, to aid in the progress of the science of public health, the School has its research program and research workers, engaged in never-ending  studies of diseases and their control.

The goal of public health workers is to guard and improve the health not merely of the individual but of communities and of whole populations. The University of Michigan speaks with justifiable pride of its efforts in this rapidly expanding science — of its training for professional workers, of its post- graduate program of in service training, and  of its research.

The Michigan Alumnus

Nov 11, 1950, Page 124

Health For All