T 8:30 – 11:20AM
This course introduces students to the historical development of public health in the United States. The course traces the evolution of public health—as both a conceptual framework and a set of institutions and practices—from its beginnings in the sanitary reform movement of the nineteenth century to its status as a broad and expansive field at the end of the twentieth century. The course is organized chronologically and thematically. It provides an overview of the changing sources of morbidity and mortality in the United States over the past two centuries and the policies and practices that have been undertaken to limit disease and improve health across successive eras. Individual sessions of the course focus on critical issues and episodes that shaped this historical development. Some sessions center on significant diseases, such as tuberculosis, coronary heart disease, and AIDS; other sessions examine public health interventions, such as quarantine and health education; and others highlight populations considered to be especially vulnerable to illness, such as immigrants, racial and ethnic minority groups, and infants and children.