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Records of the Section on Public Health and Preventive Medicine


Held at: Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia [Contact Us]19 S. 22nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The Section on Industrial Medicine and Public Health was established by the Council and President of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia on 4 April 1917, at the request of thirty Fellows. The work of the Section was purely scientific and intended to present programs on matters of public and industrial health concerns.

In 1923, the name of the Section was changed to the Section on Public Health and Industrial Medicine; in 1935 or 1936, a more inclusive name, the Section on Public Health, Preventive and Industrial Medicine, was adopted. Due to declining membership, the Section was disbanded in February 1971.

The currently (as of 2019) active Section of Public Health and Preventive Medicine was established in 1994. Although the College had a Committee on Public Health, it was decided that a section could help "to contribute in all appropriate ways to the health of the community" by 1) expanding the College's constituent base; 2) developing a funding base, as Section members are required to pay dues; 3) promoting the mission of the College; and 4) foster interconnectivity between the College and the public health community.

The Council officially approved the Section of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (SPHPM) on April 16, 1994. An informational meeting detailing the relationship of the SPHPM to the College, its goals, bylaws, and other logistics, including potential future lecture topics was held on November 7, 1994. The first organizational meeting of the SPHPM was held on December 1994, and the agenda included an introduction, nominations for leadership, and general comments and questions. The first official meeting of the SPHPM's Executive Committee was held February 16, 1995.

An informational document sent out to Fellowship on October 10, 1994, detailed the purposes of and justifications for a Section on Public Health. As of 2019, the purposes of the SPHPM have remained basically unchanged.

Purposes: (1) To bring together interested Fellows and non-Fellows to study public health problems, particularly as they relate to the greater Philadelphia area, and institutional, professional and municipal responses to these problems; (2) to create a programming component for public health at the College to complement the advisory component which is the Committee on Public Health & Preventive Medicine; (3) to conduct public and professional programs of health education and awareness; (4) to provide a network and a forum from which solutions to public health problems may emerge.

Justifications: (1) The By-Laws of the College require the institution "to contribute in all appropriate ways to the health of the community." The Committee on Public Health & Preventive Medicine is charged inter alia with advising the College on how to make such contributions. The Committee has concluded that the creation of a Section on Public Health would enhance the College's capacity to make such contributions by fulfilling the proposed purposes stated above.

(2) Long-standing urban socioeconomic problems have contributed in the City of Philadelphia, as elsewhere, epidemic and endemic challenges to the community's health. The College has a responsibility reinforced by tradition to help meet these challenges.

(3) Few practicing physicians have had extensive education in public health or preventive medicine. Professional programming eventually conducted under the auspices of the Section may help to compensate for these gaps.

(4) Multiple trends in health care reform point to the increasing importance of and emphasis on disease prevention and health promotion. The Section can serve as a forum for education for the professions and the public.

(5) A Section on Public Health (known, after 1935 as the Section on Public Health, Preventive and Industrial Medicine) was active at the College from 1917 to 1971. In a sense, the College has authorized its reestablishment.

(6) The proposed Section meets the Guidelines for Forming a Section of the College of Physicians by the Council on 22 June 1993.

The Records of the Section of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (SPHPM) document the establishment in 1994, and activities, of the Section for during its first 15 years of existence, up to 2010, through meeting minutes, correspondence, membership information, and programming.

This collection is a rich resource for those interested in the programming for and advocacy of a non-profit institution related to public health issues.

Researchers should note that the media found in this collection (cassette tapes) are not able to be played as the Library does not have the required hardware.

The collection is divided into four series: Committee on Public Health, Executive Committee, Administrative records, and Programs.

Series I: Committee on Public Health includes the meeting minutes and correspondence of the Committee for the years 1992 to 1998, especially in relation to the establishment of the Section on Public Health and Preventive Medicine.

Series II: Executive Committee spans the years 1993 to 2010, and provides evidence of the administration of the Section, including the adoption of the by-laws and elections of officers during the years 1997 through 2009. Also contained in this series are the meeting minutes of the Executive Committee of the SPHPHM and correspondence regarding those meetings, held beginning in 1993 and ending in 2010.

Series III: Administrative records holds general correspondence (1995-2007) between the Executive Committee, members, and other interested parties. The series also includes some annual reports for the years 1994 to 1996, as well as strategic planning documents from 2001 to 2005. Of special note are the large files of some of the special projects the SPHPM was involved in, particularly its advocacy for the Philadelphia smoking ban, enacted in 2006.

Series IV: Programs comprises the bulk of the collection, and dates from 1997 to 2010. Included are program files for lectures, which contain correspondence with speakers and flyers advertising the lectures; planning materials and attendance regarding Medical School Open House Nights, held from 2004 through 2010; public health poster sessions sponsored by the SPHPHM and the College, including abstracts of posters submitted, and dating from 1997 to 2010; and public health recognition nights, honoring those active in the public health community. Some of these files contain cassette tapes. Please note that the cassettes are not able to be played as the Library does not have the required hardware.


Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Finding Aid Author
Chrissie Perella
Finding Aid Date
February 2019

Collection Inventory

Library and Museum resources, 1993-1994.
Box 1 Folder 1
Members, 1997-1998.
Box 1 Folder 2
Minutes and correspondence, 1992-1997.
Box 1 Folder 3
Minutes and correspondence, 1997-1998.
Box 1 Folder 4

Subseries a. By-laws adoption votes, undated.
Box 1 Folder 5
Box 1 Folder 6
Box 1 Folder 7
Brochures and membership card, undated.
Box 1 Folder 8
Executive Committee rosters, 1998-2010.
Box 1 Folder 9
Member lists, 1996-2008.
Box 1 Folder 10
Reminders and solicitations, 1997; undated.
Box 1 Folder 11
Box 1 Folder 12
Box 2 Folder 1
Box 2 Folder 2
Box 2 Folder 3
Box 2 Folder 4
Box 2 Folder 5
Box 2 Folder 6

General, 1995-2007.
Box 2 Folder 7
General, 2008.
Box 2 Folder 8
General, 2009.
Box 3 Folder 1
General, 2010.
Box 3 Folder 2
Christian Morsink meetings, 2005.
Box 3 Folder 3
Dental meetings, 2005.
Box 3 Folder 4
Advocacy, undated.
Box 3 Folder 5
Annual reports, 1994-1996; 2001.
Box 3 Folder 6
Funding proposal to Robert Johnson Wood Foundation, 1996.
Box 3 Folder 7
Strategic planning, 2001-2005.
Box 3 Folder 8
Survey re public health section and services, 1997; undated.
Box 3 Folder 9
Disparities Task Force, 2005.
Box 3 Folder 10
Smoking ban in Philadelphia (1 of 3), 1996-2006.
Box 3 Folder 11
Smoking ban in Philadelphia (2 of 3), 1996-2006.
Box 3 Folder 12
Smoking ban in Philadelphia (3 of 3), 1996-2006.
Box 3 Folder 13

Tobacco: Politics and Social Justice, 35582.
Box 4 Folder 1
AIDS: Considerations for the 21st Century, 35674.
Box 4 Folder 2
The Role of Behavioral Theory in Public Health Practice, 1997.
Box 4 Folder 3
List of lectures, 1998-1999.
Box 4 Folder 4
An Examination of Helath and Environment in the Neighborhoods of South and Southwest Philadelphia, 35796.
Box 4 Folder 5
A Candid Perspective on Publich Health in Pennsylvania, 35855.
Box 4 Folder 6
Public Health and the Media, 36039.
Box 4 Folder 7
List of lectures, 1999-2000.
Box 4 Folder 8
The Big Picture (Outdoor Art and Public Health), 36192.
Box 4 Folder 9
Are All Diseases Infectious?, 36251.
Box 4 Folder 10
Corporal Punishment by Parents: A Risk Factor for Life-long Health Problems, 36465.
Box 4 Folder 11
White Coat, Green World: Environmental Medicine and Primary Care, 36557.
Box 4 Folder 12
Rebuilding the Public Health Infrastructure for Environmental Health, 36678.
Box 4 Folder 13
Responding When Your Patient is a Dometic Violence Perpetrator, 36770.
Box 4 Folder 14
Health People 2010, 36800.
Box 4 Folder 15
Domestic Violence: Past, Present, and Future, 36831.
Box 4 Folder 16
Rethinking Public Health in Philadelphia, 36892.
Box 4 Folder 17
Death on the Wing? Experts Evaluate the West Nile Virus, 37043.
Box 4 Folder 18
Controversies in Infectious Disease, 37288.
Box 4 Folder 19
Prevention of Anti-microbial Resistance in Hospitalized Adults, 37316.
Box 4 Folder 20
Health of Philadelphia (cancelled), 37530.
Box 4 Folder 21
Assuming the Health of the Public in the 21st Century, 37653.
Box 4 Folder 22
The Public's Health in PA: A View from the Secretary, 37926.
Box 4 Folder 23
Reception honoring Walter Tsou, 37956.
Box 4 Folder 24
Back to Basics: Public Health, Medicine, and the Environment (cassettes), 38049.
Box 4 Folder 25
The Impact of the Build Environment on Health, 38061.
Box 4 Folder 26
A Breath of Fresh Air: How Smarter Energy Choices Can Protect the Health of Pennsylvanians (cassette), 38231.
Box 5 Folder 1
Smoke-Free Philadelphia, 38364.
Box 5 Folder 2
Racism, Poverty, and the Health of Chicago's Communities (cassette), 38379.
Box 5 Folder 3
List of lectures, 2005-2006.
Box 5 Folder 4
Rebuilding New Orleans (cassettes), 38749.
Box 5 Folder 5
The Relation of Adverse Childhood Experiences to Adult Health (cassette), 38808.
Box 5 Folder 6
Health Initiatives in Africa: Addressing Inequities and Disparities (CD-ROMS), 39173.
Box 5 Folder 7
The Vision Moving Forward (CD-ROM), 39539.
Box 5 Folder 8
Lead: Putting a Public Health Menace to Rest, 39904.
Box 5 Folder 9
Box 5 Folder 10
Box 6 Folder 1
Box 6 Folder 2
Box 6 Folder 3
Box 6 Folder 4
Box 6 Folder 5
Box 6 Folder 6
Box 6 Folder 7
Box 7 Folder 1
Box 7 Folder 2
Box 7 Folder 3
Box 7 Folder 4
Box 7 Folder 5
Box 7 Folder 6
Box 7 Folder 7
Box 8 Folder 1
Box 8 Folder 2
Box 8 Folder 3
Box 8 Folder 4
Subseries d. Public Health History Course, 2005-2009.
Box 8 Folder 5
Box 8 Folder 6
2002 (cassette).
Box 8 Folder 7
2003 (cassette).
Box 8 Folder 8
2004 (cassette).
Box 8 Folder 9
2005 (cassettes).
Box 9 Folder 1
Subseries f. Signage, undated.
Box 9 Folder 2

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