of the Sanitary Commission of Massachusetts

In 1849, Massachusetts appointed teacher
Lemuel Shattuck, Nathaniel Banks, Jr., and Jehiel Abbott to draft
a report on public health conditions in the Commonwealth. Their report
asserted that a significant proportion of morbidity and mortality
is wholly preventable and that prevention disease will save more lives
than finding a cure. When republished in 1948, C.E.A. Winslow noted
in the forward that the Shattuck Report is “one of the most remarkable
documents — perhaps the most significant single document — in the
history of public health.” The link above will take you to a full-text
version prepared by Delta Omega, a public health honor society.

the Mode of Communication of Cholera

The Broad Street pump incident is one of the
most told case studies in public health. In 1854, an outbreak of cholera
swept through a district in London. Within 250 yards of the intersection
of Cambridge and Broad Streets, over 500 people died from the disease
within a 10-day period. Physician John Snow, using epidemiological
methods, traced the source of the outbreak to a single water pump
on Broad Street. To stop the disease from spreading, the pump handle
was removed – an enduring reminder of the preventative power of simple
interventions. The John Snow pub, located near the original pump site
in London, claims to possess the original pump handle. The Broad Street
pump and Snow’s other cholera-related findings are presented in On
the Mode of Communication of Cholera.
The link above will take
you to a full-text version prepared by Delta Omega, a public health
honor society. Also of interest is the UCLA
School of Public Health’s multimedia web site

devoted to Snow and his work.

Future of the Public’s Health in the 21st Century

Released in November 2002, this report
by the Institute of Medicine considers the state of public health
in light of the nearly 15 years of significant events that have
transpired since the Institute last considered the subject. This
influential report outlines the achievements, challenges, and future
directions of public health in the United States. An executive
summary of the report is also available.

People 2010

People (1979)

In 1979, the Surgeon General published
Healthy People, a report discussing the health status of the
American people and outlined a series of prevention-based health objectives.
Since then the Healthy People program has expanded considerably and
has produced Healthy People 2000 and Healthy People 2010.
The Healthy People 2010 web site contains a wealth of information
about the nation’s health in the 21st century. The Healthy People
report, which outlines 467 health objectives to be met by
2010, and related publication are also available in a variety of formats.
Also on the site are descriptions and links to many of the 190
public health data sources
used to track
progress toward the objectives. In addition, the 2000 report and bound
copies of most Healthy People documents may be purchased from the

for Disease Control and Prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) is the federal government’s top public health agency. Comprised
of 12 offices, centers, and institutes, the CDC addresses a diverse
array of health topics ranging from HIV and infectious diseases to
violence prevention. The CDC publishes a variety of documents,
including Morbidity
and Mortality Weekly Report
and Emerging
Infectious Diseases
. Also of interest are WONDER,
a one-stop source for public health data, and WISQARS,
a web interface to a variety of injury related statistics and cause-of-death
information. In addition, the CDC maintains a sizable collection of
public health photographs and historical images in its Public
Health Image Library
. Their recently published report,
United States, 2002
, provides a wealth of data on epidemiology,
health economics, and resource utilization.

World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) is
the public health agency of the United Nations and administers a variety
of programs to promote health and prevent injury and disease in both
developed and developing nations. Among WHO’s current projects are
the eradication
of polio
and the negotiation of an
international tobacco control treaty.
The Pan
American Health Organization
is WHO’s regional office for
the Americas.

Public Health Organization

of Schools of Public Health

of State and Territorial Health Officials

Association of County and City Health Officials

The Center for Law and the Public’s Health web site maintains an
extensive list of international
, federal
, state
and local agencies
, and academic