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JAMA 100 Years Ago
March 13, 2013


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2013;309(10):964. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.145288

One of the most significant occurrences of the winter in the public health campaign is the report of the special commission appointed by Governor Sulzer on public health in the state of New York, and the transmission of the report to the state legislature by the governor, accompanied by a special message, pointing out the importance of this subject. This is probably the first time a state executive has taken such an advanced position regarding the duty of the state to protect the lives and health of its citizens. The governor's message opens with the statement that the protection of the life and the promotion of the health of its citizens are among the first duties of the state, and that there is no more important subject in public administration than public health. After reviewing the circumstances which led to the appointment of the special commission, the work which it has done and the character of the report which it has made, the message then criticizes the present public health administration in the state of New York. In order to permit of a comparison between the conditions which Governor Sulzer describes and those found in other states, it must be borne in mind that New York has probably one of the most effective health departments in the country, and that if such conditions are found in the Empire State, the situation in most of the other states is probably worse.

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