December 24, 1997

Momentum Grows Behind Plans for Health Museum

JAMA. 1997;278(24):2130-2131. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550240018007

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FORMER Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, MD, and a group of supporters have envisioned a unique museum of health and medicine near the Mall in Washington, DC.

Shortly before the holidays, the museum got a symbolic thumbs-up from Congress, with passage of the National Health Museum Development Act. The act, written by Sen Edward Kennedy (D, Mass) and Sen Orrin Hatch (R, Utah), guarantees a site on or near the Mall, and it establishes a commission to study and make recommendations on the appropriate federal role in eventual public-private partnerships that will build the museum. The legislation also provides $500 000 to support the commission's activities.

Koop has called passage of the act "a tremendous victory for all Americans." He said that, when completed, the National Health Museum "will challenge the notion of what a museum can be and what it can do."

Fitzhugh Mullan, MD, vice chair of the