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January 5, 1963

Charles V. Chapin and the public health movement.

JAMA. 1963;183(1):75. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700010115028

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Abstract

For all our romanticizing about "the good old days," no one could seriously mean it if he stopped long enough to consider what it means. We only have to travel to the cities of the Arabic world or to the Orient to recapture the smells of the American cities as recently as 75 years ago. Fortunately, the olfactory nerve fatigues easily, which enabled our grandparents to survive the stench of metropolitan America. Nonetheless, we of today owe a great debt of gratitude to the leaders in the public health movement and especially to Charles V. Chapin of Providence, R.I. for his part in this movement.

His home town was the microcosm where he put his public health reforms into practice. As health officer for Providence, Chapin instituted programs for garbage control, an adequate sewer system, excellent water purification, and the control of tuberculosis and other communicable diseases.

The story of

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