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January 19, 1918


JAMA. 1918;70(3):165. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600030029013

Two years ago, Dr. William C. Woodward,1 health officer of the District of Columbia, said:

In order to make facts pertaining to health contribute most largely to human happiness, two things are necessary: first, to establish such facts and to correlate them; so that we may understand their full significance and the underlying principles. Second, to weave those facts into the lives of the people.

Public hygiene, so far as it can be contrasted with the hygiene of the individual, is that which is practiced by the government for its citizens. It consists, as one writer has expressed it, chiefly in efforts by the government to maintain a wholesome environment in which to live, including good outdoor air, clean streets, pure water, good sewers, quarantine and legal regulations concerning houses, schools, prisons, hospitals and other public institutions, foods sold in markets, and conditions of employment. It is chiefly useful