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September 8, 1956


JAMA. 1956;162(2):102-105. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970190018005

† The community rheumatic fever program here described has been administered by a county department of health under the auspices of a state crippled children service, with funds coming from both county and state. Local medical, laboratory, clinic, and hospital facilities are utilized. The plan has been to encompass all aspects of the patient's illness, to enlist the cooperation and continue the education of the patient's family as to his illness, to keep adequate records, and to formulate policies that would insure the cooperation of the physicians and of the interested official and voluntary organizations. Volunteer helpers made it possible to maintain a large anteroom as a combined reception, dressing, and recreation area, which made it much easier for families with several children. Volunteers also served in clerical capacities, provided necessary transportation, and in some instances donated professional services. The program resulted in more accurate diagnoses, more systematic treatment, and a striking reduction in the incidence of active rheumatic fever in the program's patient population.