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November 10, 1962

MD Lists Five Points to Improve Overseas Health

JAMA. 1962;182(6):26. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050450116042

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Dr. Leona Baumgartner, New York City commissioner of health, outlined five points for improving overseas health work when she delivered the annual Bronfman Lecture Oct. 18 at the American Public Health Association convention in Miami Beach.

Dr. Baumgartner said that the U.S. should:

• In working in another country, understand what is already there, both physically and in people's minds and mores, and build on this foundation.

"Different as remote cultures may seem," she said, "they have their own strengths and resources. These are cultures that have grown up over years of experience."

In Greece, she said, outside experts spent much time and money to introduce the mortarboard plow in place of the traditional scratch plow. It turned out, she said, that the scratch plow was correct for the thin soil of the region, and that the mortarboard plow turned up too much subsoil.

In a health program, she said,