to the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services,
health education in the United
States dates back to the 1798,
when a federal network of
hospitals was established to assist
chemist, was appointed by President
Lincoln in 1862 to serve in what later
became known as the Bureau of
Chemistry. This was a part of the new
Department of Agriculture but was
the predecessor of the Food and
On January 4, 1889, the Commissioned
Corps was formally authorized by Congress.
Initially, only physicians were appointed.
Dr. Woodworth is credited with the
formal creation of the Commissioned
Corps. Dr. Woodworth organized the
personnel along Army military structure,
to facilitate a mobile force of health
professionals that could be moved for
the needs of the service and country.
The stated mission of the Commissioned Corps
of the U.S. Public Health Service is
"Protecting, promoting, and advancing the health and
safety of the Nation" in accordance with the Corps four
Core Values: Leadership, Excellence, Integrity, and
The members of the Commissioned Corps number over
6,600 officers in 11 professional categories:
• Environmental health officers
• Health Service Officers
•Therapists (including physical, occupational, speech
The Health Services Officer (HSO) category
comprises over 50
specialties, including audiology, social
assistants,optometrists, statisticians, computer
scientists, dental hygienists, medical
records administrators, medical technologists and others
In 1906, Congress authorized
the federal government to set
standards regarding the safety of
foods and medicines. This would
later transition to a responsibility of
the Food and Drug
In 1912, President Theodore
Roosevelt encouraged the
establishment of a Children's
Bureau to fight the
exploitation of children.
President Eisenhower officially
established the Department of
Health, Education and Welfare on
April 11, 1953.
The Department of Education
and the Department of Health
and Human Services were later
The Salk polio vaccine was
licensed in 1955.
Polio was a medical oddity that baffled researchers
for years. It was first recorded in 1835 and grew
steadily more prevalent. It took a long time to learn
that the virus was transmitted by fecal matter and
secretions of the nose and throat. It entered the
victim orally, established itself in the intestines, and
then travelled to the brain or spinal cord.
In 1961 brought the first White
House Conference on Aging.
The White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA)
is a once-a-decade conference sponsored by
the Executive Office of the President of the
United States which makes policy
recommendations to the president and
Congress regarding the aged. The first of its kind,
the goals of the conference are to promote the
dignity, health and economic security of older
Americans. It has been claimed that it is
perhaps the best-known White House
The first Surgeon General's Report
on Smoking and Health was released
in 1964. The following year, the Head
Start program was born.
The Head Start Program is a program of
the United States Department of Health and
Human Services that provides
education, health, nutrition, and parent
involvement services to low-income children
and their families.
Washtenaw head start school superior
township in Michigan.
Lady Bird Johnson Visiting a Classroom
for Project Head Start in 1966 .
In 1966, the International Smallpox
Eradication program was implemented
and worldwide eradication of the disease
was realized in 1977.
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to
humans, caused by either of two virus
variants, Variola major and Variola minor.
Smallpox localized in small blood vessels of the
skin and in the mouth and throat. In the skin it
resulted in a characteristic maculopapular
rash and, later, raised fluid-filled blisters.
In 1981, AIDS was officially identified, but
the virus was not isolated and classified until
Human immunodeficiency virus infection / acquired
immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is a disease of
the human immune system caused by infection
with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). During the
initial infection, a person may experience a brief period
of influenza-like illness. This is typically followed by a
prolonged period without symptoms. As the illness
progresses, it interferes more and more with the
immune system, making the person much more likely to
get infections, including opportunistic
infections and tumors that do not usually affect people
who have working immune systems.
HIV is transmitted primarily via unprotected sexual
sex), contaminated blood transfusions, hypodermic
needles, and from mother to child during
pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding. Some bodily
fluids, such as saliva and tears, do not transmit
HIV. Prevention of HIV infection, primarily
through safe sex and needle-exchange programs, is
a key strategy to control the spread of the disease.
There is no cure or vaccine; however, antiretroviral
treatment can slow the course of the disease and
may lead to a near-normal life expectancy. While
antiretroviral treatment reduces the risk of death and
complications from the disease, these medications
are expensive and may be associated with side
In 1990, the Nutrition Labelling
and Education Act was
passed, which authorized food
Nutrition labelling is information found on
the labels of prepackaged foods.
The legislated information includes:
The Nutrition Facts table
The ingredient list
Some optional nutrition claims
In 1993, the Vaccines for Children
Program were implemented, which
provided free immunizations to minors
under the age of eighteen in lowincome families.
In 1997, state health care
coverage to additional children was
Health care in the United States is provided by many distinct
organizations. Health care facilities are largely owned and
operated by private sector businesses. Health
insurance for public sector employees is primarily provided
by the government. 60-65% of healthcare provision and
spending comes from programs such
as Medicare,Medicaid, TRICARE, the Children's Health
Insurance Program, and the Veterans Health Administration.
Most of the population under 65 is insured by their or a family
member's employer, some buy health insurance on their
own, and the remainder are uninsured.
In 2001 and 2002, awareness of bioterrorism
escalated as anthrax was mailed, and the fight
against other emergency health threats increased.
Bioterrorism is terrorism involving the intentional
release or dissemination of biological agents.
These agents are bacteria, viruses, or toxins, and
may be in a naturally occurring or a humanmodified form. For the use of this method
M-17 nuclear, biological and chemical
warfare mask and hood
In late 2004, the Global
Health Histories project was
formed by the World Health
Organization. It emphasizes
the importance and necessity
of historical education in
assisting to develop goals for
The United Nations established the
World Health Organization on April 7, 1948.
This day is now celebrated yearly as World
In 2008, the World Health Organization
celebrated its 60th anniversary.