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Annual Report of the Supervising Surgeon of the Marine-Hospital Service of the United States, for the Fiscal Year 1874

Woodworth, John M.

Published by Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1874
Condition: Good Hardcover
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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vi, [2], 256 pages. Fold-outs. Index. Cover has wear, soiling and some damp staining. John Maynard Woodworth, (1837-1879),was the first Surgeon General. The position was first created in 1871 in order to head the Marine Hospital Service, which existed "for the relief of sick and disabled seamen." The first marine hospitals had inadequate funding. It was the reorganization of 1870 which created a need for leadership. Given his educational and professional background (he had served significant roles such as Assistant Surgeon to the Union Army and Sanitary Inspector of the Chicago Board of Heath), Woodworth was a promising canidate. The Marine Hospital Service underwent many changes under his leadership. Reforms included examinations for medical staff and the publications of annual reports. Before his appointment, physicians served in only one facility. However, Woodworth placed his physicians to various marine hospitals as needed, therefore creating a mobile workforce. As the organization became more involved in public health, John Woodworth helped pave the way for its development into what is now known as the Public Health Service. Throughout the history of our healthcare system, the role has gone through many changes, but its primary function has always been to promote health and prevent disease. The Service was created by the act of the 5th United States Congress, which was enacted into law on 16 July 1798 by President John Adams. The Act required the Department of the Treasury to "provide for the relief and maintenance of disabled seamen." This Act led to the formation of several loosely controlled hospitals at sea and river ports all across the United States, which was officially the Marine-Hospital Fund. The Act specified the revenue for the Hospital Fund to come from the merchant seamen. The Congressional Act of 1798 was enacted into law by President John Adams. It created a tax of 20 cents each month to be withheld from seamen's wages for support of marine hospitals. The money was paid to the U.S. Collector of Customs. The Act was expanded in 1799 to include all "officers, seamen and marines of the navy of the United States". This practice continued until 1870, excepting one year from April 1837 to 1838. This series of hospitals to care for merchant seamen was based on the British practice of establishing hospitals to care for sailors and merchant seamen. Prior to its union with Scotland, the Kingdom of England established its first hospitals in 1588, shortly after its victory over the Spanish Armada. The Marine Hospital Fund was a unique and early mechanism to provide the first publicly funded health care and disease prevention federal agency in the United States. Following the Civil War, public outcry and scandal surrounded the Marine Hospital Fund. In 1869, Dr. John Shaw Billings--a prominent Army surgeon-was appointed to head an investigation of the Marine Hospital Fund. Dr. Billings found the hospital fund to be inadequate and completely unorganized. In 1871, the Marine Hospital Fund was formally reorganized as the Marine Hospital Service, under the direction of Dr.John Maynard Woodworth. Dr. Woodworth was appointed to the Service as "Supervising Surgeon." He reorganized the service into a disciplined organization based on his experience in the Union Army as a surgeon. Dr. Woodworth required his physicians to be a mobile work force stationed where the service was in need, and he mandated the daily wear uniforms. This eventually led to the creation of the modern-day Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Dr. Woodworth, using Army-style heraldry, created the Marine Hospital Service fouled anchor and caduceus seal which is used to this day by the Public Health Service. In 1873, Dr. Woodworth's title was changed to "Supervising Surgeon General," a forerunner of the modern-day office of Surgeon General of the United States. Bookseller Inventory # 72154

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Annual Report of the Supervising Surgeon of ...

Publisher: Government Printing Office, Washington DC

Publication Date: 1874

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Good

Edition: Presumed first edition/first printing.

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