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Association of State and Territorial Health Officers Archives

 Collection
Identifier: MS C 270

Abstract

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials is the national non-profit organization representing the state and territorial public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia. ASTHO's members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy, and to assuring excellence in state-based public health practice. Collection contains correspondence, memoranda, newsletters, conference agenda and resum`es, proceedings of annual meetings, and Executive Committee material.

Dates

  • 1946-1967

Extent

10 Linear Feet (24 boxes)

Creator

Physical Location

Materials stored onsite. History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine

Language of Materials

English

Restrictions

Collection is not restricted. Contact the Reference Staff for information regarding access.

Copyright and Re-use Information

NLM does not possess copyright to the collection. Archival collections often contain mixed copyrights; while NLM is the owner of the physical items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. It is the user's responsibility to research and understand any applicable copyright and re-publication rights not allowed by fair use. NLM does not grant permissions to publish.

Privacy Information

Archives and manuscript collections may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in any collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which the National Library of Medicine assumes no responsibility.

Historical Note

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials was officially founded on March 23, 1942, but its predecessor organizations and functions date much earlier. It is the national non-profit organization representing the state and territorial public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia. ASTHO's members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy, and to assuring excellence in state-based public health practice. It is engaged in a wide range of legislative, scientific, educational, and programmatic issues and activities on behalf of public health.

ASTHO's origins date back to 1879 when the subject of forming a national association of health officials was first discussed during a meeting of the Sanitary Council of the Mississippi Valley in Nashville, Tennessee. Attendees met to discuss measures to control the spread of cholera, which had been problematic following the Civil War. Although no formal developments occurred at that time, the officers of state boards of health met informally four years later in Detroit, Michigan during the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA) to discuss forming their own national organization. Earlier, the health officers had been invited by both the APHA and the American Medical Association (AMA) to form a section in these organizations. The assembled state health officials, however, felt that the enforcement of sanitary and other public health laws and regulations was a responsibility that would be best served through an autonomous organization. Accordingly, this group of health officials decided to call a meeting of their own the following year in Washington, D.C. On May 7, 1884, representatives from nineteen states attended the assembly, the result of which was the National Conference of State Boards of Health. Thereafter, meetings were held regularly. In 1897, the constitution was amended to include membership for representatives from Canada and Mexico. To reflect this expanded scope of membership, the name was changed to the Conference of State and Provincial Health Authorities of North America.

By the turn of the century, the U.S. Surgeon General and state and territorial health officials began meeting annually to discuss medical and scientific aspects of controlling yellow fever and other diseases prevalent at the time. At the 1908 conference, however, the inter-state quarantine regulations were discussed in great detail-the first time that a matter of such importance was brought before the members-and handled along the lines of a "working conference." Succeeding conferences became more and more the occasion for the Public Health Service and various state health officials to discuss administrative problems and relationships as well as advances in the prevention and control of disease. In 1935, the conference became a joint venture between the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service, the Chief of the Children's Bureau and the State and Territorial Health Officials. In anticipation of the enactment of the Social Security Act later that year, the entire conference was devoted to discussion of the proposed programs to be carried out under the provisions of that and related pieces of legislation.

From the beginning, the conference organized itself into a number of committees, including scientific research and sanitation, prevention and spread of epidemic diseases, morbidity and mortality statistics, and state legislation. As time passed, committees were abandoned or restructured and new committees were established. The Conference of State and Provincial Health Authorities of North America had also evolved into a committee structure which, not surprisingly, closely paralleled that which was established to facilitate the work of the Surgeon General's conference.

Beginning in 1937, the committee work of the Surgeon General's conference was accomplished by joint committees between that conference and the State and Provincial Health Authorities Conference, with the two meeting concurrently. After the Social Security Act was passed, however, various state health officials expressed the need for an organization that could represent them on matters concerning federal health grants. The wisdom of such a move became increasingly apparent as state public health programs expanded under the Social Security Act in 1935 and subsequent legislation. As a result, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, with membership limited to executive officers of the departments of health of any state, territory or possession of the United States, was founded on March 23, 1942.

[Excerpted from the ASTHO official history]

Collection Summary

Correspondence, memoranda, newsletters, conference agenda and resum├ęs, proceedings of annual meetings, and Executive Committee material. Includes drafts, typescripts, and other items pertaining to a history of the Association.

Abstract

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials is the national non-profit organization representing the state and territorial public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia. ASTHO's members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy, and to assuring excellence in state-based public health practice. Collection contains correspondence, memoranda, newsletters, conference agenda and resum`es, proceedings of annual meetings, and Executive Committee material.

Physical Location

Materials stored onsite. History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine

Provenance

Gift, 1969; 1989.

General

Processed by
HMD Staff
Date completed:
2000
Encoded by
Dan Jenkins
Title
Finding Aid to the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers Archives 1946-1967
Status
Unverified Partial Draft
Author
HMD Staff
Date
2000
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English
Edition statement
Version 1.0

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Archives and Modern Manuscripts Collection Collecting Area

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