New book details history of LLU bringing ‘Health to the People’
“Health to the People” is now available through Amazon.com and other book retailers.
The whole story of public health, preventive medicine, and medical evangelism at Loma Linda University comes alive in a recently published book, now on sale to the public.
Health to the People chronicles the years from 1905 to 2005, featuring important events and the people who drove them, as well as many photographs.
Author P. William (Bill) Dysinger, MD, MPH, spent several years working in a labor of love to research and write the book. Dr. Dysinger is an alumnus of the LLU School of Medicine class of 1955, and earned his master’s in pubic health from Harvard University. He is an associate dean emeritus in the LLU School of Public Health, and a professor emeritus in the School of Medicine. He devoted many years of his career to service at Loma Linda University.
“His personal understanding and commitment to the original goals of this place are unquestioned. He has carefully dug through long-buried archives and board minutes, talked with numerous individuals, and created the most complete story, ever told of this aspect of the University,” writes Richard Hart, MD, DrPH, president and CEO of Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center, in the book’s forward.
In addition to the book, Dr. Dysinger has also produced a highly detailed reference work, available in a searchable PDF-formatted CD. The book and CD are each available for $20 (or $35 for both), plus $5 for shipping and handling. See sidebar for information on where to purchase.
P. William (Bill) Dysinger, MD, MPH
preface, Dr. Dysinger says, “I am much impressed by my review of history that God is alive and has worked marvelously through His human servants at Loma Linda during the past 100 years.”
The book details many interesting stories of those 100 years. For example:
• From its beginning, Loma Linda University placed an emphasis on good nutrition, but it suffered for 20 years the ignominy of the American Dietetic Association’s refusal to approve Loma Linda’s vegetarian diet. The irony of this is that 20 years later, the 50,000-member Association voted Dr. Kathleen Zolber, an LLU vegetarian professor, as president of that organization and gave her its highest award.
• The concept of integrated community development and primary health care had its beginnings in China in the 1930s, but it culminated in the World Conference on Primary Health Care in Alma Ata in 1978. Loma Linda University, however, launched its community health work in 1957 at Heri Hospital in Tanganyika (now Tanzania). In 1974, the program joined with a new seminary and soon after lost its health evangelism emphasis. At the same time, however, a new program of establishing 18 training schools and advising the national maternal and child health program for the Tanzanian Ministry of Health was launched via a contract from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This program was funded by more than $2 million during seven years, and it was evaluated 20 years later as the most successful program USAID ever funded, with all 18 maternal and child health schools still functioning and having national influence. It was this program that launched the academic public health career of Dr. Hart.
• One of the successes in taking health to the people was the launching of the off-campus teaching which began in Tanganyika in 1962, in Canada in 1973, and in Central America and the Caribbean in 1978. LLU’s was the first international off-campus teaching to be evaluated by the Council on Education for Public Health and to receive its full approval. Off-campus education continues as a major effort by the School of Public Health and now includes online education. LLU also pioneered the combined MD/MPH and DDS/MPH programs in the 1970s.
• Immediately following World War II, Loma Linda University began a School of Tropical and Preventive Medicine, which continued under various names until the early 1980s, when “tropical” was finally removed from the name of the department of environmental health. It was within the context of tropical medicine that externally funded research began at Loma Linda University.
• The decision to launch a School of Public Health at Loma Linda University was made in 1964, and it achieved accreditation in 1967. The previous accreditation of a school of public health in Hawaii was a great encouragement to Loma Linda University to launch its own successful effort well ahead of the founding dean’s tentative schedule.
• Early in its history, Loma Linda University conducted a pilot experiment in following Ellen White’s counsel regarding “new methods to work the cities.” The success of this pilot effort in San Bernardino launched the career of John H. N. Tindall as the premier health evangelist for the Seventh-day Adventist Church—the trainer of hundreds of other health evangelists.
• People at Loma Linda University were ahead of many others in fighting tobacco. In 1912, a medical student was having considerable influence in Southern California lecturing against tobacco. He listed many effects of smoking that were not formally accepted until 1964 when the United State’s surgeon general released a report on smoking and health. In the 1950s, Dr. J. Wayne McFarland, an LLU medical graduate, joined with Pastor Elman Folkenberg to launch the first well-established stop-smoking program, the Five Day Plan. Additionally, others connected with LLU have also done important work in the fight against tobacco, both in the United States and abroad.