University of Rochester

Professor Named to Public Health Task Force

February 19, 2003

Theodore M. Brown, professor and chair of the Department of History at the University of Rochester, has been selected to serve on a task force for an international study of public health in the Third World.

Researchers for the project, directed by the Rockefeller Foundation and titled "Human Resources for Health and Development," will examine how the West has implemented public health initiatives in Africa and Asia and how those initiatives have worked. They also will make recommendations for creating new models of public health delivery.

"The usual model of establishing health care in developing countries is one in which Western medical experts come into the country to provide services," explains Brown. "This project will explore ways of developing indigenous public health expertise, of training people to provide health services in their locales."

The foundation will receive reports from seven different working groups, composed of specialists in labor economics, education, development, and history, and will share the findings with institutions such as the World Health Organization, World Bank, and UNESCO.

Brown, who also is professor of community and preventive medicine in the School of Medicine and Dentistry, will serve on the history working group for the study. The 20 members of the group will review the history and effectiveness of previous Third World public health efforts and make recommendations for future options.

Brown has researched and published widely on topics in public health, the history of medicine, and the history of science. He also has served as editor or on the editorial boards of numerous professional journals. He has been the recipient of several awards and honors, including a special research fellowship from the National Institutes of Health, and is a consultant to the National Library of Medicine.