Some of the earliest endeavors of American philanthropy recognized health as a key component to human well-being. From reforming medical education to training public health workers and nurses, and later mobilizing new technologies toward better approaches in immunization, preventive care, and epidemiological research, foundations’ health programs have made major contributions to human health around the world.

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Medicine & Public Health

Sour Milk: Preventing Infant Mortality with Public Health

Philanthropy’s role in cleaning up the milk supply prompted better federal food safety protections.

Medicine & Public Health

Public Health: How the Fight Against Hookworm Helped Build a System

A hundred years ago, hookworm disease was an epidemic across the US South. Northern philanthropy tried to help.

Medicine & Public Health

Cover Your Mouth: Controlling an Epidemic Through Hygiene

Century-old tips to prevent infection still make sense today.

Medicine & Public Health

Funding a Sexual Revolution: The Kinsey Reports

The inside story of the study that first questioned binary sexuality and spurred outcry and controversy.

Medicine & Public Health

The Long Road to the Yellow Fever Vaccine

The yellow fever vaccine developed in the 1930s has been used worldwide ever since. Creating it took years and cost several lives. Some thought it would never happen.

Medicine & Public Health

The Commonwealth Fund Brings Hospice Care to America

Care for the dying, not care for a cure, was a new idea in the 1970s.

Medicine & Public Health

Photo Essay: The Rockefeller Sanitary Commission and the South

How battling hookworm on rural farms laid the groundwork for a global public health system.

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Medicine & Public Health

The “Insulin Gift”

In 1923, a wealthy philanthropist’s funding helped make life-saving treatment for diabetes available to patients and doctors.

Medicine & Public Health

Philanthropy’s Fight Against Tuberculosis in World War I France

What does it take to control the outbreak of a deadly disease?