The Armed Forces Epidemiological Board: Its First Fifty Years, 1940-1990
CENTER OF EXCELLENCE IN MILITARY MEDICAL RESEARCH AND EDUCATION WASHINGTON DC
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The cause of preventive medicine was served by the concept and formation of the Armed Forces Epidemiology Board. There were many contributors, but four men were directly responsible for the Boards genesis. The war in Europe 1938-1940 raised the specter of epidemic diseases such as influenza, typhus fever, malaria, and yellow fever, ancient diseases that had ravaged mankind, military and civilian alike. Brigadier General James S. Simmons, MC, U. S. Army, Chief of Preventive Medicine in the Office of the Surgeon General during World War II, and his deputy, Colonel Stanhope Bayne-Jones, MC, U.S. Army, were well aware of the medical handicaps that previous military officers had faced, in particular, their inability to control infectious diseases. General Simmons conceived the idea of a board of civilian medical advisors to the military. Colonel Bayne-Jones agreed there was an urgent need to prevent infectious diseases in the army. Their careful planning choice of civilian leaders were crucial to the success of the fledgling Board.
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