Medical Schools, Private Foundations, and the Community Medicine Movement of the 1960s

Jan 01, 2016 | by
  • Description

I visited the Rockefeller Archives in order to conduct research for my dissertation, tentatively titled "'Of the Poor, by the Poor, or for the Poor': Community Medicine and the War on Poverty," which explores the community health center movement of the 1960s. I hoped to look at the role of private foundations such as the Rockefeller Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund in the promotion and popularization of community medicine in the 1950s and 1960s. I was particularly interested in the partnership between these private foundations and medical schools. While it was clear that medical schools had led the charge in advancing community medicine as a new field of health care, the role of private foundations was more obscured. However, as I dove into the archives, it became increasingly clear that the Rockefeller Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund both played an enormous role in the early history of community medicine. The Rockefeller Archives not only helped to reveal the important roles of these private foundations, but they also shed light on the transnational conversation surrounding the development of community medicine.