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Letters to the Editor

Leg Work
Seeing the hard work of my public health colleagues working in different places in the world and my teachers (particularly my doctoral advisor, Dr. Carl Taylor, mentioned in "The School in Wartime" [in the Spring 2002 issue]), my passion is encouraged and my tired legs are strengthened.

Thanks very much for your hard work and encouragement.

Christy Fong, MPH '99
PhD candidate, International Health
Gansu, China

Duly Noted
Thank you for the article on my work on antibiotic resistance and poultry production ["Ellen Silbergeld: Resistance Fighter," Spring 2002]. I wanted to note that this work is also supported by the Winslow Foundation.

Ellen K. Silbergeld, PhD '72
Environmental Health Sciences

Scientific Gratitude
I want to thank you for dedicating the magazine's Spring 2002 issue ["The Science of Security"] to the concerns of terrorism and biological terrorism in particular. These threats to our nation have not diminished, and we must do everything humanly possible to continue to build a health and medical system capable of responding to the challenges such an incident will present. The enormous support of Secretary Tommy G. Thompson and members of Congress offers a unique opportunity to rebuild our critical public health infrastructure, and we cannot let this chance slip by.

Schools of public health must play a key leadership role in rebuilding the country's public health system. First, they must ensure an adequate supply of public health professionals. Furthermore, public health schools need to develop curricula that specifically train students to understand and address chemical, biological, and nuclear terrorism threats. And finally, these institutions need to facilitate necessary linkages between public health practitioners and health care providers.

My own education at the School of Public Health has been and remains an incredible asset as I work to integrate and coordinate the efforts of a variety of federal, state, and local organizations. I'm also fortunate to have the unique opportunity to continue to learn from D.A. Henderson, who became dean while I was a graduate student.

The past issue of the magazine strongly reflects the School's commitment to graduating well-trained and engaged professionals and its ongoing contributions to terrorism preparedness through the work of its faculty and students. Keep up the great work.

Jerome M. Hauer, MHS '78
Assistant Secretary (Acting)
for Public Health Emergency Preparedness
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Editor’s note: See story on Hauer’s new appointment.

You’re in the Army Now
Editor's note: The Prologues article in the Spring 2002 issue ("Fighting for Health: The School in Wartime") stirred memories for many of our alumni. Francisco Dy, MD, MPH '42, shares his story below.

At the outbreak of World War II, my close friends asked me to come back home [to the Philippines]. I was studying at Hopkins and told them that I would be better prepared to serve the country after I finished my courses. Not long after that I thought that I would never forgive myself if I did not serve in the Army, so I went to enlist. This was on Dec. 16, 1941. The Army recruiting officer told me I should apply for a commission in the Army and not enlist as a private since I was an MD and was studying at Hopkins. I did, and in April 1942, I received a commission as first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. I was ordered to report for duty at the First Filipino Battalion in California.

I told Dr. Gilbert Otto, who was assistant dean of the School, that I had to leave to join the U.S. Army. Two days later, Dr. Otto told me that [the] faculty [had] decided to let me graduate with an MPH anyway, because I had good grades. I was very happy.

I left the School and joined the army as a battalion surgeon. I was wondering when I would be sent to the Philippines when I received orders to report for duty without delay as a malariologist in Papua, New Guinea. Malaria was taking its toll on the U.S. troops at that time. I experimented with aircraft spraying of insecticides on the day the troops invaded enemy territory. Our work was successful and was used in subsequent invasions, and I was awarded the Legion of Merit.

Later on, I was transferred to Gen. MacArthur's headquarters as deputy chief public health officer with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

I was awarded my second Legion of Merit for planning and implementing medical and public health programs in the Philippines. The Philippine government also awarded me the Distinguished Service Star for the promotion of health and prevention of disease, including the establishment of more than 1,000 dispensaries and 100 hospitals.

That was my Army life.

Francisco Dy, MD, MPH '42
Manila, Philippines

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