Research

New York State Dept. of Social Welfare Working and Report Files Relating to Temporary Legislative Commission to Formulate a Long Range State Health Program

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
The Temporary Legislative Commission to Formulate a Long Range State Health Program, later the Health Preparedness Commission, studied and recommended ways to improve and maintain the health of all New Yorkers. This series consists of reports; charts; statistics; estimates; minutes of meetings; planning documents; and press releases, notices, and newspaper articles documenting the Commission's work.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
11.3 cu. ft.
Inclusive Dates:
[ca. 1938-1947
Series Number:
A3275

Arrangement

A3275-09:Arranged by type of record.

Administrative History

The Temporary Legislative Commission to Formulate a Long Range State Health Program, later the Health Preparedness Commission, was created by Chapter 682 of the Laws of 1938. Recognizing that "the health of the inhabitants of the State is a matter of State concern," and that the "problem of economic need and the problem of providing adequate medical care are not identical and may require different approaches for their ultimate solution," the Commission was charged with studying and recommending ways to improve and maintain the health of all New Yorkers.

During its early years, the Commission gathered a wealth of information at public hearings, conferences, and consultations with experts in public health administration and medical care. These individuals were affiliated with mental, nursing and dental organizations; government and other public agencies; labor and industry; insurance companies; and other health-related organizations. After gathering input from these groups, the Commission issued a preliminary report (1939) and subsequently led a number of studies concerned with people in need of medical care, physicians and hospitals that provide this care, and members of families or other representatives with the responsibility for paying medical and hospital bills.

After the outbreak of the Second World War, the Commission began to shift its emphasis toward analyzing the medical, nursing, hospital, and laboratory resources of the state, and investigating the possible effects of an emergency upon them. In addition, the Commission was empowered to develop plans for organizing, coordinating, and mobilizing statewide health resources and services for purposes of state and national defense (L. 1941, Ch. 483). To help facilitate these objectives, Health Preparedness Committees were established in every county of the state, and a Statewide Health Preparedness Conference was held on March 6, 1941. Three months later, the Commission's name was changed to the New York State Health Preparedness Commission, and was thereafter designated as the Health and Medical Section of the New York State Council of Defense, later the State War Council.

While the local Health Preparedness Committees continued their work, in September 1941 Governor Herbert H. Lehman authorized the creation of the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) at the state and local levels, to be overseen by the State Health Preparedness Commission. During World War II, the EMS was called into action in different parts of the state to respond to local disasters, including railroad accidents and explosions, and to provide critical medical treatment to those injured in the events.

As the EMS came to require less oversight by the State Health Preparedness Commission, by the fall of 1943 the Commission had shifted its focus back toward studying medical care facilities, services, and needs at the local level. In order to complete this work, the Commission conducted case studies of the health programs in three geographical areas of New York State, with its primary focus being the appropriate role of the local Health Preparedness Committees: (1) Washington County because of its agricultural economy and "relatively stable condition despite the war"; (2) Seneca and Ontario Counties because of the Sampson Naval Training Station and Seneca Ordnance Department in Seneca County and the issues created by the "influx of attendant personnel" into Ontario County; and (3) Niagara County because of the heavy industrial war production and expansion of population occurring there (Commission report, 1944).

Scope and Content Note

A3275-09: This accretion consists of reports; charts; statistics; estimates; minutes of meetings; planning documents; and press releases, notices, and newspaper articles documenting the commission's work.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of the material.

Related Information

Related Materials

Series A3274 Files relating to public health, contains a preliminary report on the commission, and other records on health care planning from this period

Series A3273 Subject and correspondence files of Dr. H. Jackson Davis, contains related records on health care planning from this period.

Related Publications

New York State Health Preparedness Commission, "Report of the New York State Commission to Formulate a Long Range Health Program," 1944, held by the New York State Library.; Various reports published by the Temporary Legislative Commission to Formulate a Long Range State Health Program and its successor, the Health Preparedness Commission, are available at the New York State Library.

Other Descriptive Data

New York State Health Preparedness Commission, "Report of the New York State Commission to Formulate a Long Range Health Program," 1944, held by the New York State Library.

Various reports published by the Temporary Legislative Commission to Formulate a Long Range State Health Program and its successor, the Health Preparedness Commission, are available at the New York State Library.

Acquistion Information

A3275-85: These records were transferred to the New York State Archives by H. Jackson Davis, Jr., in 1985.

A3275-09: This accretion was acquired by the New York State Library and subsequently transferred to the State Archives.

Access Terms

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