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A Modest Institution With Grand Designs

Timothy F. Kirn
JAMA. 1988;259(17):2517-2521. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720170005004.
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THE SPONSOR OF the Growing Healthy curriculum, the National Center for Health Education, has itself never really been healthy. At least, the center has never achieved the preeminence or the proportions originally envisioned when it was established.

The center came into being in about 1975, the result of a recommendation from former President Richard Nixon's President's Committee on Health Education. At its suggestion, support for the center was to come from both the government and private sources, along the lines of the Institute of Medicine in Washington, DC.

The center was to function in part as an umbrella, connecting and coordinating the disparate activities of the various organizations working in health education. But the funding to foster its development never materialized, says M. Roy Schwarz, MD, assistant executive vice president of the American Medical Association and the and the center's current board chair. "I can say we've done things right,"


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