1932 HEALTH SURVEY OF HARLAN COUNTY, KENTUCKY

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 14: Medical

1932 HEALTH SURVEY of HARLAN COUNTY, KENTUCKY

By IVA M. MILLER, M.D., Representative of the INTERNATIONAL SAVE THE CHILDREN FUND OF AMERICA, INC., NYC***

Have you ever wondered what health care looked like during the Great Depression in Harlan County, KY? This 1932 Health Survey of Harlan County, Kentucky by Iva M. Miller, M.D. with the cooperation of the physicians of Harlan County, provides that window into time. How does Harlan County compare today?

Iva Myrtle Miller (1880-1951) [married Wm. M. McFadden, 1912] . Miller was a Public Health worker and was charged with managing the study in Harlan County. She was previously the medical director of the Isabella Fisher Hospital in Tientsin, China, from 1910-1930 where she helped to direct public health and hygiene campaigns for the Chinese Nationalist government.*** Not unlike her recommendations for public health campaigns in eastern Kentucky, her work in China emphasized health education. Photographs of her work in China were acquired by the Hoover Institution Archive at Stanford University in 1972. She was a graduate of Stanford University [A.B. Ger., May 1907].

***See: Nakajima, Chieko. “Twentieth-Century China,” Volume 34, Number 1, November 2008, pp. 42-72.


1932 HEALTH SURVEY OF HARLAN COUNTY, KENTUCKY

By  IVA M. MILLER, M.D., Representative of the INTERNATIONAL SAVE THE CHILDREN FUND OF AMERICA, INC., NYC***

TRANSCRIPTION OF FORWARD

Forward by Clark Bailey, Secretary Harlan County Medical Society, July 5, 1932, and member of the Pine Mountain Settlement School Board of Trustees.

In the following pages Dr. Miller presents some interesting facts about Harlan County and her needs. The following data make plain the needs of the children in the county, but the real suffering of the children can be appreciated only by actual contact with the individual cases. Only recently I was called to see a child of eight months who had a marked case of malnutrition superimposed by an acute diarrhea. The parents are young and unemployed with no possible means of supplying the necessary food. Unless milk can be supplied, there is little hope for that child to recover. This is only one of many cases which every physician in the county is constantly meeting.

If the Save the Children Fund of America should undertake a constructive health program in Harlan County, it will not only be the means of saving many lives, but it will enable the members of the homes benefited to receive a new vision of health and all it signifies. It will also give them a vision of unselfish mankind. The native people of this county have a high degree of stamina and independence characteristics of which they are proud. Such a program as is here outlined will provide them a way by which they can learn to help themselves, since they are not naturally dependent but victims of an unfortunate economic situation.

The Save the Children Fund is to be highly commended for attempting to institute such a program. Further, the unselfish and whole-hearted co-operation of every doctor in Harlan County in this work, can be depended upon to make this project a success.

(signed) Clark Bailey, Secretary
Harlan County Medical Society
Harlan, KY

July 5, 1932


**Permission to reproduce the 1932 Harlan County Health Survey granted March 13, 2016, by digitalchampions@savechildren.org.


GALLERY: 1932 Health Survey of Harlan County, Kentucky