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New Post for Dr. Quentin Young

Dr. Quentin Young was installed as President of the American Public Health Association on Thursday, November 13, 1997. He plans to use his new position to push for a universal health care system to rid the nation of profit-driven managed care, which he calls "Frankenstein's monster." He also hopes to increase general public awareness of what public health means to people's everyday lives.

Dr. Young also serves as national coordinator for Physicians for a National Health Program and as chairman of the Health and Medicine Policy Research group. He was chairman of medicine at Cook County Hospital (Chicago) from 1972 to 1981. At Cook County Hospital, he was twice fired and twice rehired in the course of a dispute with the hospital's governing body when he sided with staff doctors who were striking for improved patient conditions.

In 1951, he was fighting for admission of more African-American patients and medical students into the medical institutions of Chicago. In the 1960s, he was leading a medical committee fighting nationwide for human rights and marching with the Reverend martin Luther King, Jr. for housing desegregation in Chicago. Now 74, he has been practicing medicine for 50 years and still maintains a practice in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood that he began in 1953. He also is a clinical professor of preventive medicine at the University of Illinois Medical Center.

As Dr. Young sees it, the recent growth of profit-driven managed care has been detrimental to America's public health: "A health system has to be responsible for the health of the entire community and, in turn, the national system must incorporate the whole nation. To fracture the service arrangements along market lines is to reap the harvest that we're experiencing today," Young said, referring to the rising numbers of uninsured Americans.

"It's time now to look at the post-corporate health system. It's important for leaders in the health field, as well as the public, to conceive of what the system will look like once we banish profit-seeking venture capital from the mix," he continued. Young would rather have public health consumers organized to decide health policies rather than reacting to policies decided by corporations.

"This country is fractured in many ways - pitting youth against aged, certainly there are schisms between the races, and even classes are pitted one against the other - when you get to the issue of health and particularly public health, this unifies everybody," Young said. "This country needs healing, and by far the most attractive and probable vehicle for us to regain our national confidence and unity is through support for a public health system that affects the lives of all of us."

This has been condensed from an article by Sue Ellen Christian in the Chicago Tribune, Sunday, November 16, 1997

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Article posted November 27.

Last revised January 31, 1998