History of the Maryland Public Health Association
The early history of Maryland Public Health Association is in many ways the history of public health in Maryland, as documented in this interesting article written by one of our former presidents. Because the organization was successful in laying the long-term framework for our present day public health infrastructure, it certainly has enduring effects.
Just as it is today, MdPHA began as a volunteer organization, depending on the enthusiasm of the membership for its survival. Yet it was able to achieve huge successes by organizing a broad coalition around some important issues and using the strategy of public and professional education and legislative advocacy.
Dr. McCauley wrote an article documenting the history of MdPHA and called his article “The Success That Failed.” Perhaps it could equally have been called “The Failure that Succeeded.” As we grapple with present day issues of a still small and all-volunteer organization, perhaps we should be both encouraged and chastened by the lessons of the past and know that despite all the organizational difficulties we encounter, we can still make a big difference to the community health of Maryland.