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Heroes of Public Health

Ernest L. Stebbins, MD, MPH

Ernest Stebbins

The career of Ernest Stebbins was broad in scope and accomplishment, yet his quiet nature and unassuming tenacity placed him high among the unsung heroes of public health.

He helped charter the World Health Organization, served as commissioner of health for New York City, and was dean of the School for 21 years. As dean, he developed programs in international health, population dynamics, public health administration, health care administration, and residencies in preventive medicine.

Dr. Stebbins testified before Congress to promote health aid in foreign policy, saying it "does more to win us friends in foreign countries that any of our other programs." As part of his commitment to international health, he helped re-establish a school of public health in the Philippines after World War II.

In addition to leadership roles in numerous professional organizations, Dr. Stebbins served on the national board of governors of the American Red Cross, was executive secretary of the world Federation of Public Health Associations, and was director of the American Cancer Society.