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Heroes of Public Health

Jae-Moe Yang, MD, MPH, DMSc

Jae-Moe Yang is the leader of one of the most successful family planning programs in the developing world.

As a member of the Supreme Council of National Reconstruction of Korea in 1961, he was instrumental in influencing the government to adopt a policy to promote family planning and limit population growth. In the same year, he headed the committee that organized the Planned Parenthood Federation of Korea, and for 15 years he was chairman of its board. Korea's population is expected to reach zero growth by 2020 at 50 million.

Dr. Yang used a series of field action studies from the Yonsei University department of preventive medicine and later from the research center of Population and Family Planning, which he organized. His activities attracted international recognition and Dr. Yang was elected to the board of the International Planned Parenthood Federation on 1967. For six years he was chairman and co-chairman of the Western Pacific Regional Council of the federation, and was part of a United Nations family planning mission to the government of India.

Dr. Yang's practical application of the science of public health had its grounds in academia. From 1972-76, he was assistant dean and dean of the school of medicine at Yonsei University. During that time, he introduced statistics and environmental health into the curriculum, and organized a field study of community and rehabilitation medicine.