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Heroes of Public Health

Paul V. Lemkau, MD

Paul V. Lemkau, MD

Dr. Lemkau instituted the study of mental hygiene within a public health framework and was founding chairman of the School's Department of Mental Hygiene, the only free-standing department of its kind in a school of public health.

His seminal text, Mental Hygiene and Public Health, explained the concept of community-based mental hygiene. It has been used to train generations of mental health professionals.

Dr. Lemkau became psychiatrist and director of Baltimore's Eastern Health District project. The appointment enabled him to study the prevalence of mental disorders in a community setting and prepare for research in psychiatric epidemiology.

As an advocate for nurses and other public health workers, Dr. Lemkau expanded the range of professionals capable of providing mental health services.

He was a consultant in mental health to the World Health Organization survey and educational missions to Japan, Yugoslavia and Venezuela and to the Rockefeller Foundation's public health survey in Italy. Additional international activities included consultation, teaching and research in Mexico and other countries of Central and South America.